Mr. Rebates

Friday, January 14, 2011

China’s divorce and remarriage rates: Trends and regional disparities

China’s divorce and remarriage rates: Trends and regional disparities

Could you be 'infected' by friend's divorce?

June 10, 2010

Divorce is contagious in social networks, a new study says. The idea is based on the theory of social contagion, or the spread of behavior or emotion through a group. In this case, the heated feelings and actions of one person's divorce can be transferred like a virus, causing others to divorce, according to the study.
Not only can the risk of divorce spread from one couple to their friends or family, it can also affect relationships at least two degrees of separation away from the original couple splitting up, said James H. Fowler, a professor of political science at the University of California, San Diego.
Your decision to split from your spouse can influence whether your friend gets divorced. It also can sway your friend's friend, according to preliminary findings by Fowler and fellow researchers from Harvard and Brown Universities.
The new findings may be troubling news for members of the Gore family, who have already announced two marital separations this month.
Former Vice President Al Gore and his wife, Tipper, stunned the nation one week ago with their announcement that they were separating after 40 years of marriage.
Then the couple's eldest daughter, Karenna Gore Schiff, announced Wednesday that she is separating from her husband after 13 years of marriage.
Gore Schiff, 36 and a graduate of Harvard University and Columbia Law School, married Dr. Andrew Schiff in 1997, and they have three children together.
Both the elder Gores and their daughter and her husband have declined to comment further on their separation or whether their separations will evolve into divorce.
Fowler's research on divorce contagion didn't examine whether the decision of parents to break up affects their children's relationships. But his study did analyze the effect of divorce on siblings. People with a divorced sibling are 22 percent more likely to get divorced than people who don't have divorced siblings.
"I would say to the other [Gore] children, 'watch out,' because we find when siblings get divorced it tends to spread," said Fowler about the research, which is pending publication. "I'm sure the whole family is talking about these decisions."
Gore Schiff isn't the first Gore child to face a marital breakup. Her younger sister Kristin Gore, a writer, filed for divorce from Paul Cusack a year ago.
The youngest Gore daughter married businessman Bill Lee in 2007. The Gore's also have a son, Albert Gore III.
"We think of a regular contagion like the flu," Fowler said. "You get a virus and you're more likely to spread the symptoms to someone else. This is not just true for a virus. This is true for a lot of social behaviors."
Friends have even more influence than siblings when it comes to divorce, according to Fowler's study. People who had a divorced friend were 147 percent more likely to be divorced than people whose friends' marriages were intact, the study said.
The study also revealed a divorced co-worker can increase the likelihood of another employee divorcing by 55 percent compared to an employee who works with non-divorced employees.
People with children were less susceptible to being influenced toward divorce by other divorced couples, the study said.
The study also found the divorce influence in chains of friends. For example, a divorcing person confides in a married friend. The married friend doesn't opt for divorce, but relays details of the divorce discussion to a third person, influencing that third person in the chain to get a divorce.
"Some people can be a carrier of the disease without actually exhibiting the symptoms," Fowler said, comparing the divorce influence to an infection. "They can carry a virus, but they might not get a fever or cough."
There are several reasons why divorces create ripple effects in a social network. Fowler said people begin to warm up to the idea of divorce when they see their friends, family or co-workers going through the process. When a divorced person confides in someone married, the married person gains knowledge about the benefits and drawbacks of divorce. In Fowler's study, it appeared most people saw the benefits in divorce.
Fowler cautions that the study only analyzed data from 5,000 people, a small sample of the general population. He began studying social contagion and divorces a year ago with researchers Nicholas A. Christakis at Harvard University and Rose McDermott at Brown University.
Christakis and Fowler previously researched how drinking, obesity and other social behaviors can be contagious and revealed their findings in a 2009 book "Connected".
Fowler's study looks at longitudinal data from a portion of the Framingham Heart Study of several generations of people in a Massachusetts town over more than 30 years beginning in the 1970s. The public perception of divorce changed radically during that period -- going from being nearly taboo in the 1970s to being socially acceptable in the 1990s.
Roughly half of all marriages today in the United States end in divorce, according to the U.S. Census.
Some therapists offer anecdotal reports of the divorce influence on friends.
Jay Slupesky, a California marriage counselor, said he's seen women separate from their husbands because they were inspired by their divorced female friends. Slupesky is working with several couples who are empty nesters in their 40s.
"It makes total sense," said Slupesky.
"Let's say the wife has a friend who is getting divorced -- it may give her a little more courage to pursue it."
Marriage therapist Gerry Lane in Georgia said he agrees divorce can be contagious. He said his clients' friends have triggered their desires for a divorce -- even among previously happily married couples.
"The people you associate with have a powerful influence over you," he said. "It's never just coming from inside the person."
Lane gave an example of a client he counseled, a successful CEO in his mid-30s. The client was surrounded by similarly high-powered male friends, who had been through one or multiple divorces and had remarried younger women. The client contemplated a divorce but ultimately stayed with his wife.
"We are living in a culture that supports divorce," Lane said. "We have this idea that marriage should make you happy and it doesn't always make you happy. We are difficult to live with at times."

