Richard V. Reeves: Why Are Men Failing at School, Work, and Life?

The Of Boys and Men author documents why the modern male is struggling and suggests solutions that don't come at women's expense.


Over the past 50 years, boys and men have lost ground at school and work and they're living shorter lives. They're less likely than women to graduate from high school and college or to earn advanced degrees. They're dropping out of the labor force in record numbers and account for two-thirds of the so-called deaths of despair stemming from suicide, alcoholism, and drug overdoses.

The Brookings Institution scholar Richard V. Reeves documents these and other, equally dark developments in Of Boys and Men: Why the Modern Male Is Struggling, Why It Matters, and What To Do About It. He analyzes the structural factors exacerbating these trends—such as the changing nature of work in a postindustrial economy—and suggests solutions that don't come at the expense of women.

I spoke with Reeves at the Reason Speakeasy, a monthly, unscripted conversation in New York City with outspoken defenders of free thinking and heterodoxy in an era of conformity and groupthink.

0:00 Intro
01:43 Education and Men
9:00 Work and Men
18:26 Health and Men
23:12 Gains of Men
28:08 Deindustrialization
30: 30 Decline in Education Performance
40:18 Biology and Men
43:58 Decline in Work Performance
50:04 Affect on Black Men
54:52What the Left Gets Wrong
58:17 What the Right Gets Wrong
1:03:34 Solutions
1:09:26 Nursing
1:14:15 VoTech
1:17:25 Audience Q&A
1:30:30 Masculinity in Crisis