I’m currently doing some research on the status of women and have been impressed at the amount and quality of information out there about women – where they stand in education, health, economics – and the advances they have made in the last 30 – 50 years. It’s an impressive story: where only 40 years or so ago, women were predominantly homemakers, today more than 59% of women now work or are actively seeking employment. Although women’s salaries still tend to be lower than their male equivalents, the gap is closing. And now, it an age where higher education is an important key to economic advancement, women are the majority of college graduates and of those who have some college education but not a degree.
Of course this is not the whole story – women still suffer very high rates of violence and are more likely to live in poverty. But overall, there appears to be a positive trajectory for women that is having an undisputed impact on women overall and potentially for society. Indeed, a recent study by the Pew Research Center argues that the gains that women are experiencing are creating gender role reversals in marriages and is having an impact on the institution of marriage overall. If you are interested, here is a link to their article:
The institution of marriage has undergone significant changes in recent decades as women have outpaced men in education and earnings growth. These unequal gains have been accompanied by gender role reversals in both the spousal characteristics and the economic benefits of marriage.
What’s missing though, is the story of men. The Children’s Defense Fund’s Cradle to Prison Pipeline report has some very good – very sad – information about low-income, minority boys and the overwhelming odds many face of being imprisoned in their lifetime, but it not an exclusive look at the status of males. Should we spend more time and resources understanding what is happening to the other half of the population? Has anyone seen any good information on the status of men?