The Divorce Trap

Feb 25, 2010

Various studies show with great consistency that divorced individuals fail to anticipate the real world of post married life, and often regret their decision to divorce. This regret, as you might expect, occurs over time and in a variety of different lifestyle expectations. Additionally, in spite of the ever improving levels of equality for women in society, research makes it apparent that in 2010 the burden of divorce still falls more heavily on a woman.
When you consider the anger and bitterness marriages that end in divorce often generate, it is not surprising that after that anger has dissipated many wonder if there might have been a better resolution to their marital woes. Here are some of the facts that make divorce far less attractive after the fact than before.
Lenore Weitzman, a sociologist who has done  detailed research on the lives of divorced families, wrote in her book The Divorce Revolution that a year after divorce, a woman’s standard of living decreases on average an astounding 73 percent while a man’s increases 42 percent. Additionally, it has become increasingly common to discover that alimony is a thing of the past. Women often are not awarded alimony. As Weitzman writes: “These apparently simple statistics have far-reaching social and economic consequences. For most women and children, divorce means a precipitous downward mobility – both economically and socially. The reduction in income brings residential moves and inferior housing, drastically diminished or nonexistent funds for recreation and leisure, and intense pressures due to inadequate time and money.”
In planning for life after divorce, quite often, as we previously indicated, emotional issues blind us to such hard facts as these types of financial realities. Realities are minimized or denied and focus is placed on the life one will have once “liberated” from the bonds of marriage. And of course, the question after divorce for many becomes: “Where will I find my true soul mate?”
For many the simple answer to that question is: You will not! Forty percent of the women who divorce after age thirty simply do not remarry. A portion of those who do not remarry may do so by choice. Many, however, say that the pool of marriage-minded men available to divorced women has been shrinking. At the same time it appears that many men in similar age brackets are actually marrying younger women.
While we’re in the mode of anticipating being free of a marriage we have come to think of as unhappy, we often forget the tricky waters we must navigate in order to find love again. From sexually transmitted diseases to adjusting to the inevitable personality quirks of a new partner, re-coupling, for the most part, can be difficult at best.
Regardless of how much any individual may want a divorce, there are usually feelings of regret and loss over a relationship that has ended. This is especially true for couples who have been married for many years, and or have raised a family together. Even those who were most determined to divorce will later speak of a sense of sadness over what John Gray in his book Mars and Venus Starting Over has called the loss of what might have been .
The divorce trap quite simply is that the emotions that pull us into walking away from a marriage can be overpowering; often blinding us to the realities of what life may look like after divorce. Individuals often moving toward divorce will reject the idea of marital counseling, disdaining the time and cost involved in the process. When one considers, however, the often difficult realities of life after divorce, it may be the wisest investment in the future that any one or two individuals ever makes.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Please join the letter Campaign - Amnesty should STOP MISANDRY

Please Join the letter Campaign - Amnesty should STOP MISANDRY

Salutes to all MRAs

Amnesty International is into Demand Dignity campaign primarily intended to bash men. I have expressed my concerns and request for comments over a month ago, but haven't heard from them yet.

My voice is too feeble to be heard. I request all of you to join this campaign to make it a bigger voice together.

Please print this out and post it (hardcopy) to the address mentioned

NB:- Write "Amnesty should STOP MISANDRY" on the envelope so that few more people out there can see what that letter is all about.

