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Male Martinalizaton?

Jamaica may now well be at the, ‘tipping point’ where efforts to redress male
marginalization is concerned. Here, tipping point, according to Malcolm Gladwell (2000)
is “The level of critical mass, the threshold, the boiling point,” and this can be extended
to the level at which the momentum for change becomes unstoppable. Two recent
events have been adding fuel to the fire; A men’s conference held September 27, at the
Emmanuel Apostolic Church and the decision of the International University of the
Caribbean to grant eight scholarships for males to attend that institution. This is a
culmination of much talk and some action in Jamaica in recent years.

On Tuesday, March 4, 2006 members of the House of Representatives were united in
their call for compulsory registration of fathers on birth certificates. Member of
Parliament for Central Kingston, Ronald Thwaites cited statistics that only 55 percent of
Jamaican has their fathers name on their birth certificates.
Statistics from the Constabulary Communication Network, CCN show that while there
are acts of violence against women and children, the overwhelming majority of reported
cases of violence are committed by men against men.

The declining role of men in the Jamaican society has been a cause of concern for
individuals and entities tediously searching for answers. On February 17, 2008, a
men’s ecumenical conference was held at the Jamaica Conference Centre. The
mission of the conference was; to motivate men of Jamaica to commit themselves to the
service of Christ, through worship and prayer, and to Christian action manifested in
improved leadership in the Church, and in the obedience to God. This was expanded to
include men in the secular world. The main planks were; a demonstrable more loving
responsible and caring role in the home, persistent commitment to moral and ethical
practices at the workplace; to be mentors to the youth and to demonstrate love and
compassion to others in the wider society.

A key determinant of this marginalization is the low percentage of males attending
tertiary institutions in Jamaica. The root causes of the problem are varied, complex,
and culturally determined. Males are expected to begin earning a livelihood at a
younger age than do females. Many tertiary institutions do not include on their
curriculum, courses that males gravitate toward and the teaching methodology as
developed in the educational system is not geared to males. Those are the points being
repeated by local sociologists and commentators in the press, the electronic media,
town meetings and conferences.
The effects are that men have been shying away from leadership positions as a result of
not being qualified. They have shown a low interest in leadership at the social, religious
or political levels.

The principal of Mico University College has also been lamenting the situation and has been putting strategies in place to redress the problem of male marginalization in the educational sector. how did we get to this point? This after a somewhat even start. The males begin to feel insecure about losing their “rightful place” as head of the family. the earning power of many men has been reducing as the education gap between the genders widens. Researcher Hyacinth Evans points to a higher level of absenteeism among boys as one explanation of the gender difference in academic achievement. This trend continues at the teachers’ colleges and universities. according to figures released by the Constabulary Communications Network. There are some wider developmental issues which impact directly or indirectly on males in the educational sector. CCN. the data show that 82 percent of the registered students are females. has no such problem as the director of corporate communications. P17). UTECH is known for its cutting edge technical courses which have been proven to be more male friendly. Studies have been done on factors affecting learning such as cerebral palsy. Hector Wheeler has reported a close to fifty 50 ratio. The boys are socialized differently from girls. The consequences of the problem are manifested in male female social relations and the question of compatibility influenced by the higher educational attainment of the females. This in turn affects the country’s economic performance thus exacerbating a vicious cycle.W. At the University of the West Indies. The University of Technology. is approximately fifty.fifty. autism and dyslexia but more research is needed on how these affect the Jamaican male. down syndrome. At home they are encouraged to be king of the wild outdoors playing games and organized sports. In the primary and basic schools the ratio of males to females almost mirrors that of the general population. Furthermore.I. The ratio of males to females in the Jamaican population. (Gender difference in Jamaica’s Education. The questions now being asked is. . A growing trend has emerged in the co-educational high schools where girls also outnumber boys. The evidence is clear when note is taken of the males to females delegates who voted in the recently held People’s National Party leadership race. UTECH. Northern Caribbean University shows an imbalance in favor of girls but their distribution is much more equitable that what exists at U. The natural progression is conflict in the form of domestic violence which is a high percentage of Jamaica’s crime statistics including murder.

singers and technicians and creative entrepreneurs. Medical Anthropologist. setting three world records at the 2008 Beijing Olympics after many years of below par performances when compared to the women gives a ray of hope.It is against this background that I call for a system-wide collaborative intervention designed to arrest structural violence. Structural violence is seen as a catalyst for all other forms of violence. This school of thought sees mortality rate and life expectancy being negatives for those who are socially dominated.’ added even more fuel to the fire by stating that the sickness of those marginalized groups are often a result of structural violence which cannot be blamed on culture or the will of the individual. He sees it as historically given and often economically driven processes and forces which conspire to constrain individual agency. called multiple intelligences. interpersonal and intrapersonal. linguistic. logical-mathematical. vulnerable males have varying levels of intelligences but the structure of the education system favours those with linguistic and logical- mathematical skills which are the basis of measurement of intelligence quotient or IQ. Our target population. musical. making Jamaica into a “cultural super-state” . Paul Farmer in this book. Structural violence and direct violence are closely linked. bodily-kinesthetic. politically oppressed or economically exploited. Gardner originally identified seven core intelligences. a term which describes a form of violence which corresponds with the systematic ways in which a given social structure or social institution kills people slowly by preventing them from meeting their basic needs. In order to resolve this problem we must revolutionize the prevailing teaching methodologies from the failed attempt at gender neutrality to gender specific to aid the Jamaican male. We need to re-examined those skill that make our sportsmen great in athletics and other sports and why the cultural industries produced internationally acclaimed musicians. Howard Gardner. Gardner is suggesting that individuals have propensity for learning and thus each person has a unique cognitive profile. This can be supported by a greater understanding of the learning theory as developed by psychologist. The other intelligences which are important ingredients for success are often ignored. The performance of our men. ‘Pathologies Of Power. spatial.

Mass Comm. the media.) B..I. It is against this background that I call for a collaborative approach involving all stakeholders. work.) Tele: 876 363 2104..A. Conroy Julian. . (Can. ( U.W. M.A. do business and raise a family. corporate Jamaica. We need to play our part in making Jamaica a place to live. and the wider public to support the thrust for increasing the offerings and opportunity at tertiary institutions to attract and retain a higher percentage of males. policy makers.There is a constituent of persons at the bottom of the pyramid that need tertiary training to enhance their occupational mobility but they lack some of the necessary resources. Dip.