America suffers from more violence than other developed nations, especially gun violence due to America's ridiculous gun laws that serve to maximize gun manufacturer profits under the guise of 2nd Amendment liberties. But, as a piece in the Los Angeles Times argues, the main underlying source of violence in America is men - or at lease those who cling to the most toxic aspects of what is deemed to be acceptable masculinity. If we want to reduce violence, many, any men could stand to undergo some feminization. Until America recognizes that the so-called "macho male" is a toxic danger and steps are taken to change the cultural dynamic, things likely will not improve for the batter. Here are column excerpts:
In the wake of the Orlando, Fla., shooting, some conservative politicians called for the use of the term “radical Islam” to label the violent movement with which Omar Mateen identified himself. In the wake of the police shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, many called for a review of violence by law enforcement against black Americans.And after Dallas, some piled on the Black Lives Matter movement, suggesting that the gunman was spurred to murder because he’d made reference to the group. Others use the term “black-on-black violence” to refer to the killings of poor black Americans in their communities, playing into what author Ta-Nehisi Coates has labeled “the enduring myth of black criminality.”
What we don’t talk about is how the greatest predictor of violence isn’t religion, occupation or race. It’s gender.
In the United States, 98% of those who commit mass shootings are male; 98% of the officers who have shot and killed civilians are male; 90% of those who commit homicide by any means are male; and 80% of those arrested for all violent crimes — murder and non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault — are male.
If women are less likely to kill strangers, could increasing the number of women on the police force reduce officer-involved killings? A 2002 study by the National Center for Women and Policing shows that, although women comprise 12.7% of sworn police personnel in urban centers, only 5% of citizen complaints for excessive force involve female police officers. The average male officer is two to three times more likely to be named in an excessive force complaint.
It’s a significantly under-studied area — which is why it’s so crucial to talk about the role men play in America’s epidemic of violence. We need serious, current research in order to understand why male police officers are more violent in their interactions with citizens and how the culture of policing can be changed.
There are myriad theories as to why men are nearly 50 times more likely to commit murder than women. Some neuroscientists say testosterone is directly connected to aggression and competition, attitudes that are correlated with violence. . . . . Some psychotherapists have argued that men are raised to suppress vulnerable emotions, which leads them to become overwhelmed and express pain physically rather than verbally.
[I]f physicality alone, rather than brain chemistry or socialization, were the reason that men kill at a much higher rate than women, then we would expect guns to be a leveling technology. The statistics, however, do not bear this out. From 1980 to 2014, the gender gap in gun ownership closed by 17%. Yet the rates at which men and women kill have remained relatively stable.