Please Join the letter Campaign - Amnesty should STOP MISANDRY

The Executive Director
Amnesty International USA
5 Penn Plaza
New York, NY 10001

Your address

Sub:- Request to stop Misandry

Hello Mr. Larry Cox

May I take this opportunity to get some clarification on Amnesty International’s global “Demand Dignity” Campaign? This is with regard to the report published here

The report spares a considerable amount of space to explain the problems of women and children, even their toilet facilities. I’ve no issues or concerns with that; my concern is that there is no whisper about the problems faced by men and boys! Does Amnesty International have a stated goal to support only those men who are army prisoners?

I would like to know the Views of Amnesty International

Here I’m listing out some of the issues that men face and want to know where Amnesty International stands. I will blog some of the sections in this document and will update it when I get response from Amnesty.

1) “When a woman dies her family is impoverished further – through loss of livelihood, unpaid work for the family, the care and education of children.”

This states that family is supported by women but not getting paid for that service. Does Amnesty International recognize the time energy and effort that men put in to a family to bring food, shelter, clothing and entertainment? If so, how much should men get paid for that service?

2) “Women have the right to determine when they become pregnant, but they are often denied access to contraception or to information that would allow them to control their fertility.”

Does Amnesty International recognize the right of a man to decide whether or not to become a parent?

3) Women have the right to the highest attainable standard of health, but they face economic, cultural and social obstacles in access to health care.

4) Women have the right to life, but they die in large numbers because of poverty, injustice and powerlessness – in their intimate relationships, families and communities.

Does Amnesty International recognize the above statements as a WOMEN’S ONLY problem?

5) They face institutional discrimination, which is then replicated on a domestic level. Women and girls may be forced by their families into early or forced marriages, once in these marriages they may be treated as indentured servants, denied adequate food, imprisoned in their homes and denied access to money.

Does Amnesty International recognize systemic discrimination of MEN which are then replicated on both domestic and social level? Men are socially side lined and denied marriage if they are not a CAPABLE PROVIDER. When married they are treated as FREE ATMs by their wives at domestic level and any sort of discomfort in this socially imposed duty will make him legally accountable and leads to arbitrary deprival of his livelihood and even jail.

Yours truly,

Dated 01-11-2011

Anyway lets use these emails for now.
NY office -

Mid-Atlantic Office -
Mid-West Office -
Northeast Office -
Southern Office -
Western Office -


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Bengaluru techie raped by city lodge employee

Jan, 11, 2011

The Abids police on Monday arrested an employee of a lodge here for allegedly raping a software engineer, who came to the city on a holiday with her friend. The victim has asked the police not to reveal the details of the case to the media.
The 28-year-old victim was sent to Osmania General Hospital for medical examination. The accused Venkat alias Venkat Reddy, 25, a ward boy of Haridwar Lodge at Abids, is a native of Dharmavaram in Anantapur district. The victim, a resident of Bengaluru, was separated from her husband and came to the city with her friend, Mr Imran.
On the night of January 8, when Mr Imran had gone out, the ward boy took her into room number 106 and raped her. The Abids police inspector, Mr Shiva Kumar, said Venkat has confessed to the crime.
“She came to the police station on January 9 with her friend and lodged the complaint,” said the inspector. The victim told the police: “I was depressed and came here on a holiday. I was weak and could not resist the ward boy when he forcibly took me into the room. I informed this to my friend.”
The police also sent the accused to Osmania Medical College Forensic department for medical tests. A case of rape under Section 376 of the IPC has been registered. The accused is being produced in court for judicial remand. The police said the claims of the accused that he had consensual sex with the victim are false.

Source: Deccan Chronicle 

Now, alimony for broken engagement too?

Nov 10, 2010

If the number of cases before State Women’s Commission is any indicator, the days of both families hushing up the matter are a thing of the past

The Karnataka State Women’s Commission (KSWC) is observing the emergence of a new trend of people, especially parents of girls, approaching the body seeking compensation for broken engagements. Parents seek compensation for the money spent on the choultry, food, decoration, album, video recording, gifts to the boy and related expenses.

Speaking to Bangalore Mirror, an official of the commission said, “Earlier, people hesitated to talk about broken engagements. They tried their best to unite the couples or else simply keep quiet. But now, people’s mindset has changed. 
Engagements are called off for various reasons — couple failing to build a good rapport, dowry, family problems, poor financial status of the families and others. 

“We have also heard of break-ups because the future mother-in-law insulted the boy or girl, or on the issue of the boy living with his parents after the marriage.”

Once the commission receives such complaints, it summons both parties. After hearing the case, it directs the police station concerned to enquire and take suitable action.

