MEN ARE NOT COST-EFFECTIVE by June Stephenson

MEN ARE NOT COST-EFFECTIVE

Male Crime in America
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 An overly broad roundup of crimes committed by men, topped off with some partly useful theorizing on what to do about them. Psychologist Stephenson (The Two-Parent Family Is Not the Best, not reviewed) states that she conceived the book after noticing that nearly all crimes are committed by men. She began a clipping file of crimes reported mainly in the San Francisco Chronicle and Los Angeles Times. Most of this revised edition, like its predecessor (published by Diemer, Smith in 1991), recaps those clips, mixing crimes from California with others that drew national attention: cases of murder, arson, drunk driving, burglary, robbery, as well as white-collar and government crime (though her unsystematic style leads her to omit Deborah Gore Dean from those involved in the HUD scandals), and even littering (which is seen as macho). Other than in a chapter on rape, Stephenson only infrequently probes masculine impulses, and she offers some questionable observations: Two-parent homes, says one study she quotes, produce more people convicted of S&L fraud (is a correlation being mistaken for cause-and-effect?); and she states without proving that pornography promotes violence against women. In a final chapter she attributes such crime to massive sexism, beginning with school instruction that emphasizes men's roles in history and societal inculcation that prevents men from feeling empathy for others. Her solution: Involve men more in child care; reduce media depictions of violence and access to guns. She suggests provocatively that men should pay an extra tax for their crime-prone nature that could be used to help troubled boys or rehabilitate prisoners. Tedious and tendentious. ($35,000 ad/promo; author tour)

Pub Date: May 1st, 1995
ISBN: 0-06-095098-6
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 1995