Family

The One Topic the 2020 Democrats Should Discuss During the Next Debates — and Probably Won’t

Author of 'Boy Crisis' urges fixes for a fierce problem

Warren Farrell, co-author of the recent book, “The Boy Crisis: Why Our Boys are Struggling and What We Can Do About It,” asserts that young males are in trouble in this country — and he’d like to see a White House council created and convened explicitly on the topic of boys and men to address this issue and solve it.

He said he would work with President Donald Trump and his administration on such a venture.

“Definitely I would,” he told LifeZette in a recent phone interview.

He’s spoken to a number of the 2020 Democratic candidates about fallout from the country’s “boy crisis” — including New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.).

And he wishes they would discuss the issue during the televised primary debates — the next round of which takes place in less than two weeks, on July 30 and 31, in Detroit.

They didn’t during the first round of debates in June.

Related: Democrats on Stage During the First Night of Debates: A Lack of Confidence and Connection

As Farrell also noted during an interview on “Fox & Friends” earlier this year, “Almost all the boys involved in mass shootings [in this country] were dad-deprived boys” — very sobering indeed. “The boys did not have the role model of a dad” in their lives, he says.

For the first time in American history, our sons will have less education in their lives than their dads did. This is a crisis for young males, he asserts.

It’s a mental health problem, for starters. As boys grow into young men, their suicide rates go from equal to that of girls to six times that of young women. It’s also a crisis of sexuality, he says. “Sex is a minefield for our sons. They’re bombarded with mixed messages today. They’re afraid of being either too sensitive or not sensitive enough.”

Critically, he believes there’s a crisis of fathering. “Boys with less-involved fathers are more likely to drop out of school, drink, do drugs, become delinquent, and end up in prison. Yes, this is connected to education, but it’s also an economic issue — as well as a lack of preparation and purpose” and more, Farrell told LifeZette.

“Boys are falling behind girls in almost major indicator, especially in reading and writing — which are the two biggest predictors of success among the academic subjects.”

Farrell feels that “the best type of father involvement in kids’ lives is connected to strong and constant mother-and-father involvement” across the board — with each parent bringing a unique and particular perspective to the table, and “with the best kind of tension between mom and dad that is understood to be a positive tension.”

The negotiation and discussion between the parents as they weigh in with their views actually helps the IQ of children and improves their skill sets in many areas.

That means that while a mom may urge caution and care about a physical activity for a young son — climbing a tree, for example — the dad, for his part, might urge exploration and adventure, something boys absolutely need to navigate (plus, boys need to be on the move). The negotiation and discussion between the parents as they each weigh in with their views actually helps the IQ of children and improves their skill sets in many areas, including their overall maturity as they grow.

“The biggest gap between boys who are successful and unsuccessful in the future will be the gap between those who are dad-enriched versus those who are dad-deprived,” says Farrell.

He notes that conservatives have long supported and acknowledged the importance of dads in their sons’ lives — but those on the Left haven’t embraced the issue as readily or as fully as others. (Is this because girls and their issues have gotten the lion’s share of attention recently?)

Related: Dads, Step into Your Hero Role — Kids Need It

“Solutions to the boy crisis must be addressed simultaneously in the family, in schools and by policymakers,” says Farrell — which he shared in a piece for USA Today recently as well.

“Parents need communication training to prevent the divorces that breed the boy crisis. Schools need male teachers, vocational education and recess. Presidential candidates need to identify the boy crisis as a signature issue. And President Trump, with an executive order, can create a White House Council on Boys and Men to make the boy crisis a national priority, so millions of parents and sons do not feel isolated and ashamed — but supported to address a solution toward stronger families, more boy-friendly schools, and a more economically and psychologically secure America.”

Farrell is currently chair of the Commission to Create a White House Council on Boys and Men. He is also the only man to have been elected three times to the Board of the National Organization for Women (NOW) in New York City. Married and the father of two daughters, he’s based on the West Coast.

“The Boy Crisis” is available at amazon.

And don’t miss this video:

meet the author

LifeZette's Editor-in-Chief Maureen Mackey helped launch the site from its earliest days and previously served as its managing editor. Prior to her time at LifeZette, she held senior editorial positions at several national publications and is a former book editor. Her work has appeared in many outlets including Real Clear Politics, CNBC, The Fiscal Times, A Fine Line, AARP Magazine, Reader's Digest, and Fordham Magazine. She is a member of the Newswomen's Club of New York and the American Legion Auxiliary. She can be reached at [email protected].

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