“In the last few months, we have received five cases of compensation for engagements being called off. 

“The number is minuscule compared to cases of domestic violence and sexual harassment in the work place. We also receive complaints of boys deceiving girls by promising marriage to enter into physical relationships,” added the official.

Source: Bangalore Mirror

Is parental alienation a mental disorder?

Experts debate classifying parent-child alienation as an official mental health sydrome

The American Psychiatric Association has a hot potato on its hands as it updates its catalog of mental disorders — whether to include parental alienation, a disputed term conveying how a child's relationship with one estranged parent can be poisoned by the other.
There's broad agreement that this sometimes occurs, usually triggered by a divorce and child-custody dispute. But there's bitter debate over whether the phenomenon should be formally classified as a mental health syndrome — a question now before the psychiatric association as it prepares the first complete revision since 1994 of its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
"We're gotten an enormous amount of mail — more than any other issue," said Dr. Darrel Regier, vice chair of the task force drafting the manual. "The passions on both sides of this are exceptional."
On one side of the debate, which has raged since the 1980s, are feminists, advocates for battered women and others who consider "parental alienation syndrome" to be an unproven and potentially dangerous concept useful to men trying to deflect attention from their abusive behavior.
"This is a fabricated notion — there's no science to support it," said Joan Meier, a professor at the George Washington University Law School who has written extensively on domestic violence and child custody.
On the other side are legions of firm believers in the existence of a syndrome, including hundreds gathering for a conference on the topic this weekend in New York. They say that recognition of parental alienation in the psychiatrists' manual would lead to fairer outcomes in family courts and enable more children of divorce to get treatment so they could reconcile with an estranged parent.
"This is a problem that causes horrible outcomes for children. ... All the arguments I've heard against it are trivial," said Dr. William Bernet, a psychiatry professor at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.
Bernet is among the speakers at this weekend's conference, which organizers bill as the largest ever on parental alienation. He will be describing his efforts as lead author of the proposal submitted to the psychiatric association to recognize parental alienation either as a "mental disorder" or a "relational problem."
The psychiatric association first published its manual of diagnostic disorders, known as the DSM, in 1952. The last major revision was published in 1994 and updated in 2000, and the fifth edition — DSM-5 — is due for publication in May 2013.
Work groups in various fields have been reviewing numerous proposals for additions to the 283 disorders in the current edition. Parental alienation remains on a list of proposals that are subject to further review, though it did not pass muster with the work group dealing with childhood and adolescent disorders.
"There is not sufficient scientific evidence to warrant its inclusion in the DSM," Regier said in a statement.
In an interview, Regier — who directs the APA's research division — said the proposal technically remains alive pending final presentations by the end of 2011. But he described chances for inclusion of parental alienation as "slim" — given that it has not been selected for field trials that normally would be a prerequisite for official recognition.
Bernet said it was "flatly ridiculous" for the APA to contend there is not enough information available to warrant including parental alienation in the DSM. He cited legal developments and new research in numerous foreign countries.
His proposal defines parental alienation disorder as "a mental condition in which a child, usually one whose parents are engaged in a high conflict divorce, allies himself or herself strongly with one parent, and rejects a relationship with the other parent, without legitimate justification."
The weekend conference at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine is the brainchild of Joseph Goldberg, who is based near Toronto and in 2008 founded an organization called the Canadian Symposium for Parental Alienation Syndrome.
Goldberg runs a consulting service for lawyers and parents litigating issues related to parental alienation. In his online biography, he says he "fought one of the most brutal case of parental alienation in Palm Beach County history" during a child-custody dispute with his ex-wife in Florida that extended from 2003 to 2006.
"This touches lives of more people than anyone imagines," Goldberg said by telephone from Canada. "It's not just about a child turned against a parent, through hatred. This affects grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, friends — all of them thrown out when a child rejects a parent."
Some of Goldberg's allies doubt the psychiatric association is ready to include parental alienation in its manual. New York-based psychologist Amy Baker, who has written a book about parental alienation, suggested the association might "play it safe" and decline to recognize it for fear of provoking feminist groups.
However, Goldberg is hopeful.
"There's a long way to go over the next few years before they make a final decision," he said. "There will be enormous pressure. ...I think it will be difficult for the APA not to include it."
Parental alienation surged onto the pop-culture radar screen a few years ago as a consequence of the bitter divorce and child custody battle involving actors Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger. Baldwin was harshly criticized by some feminist groups for citing parental alienation syndrome as a source of his estrangement with his daughter.
The concept is a source of confusion and division in the legal profession, as some lawyers try to evoke parental alienation and others challenge that tactic.
Texas Supreme Court Justice Debra Lerhmann, chair of the American Bar Association's family law section, said the issue of possible alienation can be raised in child custody proceedings whether or not any such phenomenon is classified as a disorder by health professionals.
"Anyone who's in this business knows there are situations where that in fact is happening — and sometimes it's alleged but is not happening," she said. "Even if it's not in the manual, relevant evidence can still be brought in."
Meier, the George Washington law professor, has urged judges to be cautious in how they allow the topic to be raised in cases where one estranged parent is accused by the other of abuse.
"You've got to assess the abuse first, without poisoning it with a claim of alienation," Meier said. "Only after abuse is ruled out do you then move on to the question of alienation."
Elizabeth Kates, a Pompano Beach, Fla., lawyer who deals often with child custody cases, is skeptical of the role parental alienation can play in such disputes: "It's a very easy claim to make ... but the problem arises when it's used in court to obscure the investigation of whether there's been abuse."
She said the initial impetus for recognition of parental alienation syndrome came in large part from the fathers' rights movement, but suggested much of the momentum now comes from psychologists, consultants and others who could profit if the concept had a more formal status in family court disputes.
"It's monetary," Kates said. "These psychologists and therapists make huge money doing the evaluations and therapies."

