Sean Galla, Founder of Men’s Group: Being a Man Is Not Easy/The Hardships Men Face
Table of Contents
BEFORE YOU CONTINUE: This is by no means an article and episode about victimizing or blaming other genders. The aim here is simply to bring awareness about masculinity, men’s health, and the struggles men face. To focus on the needs of one gender, so that men and women can all become better at being there for one another. There is also an upcoming episode where we will focus on women.
Having said that, let us turn on the spotlight and shine some light on men to bring awareness about men’s issues.
Despite appearances and what is often portrayed, being a man is not easy. Just like women, men face countless struggles too. Often, however, they are not taken seriously and their issues are not much talked about.
If you would ask people about what types of struggles men face more than women, most would go blank even though there are some major problems that occur overwhelmingly amongst men.
Let us look at some of these problems.
Most People in Prison are Men:
That is not a slight difference; that is a shockingly massive gender gap.
Another concern is that since the year 2000, the world prison population total has grown by almost 20%—and it continues to rise.
Yes, statistics have been consistent in reporting that men commit more criminal acts than women.
But the fact that we feel the need to put over 9.64 million men across the world in cages—physically and socially removed from any semblance of a normal life, without any improvements in a decrease in the prison population—is one symptom of a diseased society.
It clearly shows that we are failing miserably at providing the right help and support to men.
Most Drug Addicts are Men:
Global statistics on addictive behaviors from a 2014 status report reported that an estimated 4.9% of the world’s adult population (that is, 240 million people) suffer from alcohol use disorder. Among this population, 7.8% are men and 1.5% are women.
Likewise, an estimated 22.5% of adults all over the world (1 billion people) smoke tobacco products, with 32.0% being men and 7.0% being women.
Men abuse drugs and alcohol twice more frequently than women.
While there are many factors and speculations as to why men are at greater risk of abusing drugs and alcohol, teenage males are more likely to be exposed to drugs through their peer group than teenage girls.
Another factor may be that men talk less openly about their emotional wounds, and they could have turned to drugs to aid them as a coping mechanism.
Furthermore, men are more often exposed to media images of men drinking, leading many young and underage males to believe that drinking is not only safe but also appropriate behavior.
And of course, men are more likely to model their behavior after other men who drink or succumb to drinking when they feel peer pressure to keep up with other guys.
While there are other contributors, these are some of the reasons that have led to twice as many men being addicted to drugs and alcohol compared to women.
Note: If you’d like to learn more about alcohol use disorder, how to help someone who is struggling with it, or how to be there for yourself if you are battling with alcohol use disorder, do have a listen to the interview we did on The IPS Podcast with Scott Pinyard, head coach of This Naked Mind, about alcohol.
Men are the Majority of Individuals Experiencing Homelessness:
It is estimated that 150 million people worldwide are homeless.
And in most if not all countries, men are by far the majority among individuals experiencing homelessness.
The State of Homelessness: 2021 Edition found that 60% of all homeless people in America are male. In other countries like the UK, the Netherlands, Australia, etc., similar numbers are true.
Between 2018–2019, 84% of people reported to be sleeping on the streets in London were male while 16% were female. Amsterdam placed the percentage of homeless who were male at a high of 88%. And even in countries with a smaller gender gap, like Australia, men still account for over 50% of the general homeless population.
Gender, therefore, acts as both a symptom and a cause of homelessness.
Why are there so many more homelessness men than women? While the reasons are multi-layered, some of them include:
– Men are more likely to be made redundant and less likely to be re-employed than women, thus increasing their risk of falling into debt and losing their home.
– Another reason is that most veterans, particularly those returning from combat duty, are men. Veterans experience many complications related to mental health crises, job placements, broken families, and similar problems that lead to extreme situations such as homelessness or suicide.
– And to give a final reason, the vast majority of people in prison are men—as we have mentioned earlier. A report in 2018 by Prison Policy shows that formerly incarcerated people are almost 10 times more likely to become homeless than the general public.
Since prison takes people away from society often for extended periods, people who are released from prison struggle to transition back into society. Finding a stable job, learning a new skill, and finding a place to live are challenging.
These challenges can be so overwhelming that many people, in this case men, are overcome with no alternative but to live on the street.
