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In most of the gun-control debate, the talk is about whether guns (or certain types of guns) should be legal; the Second Amendment; mental health; and the sheer tragedy of children being mass-murdered. Yet, what does it mean that most mass shooters are male, typically white and young? Rob Okun has written this thoughtful piece. As Okun says, “phrases like ‘toxic masculinity’ (or ‘healthy masculinity’ for that matter) do men a disservice.” What it means to be a man or boy in 2018 America is very important, but these are politically correct phrases have no practical value, and little analytical value, in stopping the killing



Why Involved Dads are Key to Preventing Childhood Trauma   (National Fatherhood Initiative)


Research now shows that divorce or separation of a parent or guardian is one of the two most prevalent adverse childhood experiences nationally and in every state. And which parent is the one a child is least likely to live with after divorce or another type of separation? That’s right. It’s dad.

An “adverse childhood experience” (ACE) is an experience or event in a child’s life that creates trauma and, accordingly, leads to a negative outcome during childhood or later in life. Many children experience multiple ACEs. One in 10 children, for example, experience three or more ACEs. These children are at especially high risk for a host of negative outcomes. One of these outcomes is toxic stress.

A vital hedge against toxic stress and other ACEs is a steady, supportive relationship with a caregiver, such as an involved, responsible, committed dad. That’s why helping dads to become the best dads possible must be part of any sane strategy to address ACEs. It can prevent parental separation in the first place and, when separation occurs, help repair the damage wrought by separation.

Child Trends recently analyzed national data from 2016 to identify the prevalence of ACEs nationally and in each state. Their findings are alarming to say the least.

  • Nearly half of all U.S. children have had an ACE.
  • A much higher proportion of Black and Hispanic children have had an ACE, compared to White and Asian children.
  • Along with being separated from a parent by divorce or another factor (e.g. having an incarcerated parent), economic hardship is the other most prevalent ACE.

Father absence also plays a role in economic hardship. Children in single-parent homes are more likely to live in poverty.

Are you curious about the prevalence of divorce or parental separation, economic hardship, and six other ACE’s in your state? Are you interested in the prevalence of ACEs by race and ethnicity? Click hereto view and download Child Trends’ report. You can also learn about what researchers, policy makers, and practitioners have done to prevent ACEs and, when they occur, to ameliorate their effects.



We hear a lot about how well the U.S. economy is doing, creating jobs, with tight labor markets driving up wages. On the surface, it’s easy to point to an official 4.1 percent unemployment rate in March and ooh and aah about how it’s near historic lows.

But, something’s wrong with this picture.

All told, 20 million or more adult men are not working. Have they been shafted by a bad economy (masquerading as a good one), or are some of them lazy and being supported by partners, parents, or government? Not working not only impoverishes people, but it does a number on an individual’s self-esteem and, for many men, it is a blow to their masculinity, as men have traditionally been viewed as the “providers.”

But, this doesn’t really provide a true picture either. This excludes the 2 million men who are incarcerated, which would push up the number not working, or men in the 1.1 million active-duty men in the military, which would bring the number down. However, the number of young adults shouldn’t be counted as not working, but there are more than 6 million 16-to-24-year-olds who are neither in school nor working. In addition, as more men and women are working longer, the upper bounds of what is “working age” get fuzzy, since the age for full Social Security benefits is 66 and many people work into their late 60s and 70s.

Finally, the 21 percent number, which may be slightly higher because of the above considerations, is further distorted by part-time and contract, or “gig economy,” work. One-fourth of the 79-80 percent of men 20 and older men working at the end of last year worked part-time, and a quarter of them said they really wanted a full-time job. Some estimates have put the number of men working on contract, in the “gig” or “1099” economy–part-time or full-time–at about 13-14 percent of all working men.

So what’s the real number, and what does it say about the U.S. economy, and how well men (and women) are doing in it.

At the very least, a new measure needs to be devised, but the number would be much scarier to the people, politicians and markets than the current, blandly reassuring “unemployment rate” is.