Monday, January 10, 2011

How to spot the early signs of Parental Alienation

A computer animated discussion on the early signs of parental alienation within a late night talk show format.

Animation software used: w w w . x t r a n o rm a l . c o m

Dr. Stephen Baskerville in Amsterdam at the 5th World Congress of Families

Dr. Stephen Baskerville in Amsterdam at the 5th World Congress of Families august 11, 2009

Masculine genocide, an insane war against fathers&children, hetero's and families.

How to Avoid Falling for the Fake Rape Scam in Angeles City Philippines

Are you planning to visit Philippines is to not put yourself in dangerous situations with people you do not know. Filipino person you know and trust.the Philippinessoon? If so please take the opportunity to read this article as it will address how you can keep from falling for the Fake rape scam in the Philippines. To start with rape in the Philippines is a unbailable offense and a trail could literally take a decade.
That said the way the scam works is a girl willing goes with you and you have consensual sex with her and then she leaves and returns a few hours later with a policeman with her who is involved in the scam as well.
At this point they demand alot of money from you and you are trapped between a rock and a hard place because either you pay them the money or they file a trumped up case against you and let you sit in a Philippine jail possibly for years without any bail.
Things You'll Need:
Step 1
The easiest way to avoid this scam is to stay away from the women there.
Step 2
If you must put yourself in bad situation then hire a professional or avail servicesof a lawyer.
Step 3
If going out places it is best to take along a friend because you will not be as much of a mark in the Philippines if you are in a group than if you are just alone.

The Study of Man (or Males)

Jan 7, 2011

IF you are a college graduate of a certain age, you probably remember that there used to be an all-purpose discipline that studied men and their behavior. It was called history. There was also a subject, called literature, that studied what men wrote. And art examined the pictures men painted.

