Saturday, October 15, 2005

Where Have all the Men Gone?

There is a severe shortage in the US of male teachers--just 21% of teachers are male. The top three reasons men no longer go into teaching? The low pay, teaching viewed as "women's work," and fear of being charged with child abuse. Some men report not being able to get a job interview because people think there is something wrong with men who want to work with children. Thanks alot, Oprah. The male shortage is a big loss for our children--the exposure to different teaching styles is important for kids to be exposed to at an early age. What effect is the male teaching shortage having on our children? Not a good one, I'm afraid. Young men no longer want to go to college, perhaps because no male teachers equates a feeling on their part that education is not important to men. What do you think?

Friday, October 14, 2005

Thanks so much for the donations. The life you save may be your own.
Please support me in the American Heart Association Walk!

I am taking part in Knoxville's American Heart Association Walk on November 5th. Donations will go directly to funding for education and research of heart disease. My heart attack at 37 taught me that being athletic and a woman was no protection from heart problems. I am lucky that all of the advances in heart treatment are allowing me to move on with my life and engage in really fun stuff (like blogging). Please help me to raise money to continue the medical advances--who knows, maybe one day, doctors will grow us new hearts! Here is the webpage to donate.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Even a Washington Post article agrees that Blogging is Therapy!
Battered Men are Ignored

In my therapy practice, I used to see men all of the time who were abused--but there was little support in the community for them. Finally Canada is starting to see the light--maybe the US will follow suit.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

This is funny.
Men, Depression and Suicide

I was particularly distraught to read that David Perino, a teacher in Prince William county falsely accused of sexual abuse, (and who subsequently lost his job) mentioned the suicide of another male teacher who had gone through a similar experience. As a psychologist, I wonder if his mention of the other teacher's suicide is a reflection of how he feels inside. Job loss is a major blow to men and a trigger for suicide. In Japan, out of 33,000 suicides in 1999, one half of the victims was unemployed.

Suicide among men and boys is also a disturbing trend in the US--four times as many men kill themselves as women. Given that Mr. Perino is a teacher and highly educated, he is at a higher risk for suicide as the more highly educated a person is, the more likely he is to follow through with suicide. Perhaps an educated person has more to lose when they suffer a job loss as they invested a great deal of their life to training for their job.

If women were killing themselves at four times the level of men, there would be an outrage. The talk shows would be buzzing about it and funds would be funneled to programs in schools, colleges and communities just as they are for domestic violence against women.

But apparently, men and boys' lives are expendable in today's sociey--and the worse part is, men and boys are internalizing this belief and are afraid to speak up in the current anti-male climate. Prior to the civil rights movement, African Americans may have felt the same way--dejected and hopeless, so much to the point that they figured nothing would help. Men are taking their lives in record numbers and no one blinks an eye--except for maybe the wives, daughters, sons and family of the deceased. Men's depression and suicide risk affects us all on some level. The first step in understanding this problem is to be willing to hear what men have to say. Maybe if we women would take the focus off ourselves for a moment, they would tell us.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Here is a story in the Washington Post suggested by a reader (thanks!) that is the perfect example of how a charge of sexual abuse can ruin one's career--even if acquitted by the justice system.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

What's Fair for the Goose is Fair for the Gander

Reading over the comments to my last post about the Oprah sexual predator offender list really opened my eyes to the sad state of how adults (mainly men) fear involving themselves with kids due to being accused of child molestation. This fear is very real, given the current milieu in America where being called a sexual molester seems to strip one of all normal due process rights. In a world where kids, particularly boys, are in desperate need of male role models, this loss of male influence is dire.

Here is a petition for the one strike law from a few years ago that Oprah now proposes today. I love the comment on this petition from a Betty Keyes in California: "Anyone who would put there hands or anything on a child should get death. Why should the tax payers pay for garbage like that. They don't belong on our streets, hurting our children. period!" All right Betty! Lets hear it for compassionate women!

Seriously, given this line of reasoning, one could say that the 58% of perpretrators against children who are women (found by the National Clearing House for the Maltreatment of Children published this year) should be given the same penalty--life in prison or worse. Where is Oprah's show about female child abusers who should get life in prison? I haven't seen it yet. Maybe I should suggest it on her website.