Fewer Women than Men Fall Victim to Violence:
Across the board, more men than women become the victims of violent crimes:
- – According to data from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, 78.7% of homicide victims worldwide are male, and in 193 of 202 listed countries or regions, males were more likely to be killed than females.
- – Intimate partner violence (IPV) and domestic violence are generally less recognized in society when the victims are men, even though a growing body of international research indicates that men and women experience close to equal amounts of intimate partner violence and domestic violence. In the UK, for example, 40% of domestic violence victims are men. Yes, the majority are women; however, the ratio is close to even. Yet the available places of refuge in England and Wales are 7,500 for women, and as few as 60 for men.
- – Reports from various countries show that for all types of violent crimes, most victims of intimidation are male: 1.6 percent of men against 1.1 percent of women. Also, more men (0.9 percent) than women (0.5 percent) fall victim to assault.
No matter which gender, violence is violence, and any victim should be taken seriously and receive support. Sadly enough, when compared to women, men receive less of both.
The result is that a vast number of men also do not report violence. Countless studies on why men do not report show the same findings: Men do not seek assistance because of what they describe as “societal obstacles against men and lack of support.”
Have a look at the video created by Mankind Initiative, a leading British charity supporting male victims of domestic abuse, showing how little violence towards men is taken seriously.
This needs to change. Yet, once again we are failing men by not taking violence and abuse towards men seriously.
Most Men Commit Suicide:
From out of this whole list, this one might be the most well-known. Yet, that does not take away the shocking fact about how many men commit suicide.
Globally, suicide rates in men are just over twice as high as for women.
In 2017, the global suicide rate for women was 6.3 deaths per 100,000; for men, it was just over twice that figure at 13.9 per 100,000.
Because suicide carries a social stigma – and the fact that it is illegal in some countries – these figures could possibly be even higher.
While there are various reasons why someone takes their own life, mood disorders—with depression in particular—are widely recognized as among the foremost risk factors for suicide.
Reports show that 98% of those who died by suicide had a diagnosable mental disorder. Which also means, they could have been helped. Mental disorders, like depression, are treatable.
Since suicide has a stigma and since men in general have trouble talking about their feelings for fear of being judged and seen as weak, men often do not seek help for psychological problems.
Whereas women are likely to seek help for mental problems, men are absolute experts at pretending there is nothing wrong – even if they are dying inside.
Note: If you are currently struggling with suicide, or know someone who is, or if you simply want to educate yourself more about this topic, have a listen to the episode we did on The IPS Podcast with Mark Henick, a mental health advocate and suicide survivor, about suicide.
That is a hefty list of issues, that in truth could easily been expanded:
- – Heightism in men is real. Many people look down on men who are short, and the majority of women would not date a man who is shorter than them.
- – Fewer men enroll in universities, and most dropouts are men.
- – Men are more likely than women to have accidents at work. In 2017, two out of every three (66.8 %) non-fatal accidents at work in the EU-28 involved men.
- – Men of all colors face a harsher judicial system.
- – Men are expected to be strong, confident, and sure of themselves in any situation.
- – Men face far more romantic rejections, as it is expected of them to make the first move when it comes to romance—and let’s face it: being rejected hurts.
Again, this is not laid out to start a fight against women or anyone. This is simply to bring awareness and point out, in a more in-depth analysis, that men too struggle with some serious problems.
Why Do Men Face These Problems? And What Can We Do?
While each of the above-named problems requires a different solution, we can narrow the cause of the problem and the solution down to one simple thing:
Men need to start being more open about their feelings, emotions, and thoughts.
For that to happen, they need to truly feel like they can do this.
This is a change that requires both men and women to stand together to help men feel that they can be open about what is happening inside them—without feeling like they will be judged or seen as weak or less manly.
Here at The IPS Project, we want to help contribute to changing the narrative.
In this episode, we invited Sean Galla, founder of Men’s Group.
With more than ten years of experience holding men’s groups and men’s circles, Sean is the perfect person to talk about men, men’s health, masculinity, and how men can support one another better, as well as how women can be better at being there for men.
Hopefully, through these show notes, the resources provided here, the interview with Sean Galla, and the announcement that there are places like Men’s Group, we will add another drop in the ocean to reduce the occurrence of the above problems that men have to face.