Frustration with the neglect of women’s accomplishments — call it phallocentrism if you like — was what led to women’s studies, which has lately morphed into gender studies on some campuses. Women’s studies also gave rise to something called men’s studies, which is essentially pro-feminist. You can’t exactly major in men’s studies, but roughly 100 universities offer courses that fall under the umbrella, and the field has produced influential thinkers like Michael Kimmel, who is a professor at Stony Brook University and author of “Manhood in America: A Cultural History.”
The academic turf devoted to sex and gender these days is so crowded, in fact, that the prospect of a newcomer, a discipline called male studies, has generated a minor controversy.
Male studies, largely the brainchild of Dr. Edward M. Stephens, a New York City psychiatrist, doesn’t actually exist anywhere yet. Last spring, there was a scholarly symposium at Wagner College on Staten Island, intended to raise the movement’s profile and attract funds for a department with a tenured chair on some campus. A number of prominent scholars attended, including Lionel Tiger, an emeritus anthropology professor at Rutgers, who invented the term “male bonding,” and Paul Nathanson, a religious studies scholar at McGill University, who specializes in the study of misandry, the flip side of misogyny. Both are on the advisory board of the Foundation for Male Studies, which Dr. Stephens founded last year.
There will be a second conference in April at the New York Academy of Medicine — right on the heels, as it happens, of the annual conference of the American Men’s Studies Association — and the two groups have already begun jousting.
Robert Heasley, a sociology professor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and president of the association, has accused the new movement of “inventing something that I think already exists.” And at the Wagner College conference, Rocco Capraro, a history professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, said much the same thing. Men’s studies had been around for 30 years, he pointed out, and was “an emerging interdisciplinary field concerned with men’s identity and experience in the present, over time, across space.”
His definition was sufficiently vague, in other words, that it seemed to cover just about everything male-related, and he suggested that the differences between men’s studies and male studies were mostly ones of emphasis.
Actually, the differences are a good deal deeper than that. One argument that male studies advocates make is that men’s studies has essentially been co-opted. According to Professor Tiger, the trouble with men’s studies is that it’s “a wholly owned branch of women’s studies.”
There is also a political dimension to the split. “I’d like to get away from this terminology but it’s true,” Professor Heasley said in a recent interview. “It’s left wing/right wing.”
But ultimately the differences have to do with radically different notions of what it means to be a man in the first place.
The people in men’s studies, like those in women’s studies, take a mostly sociological perspective and believe that masculinity is essentially a cultural construct and that gender differences in general are fluid and variable. To Professor Kimmel, we live in a world that is increasingly gender-neutral and gender integrated and that this is a good thing for men and women both. “That ship has sailed — it’s a done deal,” he said recently, dismissing the idea that men and women are as different as Martians and Venutians.
The male studies people, on the other had, are what their critics call “essentialists” and believe that male behavior is in large part biologically determined. Men think and act differently from how women think and act because that’s how evolution shaped them. In the most extreme formulations of essentialism, men are basically still Neanderthals: violent, clannish, sexually voracious and in need of female domestication.
Professor Tiger, who has a somewhat more benign view of men than that, nevertheless worries that the changes that have allowed women to control their own reproductive process have unnaturally and disastrously altered the balance of power between the sexes.
But the biology vs. culture argument has been going on for years, and the male studies movement is less an expansion of that debate than a response to a specific crisis, the nature of which both sides agree on: academically at least, young men are in trouble.
Starting in grammar school, they lag behind girls by most observable measures, and the gap widens through high school and college. If males go to college at all, that is. College enrollment tilts at almost 60-40 in favor of women, and once enrolled, women are more likely than men to do well and to graduate.
There are a lot of explanations for why this is so. A popular theory, set forth in books like “The Trouble With Boys,” by Peg Tyre, and “The War Against Boys: How Misguided Feminism Is Hurting Our Young Men,” by Christina Hoff Sommers, is that grammar school classrooms have become excessively feminized, impatient with boys’ naturally boisterous behavior and short attention spans and inattentive to the way in which boys learn differently from girls. (Critics who went to school in the ’50s, when seat-squirming, loud-talking and other boyish hijinks were even less tolerated, are told that back then education didn’t matter so much and that a boy who didn’t do well in school had more and better employment options than such a student does today.)
Professor Tiger believes that by the time girls get to college, there is a Darwinian component to the achievement gap: women are aware of the divorce rate and the likelihood that they may raise children without ever marrying in the first place. “They’re studying for two,” he explained. “Guys just don’t have that sense, that inwit. That’s biology at its most essential.”
