Who and What. A multi-partisan Commission of thirty-four nationally-known scholars and practitioners request that President Obama create a White House Council on Boys to Men.
Why. A nationwide crisis of boys and men already exists. The Commission identifies five components:
• Education. Boys are behind girls in almost every subject, especially reading and writing. Yet boy-friendly programs (e.g., recess and vocational education) are being curtailed.
• Jobs. Our sons are not being prepared for jobs where the jobs will be. Yet women rarely marry men in unemployment lines.
• Fatherlessness. A third of boys are raised in father-absent homes; yet boys and girls with significant father involvement do better in more than 25 areas.
• Physical health. Life expectancy has gone from one to five years less for males than for females, yet federal offices of boys and men’s health are non-existent.
• Emotional health. Boys’ suicide rate goes from equal to girls to five times girls’ between ages 13 and 20, as boys feel the pressures of the male role.
Each of the five crisis components is potentially handled by a different department of the government; therefore coordination and prioritization is best handled at the White House level.
Short-Term Investment. One million dollars.
Long-Term Savings. Many billions of dollars. (For example, boys who are cared for become men who care for–men who pay taxes for schools rather than drain taxes for prisons.)
Quality-of-Life Savings. Priceless.
Timing. The mere presidential announcement of a White House Council on Boys to Men makes visible an invisible crisis. A White House Conference on Boys to Men to present “best practices” within one year after the Council is created.