This for the sake of not only the men, but for the sake of both men and women together.
With that, please enjoy this interview with the founder of Men’s Group, Sean Galla.
About Men's Group
MensGroup.com is a virtual men’s group, which makes it a lot more accessible for more people and makes it possible to hold these sessions frequently.
At Men’s Group, they match guys in a specific group based on similarities in their life stages, challenges, and goals.
As pointed out on the Men’s Group website, sharing common challenges and goals makes it easier for the men to relate to each other, connect, learn, move through challenging situations, and grow.
Recommended Books for Men:
EP 024 - Sean Galla, Founder of Men’s Group: The Struggles Men Face and How to Support Men Better
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Some of the Questions:
What You Will Learn from this Episode:
- – Men Need Men (2019) ― a documentary about men’s groups (Men Need Men is a 2019 documentary about men’s groups that come together to talk about personal subjects.)
- – How To Be A Man (The idea of manliness has grown indelibly associated with the idea of being cool. We’d be wiser to shift the masculine ideal towards a new idea: warmth.)
- – What Happened to All the “Real” Men?
- – Man Enough Episode 1 – Why Don’t Men Talk (In the first episode of Man Enough, Justin Baldoni sits down with Prince Ea, Derek Hough, Javier Munoz, Bassem Youssef, and Matt McGorry to have an open discussion about traditional masculinity and why men don’t typically talk.)
- – Men’s Group (MensGroup was founded by Sean Galla, an experienced men’s group facilitator and serial entrepreneur.)
- – Self-Improvement Guides For Men (Self improvement can be challenge for a man. Because society has been pushing men towards isolation, when men hit adversity – which is inevitable – it can be tough to navigate and understand how to continue your growth as a man. To help men on their journeys of self-improvement, we created a series of “Men’s guides”.)
- – The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph
- – Stillness Is the Key
- – The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles
- – Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ
- – Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find—and Keep—Love
- – No More Mr Nice Guy: A Proven Plan for Getting What You Want in Love, Sex, and Life
- – Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation
- – Becoming the Kind Father: A Son’s Journey
- – Way of the Peaceful Warrior: A Book That Changes Lives
- – The Way of the Superior Man: A Spiritual Guide to Mastering the Challenges of Women, Work, and Sexual Desire
- – Rich Roll (A graduate of Stanford University and Cornell Law School, Rich is a 50-year old, accomplished vegan ultra-endurance athlete and former entertainment attorney turned full-time wellness & plant-based nutrition advocate, popular public speaker, husband, father of 4 and inspiration to people worldwide as a transformative example of courageous and healthy living.)
- – Russel Brand(Russell Edward Brand is an English comedian, actor, radio host, writer, and activist. After beginning his career as a comedian and later becoming an MTV presenter, Brand first achieved renown in 2004 as the host of Big Brother’s Big Mouth, a Big Brother spin-off.)
- – Jocko Willink (John Gretton “Jocko” Willink is an American retired naval officer who served in the Navy SEALs. He is also a podcaster and author.)
- – Ben Greenfield (Ben Greenfield is a biohacker, human body and brain performance coach, ex-bodybuilder, Ironman triathlete, professional Spartan athlete, anti-aging consultant, speaker and author of the New York Times Bestseller “Beyond Training: Mastering Endurance, Health and Life”.)
- – Joe Rogan (Joseph James Rogan is an American comedian, podcast host, and mixed martial arts color commentator. He has also worked as a television host and an actor. Rogan began his career in comedy in August 1988 in the Boston area.)
- – Ryan Holiday (Ryan Holiday is an American marketer and author. He is the former director of marketing for American Apparel and a media columnist and editor-at-large for the New York Observer.)
You may also like these episodes:
- – EP 023 – Scott Pinyard on Alcohol Use Disorder, the Effects of Alcohol on the Brain and Body, and How to Provide Support
- – EP 021 – How to Rewire Your Brain to Be Happy | Dr. Rick Hanson, Ph.D. | The Science of Happiness
- – EP 017 – Within the Mind of a Warrior: Rich Hungerford, Former SAS Patrol Commander
Question about this episode: From the interview with Sean, what are some interesting lessons or insights you’ve gained? Also, do you have anything you would like to share about the interview? If so, do not hesitate to do so in the comment section below!