Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Remote Lesson Out of Boston
War, violence, fighting, terrorism, retribution and such are all things attributable to male behavior. There are aberrations and women can not be broadly (no pun intended) eliminated as suspects in violent conspiracies, but this collection of the worst in human behavior is undoubtedly a guy thing. Through a recent work project, I was familiarized with the concept of the "testosterone storm," that point in a males life, during late teens and 20s when high testosterone levels lead to life-threatening behaviors. The newest notion here is that the phenomenon actually has a name beyond "typical male behavior." Insurance companies and insurance customers alike have been well familiar with the testosterone storm for decades. Males have an instinctive will to prove their invincibility and predominance in ways that are probably most often not well thought out and we all know it.
There is something typical to the story of a late teen male following an older male down a violent and tragic path. There is also something typical about violent outbursts from well-armed young males acting alone resulting in massive injury and death. Just as typical is the shock and sorrow that follows. Americans have been debating how to prevent these happenings, focusing mainly on legal solutions which I am unabashedly in favor of. A nation that prides itself on being enlightened and humane should be able to set standards on what types of weapons are available to the general public regardless of whether or not those standards will be 100% fool-proof. Setting standards is what makes a population enlightened and humane.
Furthermore, we need to set standards on behavior. We do fairly well at knowing the difference between right and wrong. But there is a difference between knowing the difference between right and wrong and creating the environment for the best outcome of character in our youth. We are all familiar with the phrase "boys will be boys."It speaks specifically to the issue at hand in a cutesy kind of way though the saying speaks more to events of petty mischief than acts of terror. There is an expectation for boys to be more troublesome and for some it serves as a fantasy relief that their li'l troublemaker will at least be able to fend for himself out in the real world. But there is some proportion of those boys that will find themselves committing some kind of peril. Violence, sexual assault, reckless endangerment are all realms far more common to boys than girls.
Yet it is girls who are considered more of the biochemical enigma, what with the arrival of their menstruation and all. What if boys were given the same sort of dispensation for the biological change in their lives? I don't at all suggest that this is going to end violence, sexual assault, and reckless endangerment as we know it. I do suggest that as humane and enlightened people we confront something that has been an issue for as long as there has been such a thing as human behavior. I do think that it would be part of an effective regimen in teaching personal responsibility by showcasing what challenges to responsibility confront young males. It would give some young men a chance to get a grip on their impulses before they are sent to anger management, prison, or the grave.
From Aurora to Steubenville, to Newtown, to Boston, there is a common thread. Yes, two of those cases are compounded by some degree of mental illness, but the fact remains that mentally ill women do not commit mass shootings. Some things are so obvious that we look right past them. Currently, we are ignoring the chance to discuss a cause and effect relationship that is at the root of every event that Facebook users constantly say makes their heart go out. I would not know off the bat what such a curriculum would look like and how intensive it would need to be. I'm no educator, I'm just a guy who is hip to a crisis.
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