And then there are the various cultural arguments: that at least by some standards of masculinity, learning — reading and writing especially — is “uncool,” and that college campuses have become inhospitable to men, who now suffer from fragile self-regard. People associated with the male studies movement frequently bring up the date rape seminar now obligatory on most campuses. On their very first day at college, awkward young men are gathered into a room with their female counterparts and, the argument goes, made to feel like sexual predators.
Miles Groth, who teaches psychology at Wagner College and was host of the conference there last spring, says that what he hears all the time from male undergraduates on his campus is “I just don’t feel welcome here.” Professor Groth’s “Engaging College Men,” published last year by Men’s Studies Press, discusses programs at 14 campuses directed at improving the lot of men, and he has himself established a men’s center at Wagner, a small, private liberal arts school where only 36 percent of the students are men and a quarter of them are recruited athletes on scholarship.
The 15 or so members, many of them philosophy majors, meet once a week to share their thoughts in an atmosphere that is a “safe haven” for creating male intimacy, according to Michael Martin, a freshman football player. “I think of it as a fraternity in the truest sense,” he explained. “I think women love that we do this. Or if they don’t, they haven’t had it accurately explained to them.”
Kyle Glover, a senior and leader of the group, had this to say: “Guys are struggling. I’ve heard this argument that now is the girls’ time to get back but I don’t accept that.” He went on: “We talk a lot about what makes us tick as males. How did we get here? What’s your relationship with your dad like? Your mom? What do you think women want from you? What do you think you want from them?”
Professor Groth’s courses examine what it means to be a man from the points of view of psychology, anthropology, literature and even movies. “Why the silence?” he said between classes one day. “Why hasn’t our generation been more vocal about what’s happening to our young men?” And then he partly answered his own question: “It’s the continuing myth of male power. If I as a man raise these issues I’m just raising that old specter of male power because I want to keep women under control.”
Professor Groth, Professor Tiger and Dr. Stephens all seem at great pains not to say anything critical about feminism or women’s studies. “I don’t think male studies has emerged from acrimony,” Professor Tiger insisted. And yet the male studies movement appears to be animated at least in part by a sense that feminism has gone too far on campus and the women’s studies departments are too powerful. Professor Tiger and Dr. Stephens like to recite by the sheaf statistics showing how much more resources are being poured into the study of women and their problems than into men and their plight.
Lurking around the edges of the male studies movement, moreover, in Web sites like Paul Elam’s A Voice for Men, is a certain amount of anti-feminist hostility, if not outright misogyny. There used to be a link on the Web site for the Foundation for Male Studies to an interminable screed by someone called the Futurist, who was convinced the overvaluing of women and undervaluing of men was about to create a civilizational cataclysm. The piece began more or less rationally, but soon flared with gas jets of anger and worries about “rage-filled ‘feminists’ who would gladly send innocent men to concentration camps if they could.”
This intemperateness has recently caused Professor Groth to distance himself a little from the foundation, though Dr. Stephens believes that the rift is less philosophical than methodological, with Professor Groth concerned with setting up men’s centers and Dr. Stephens with establishing an academic department devoted to men.
Some of Dr. Stephens’s critics like to account for his male studies enthusiasm by pointing out that he went through a bad marital breakup, something he readily admits. “I was a happy psychiatrist until 1994, when I decided to get divorced,” he said, sitting in his windowless, ground-level office on the Upper East Side. “The kids got alienated and I got bankrupted — part of the gender-skewed system.” What got him thinking about what eventually became male studies, he went on to say, was his discovery that divorce law barely acknowledged paternal instinct and a sense, growing out of his psychiatric practice, that no one was paying attention to the special needs of men.
Dr. Stephens is an old-fashioned-seeming man, with a grandfatherly mustache and a fondness for bow ties, but he is convinced that, far from being a throwback, he is in the forefront of something: “I don’t have a goal. I have a vision. I sign all of my correspondence, ‘Looking forward.’ I’m looking forward to some really new approaches to understanding ourselves.”
ONE of Professor Groth’s colleagues at Wagner, Jean Halley, who teaches sociology and gender studies, describes him as a popular teacher whose courses on gender and masculinity attract a big enrollment. But she complains about the essentialism of male studies and says that Professor Groth “seems to like to position himself in a contentious way.”
Professor Groth, who is unmarried and has no children, is a boyish 63. He typically wears a coat and tie but keeps his shirttail carefully untucked. What motivates him, he says, is concern over the way college-age men seem to be foundering and a concern that if nothing is done, they may soon find themselves both unemployable and unmarriageable.
“It’s not O.K. these days to talk about the problems of boys and young men without seeming to be anti-girl,” he said. “There aren’t enough courses and enough people willing to come out of the woodwork and take the flak. A lot of people are hoping it will go away, but I’m not going away. I’m tenured.”
He added that he sometimes wondered if the name “male studies” itself was a problem and said, “I like ‘andrology,’ except that’s the study of prostates.”
Last semester, Professor Groth taught a course on the psychology of men; of 30 students, all but five were women. “I asked everyone, ‘Why are you taking this course?’ ” he recalled. “The boys didn’t say anything. The girls all said, ‘We want to understand the guys better.’ ”