Mass murders, male violence

  • Article by: REKHA BASU , Des Moines Register
  • Updated: December 26, 2012 - 1:30 PM

It's primarily young men committing these horrific crimes. Why can't we talk about this?

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savagedruidsDec. 26, 12 2:00 PM

I think that fact that most mass murders are men is discussed frequently. Its a pretty obvious fact. I doubt anyone says, "really mostly men huh, I didn't know that."

EleanoreDec. 26, 12 2:04 PM

becuase you're focusing on gender rather than actions and causes. Something manly inside these individuals didn't start this, it was something inhenernt in everyone, and something society shaped in all of them. Men - Bad isn't going to lead anywhere useful and resources will be wasted justifying those who would rather follow this avenue of feel good justification of partisan theories rather the focuss on acts and influences regardless of gender.

crystalbayDec. 26, 12 2:19 PM

This piece of fluff article is a no-brainer. We all know that men are only "allowed" a narrow range of emotions (anger, aggression, competitiveness, and joy) and women claim the rest (minus anger, aggression, competitiveness, of course!). Men are taught from early on (pre-school) that to show any vulnerability is considered "weakness" and that they must buck up, stuff it down, and - God forbid- not "act like a girl"! Everything I'm posting here is, of course, a broad and sweeping generalization and there are exceptions, but the core "scripts" are handed to boys and girls from birth on.

Brad57Dec. 26, 12 2:42 PM

Kind of like saying females are more likely to nurse a sick person back to health. Well, Duh. Despite attempts by the politically correct crowd to make everyone identical, males and females are different, emotionally, as well as physically. Little boys are attracted to toy guns while little girls are attracted to dolls. You want to address what turns a person into a mass murderer? I think we need to go a little bit further than looking at ones age and gender.

evldedDec. 26, 12 2:46 PM

When one paints with a broad brush, one often gets paint on themselves.

firefight41Dec. 26, 12 3:05 PM

Why not discuss the reasons, here are a few that I found: Jacob Tyler Rogers : The friend noted that Tami raised Roberts, but was not his biological mother. Wade Michael Page: Page's former step-mother apologized to the Sikh victims Charles Whitman: The marriage of Whitman's parents was marred by violence: He was known to physically and emotionally abuse his wife and children. James Huberty: Her abandonment would leave a profound effect on the young James, who became sullen and withdrawn George Hennard: Hennard's parents allegedly didn't care about him, and he was quiet and antisocial throughout high school. James Edward Pough: his father had left the family in 1959

hermajestyDec. 26, 12 3:27 PM

All societies have about 50% males, and there is no evidence that males in other countries lack testosterone. Yet America leads the world in mass shootings. No one else even comes close, and it wasn't always like this, either. I was in grade school in the 1950s and 1960s, and we worried about our old school building catching fire, but never about anyone coming in and massacring students and teachers with guns. I think the first mass shooting I heard of was that guy who went to the top of a tower at the University of Texas in 1966 and randomly shot passersby.

So what has changed?

I'm looking at our pop culture for part of the answer. When I was a kid, the heroes in pop culture directed at children were strong and willing to fight if necessary--but only as a last resort, and they also knew how to be gentle and protective of the vulnerable.

At some point, the heroes in children's pop culture became just plain strong and aggressive, and other entertainment became meaner and dumber as well, examples being the proliferation of WWE wrestling and reality shows featuring stupid people doing stupid things. Add this to the situation in many families where the parents are too busy to raise the kids properly (or really figure out what is going on in their children's heads), and you have a recipe for a mixed-up young male deciding to channel his anger at the world into mass murder. Guns only make it easier.

hobie2Dec. 26, 12 3:47 PM

crystalbay - "but the core "scripts" are handed to boys and girls from birth on." And did you notice that the ones who follow those scripts have a model to fall back on as an anchor when in conflict, and those who are raised to be without scripts are conflicted and have nothing of society to fall back on when conflicted?.. Which one shoots people? Yes, being told by parents to ignore gender stereotypes does create conflict in a young child - they strive to belong; they emulate, not intellectualize from language; and pop psyche gender-neutral-because- mom-wants-to-fix-society abstracted teachings to a child conflicts them... It's a parent's job to have them fit into the actual society, not change society for you... Are all of the gender scripts accurate? No, none are because all of our ancestors were idiots, and it's a good thing this generation came along with all the right answers so they can stop the nonsense about men and women being different and teach their kids it's all a sham... Your call as to whether to conflict your kid, or to fit him to a Victorian script, or to teach him that people are different in many ways.

luzhishenDec. 26, 12 3:49 PM

"I'm looking at our pop culture for part of the answer. When I was a kid, the heroes in pop culture directed at children were strong and willing to fight if necessary--but only as a last resort, and they also knew how to be gentle and protective of the vulnerable." Interesting, but the weirder, more violent and sexist parts of our culture seem to have been directly imported from the Hentai/Manga worlds of Japan, in everything from movies like Kill Bill to videogames. Yet, somehow, Japan doesn't have the mass killings we do.

greg62Dec. 26, 12 3:49 PM

That's it. Let's lock up all males.


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