What do men do better than women? Well, there’s murder.

Men commit about 90 percent of those, including virtually all mass shootings. There’s also getting murdered: Men are the victims in homicides 77 percent of the time.

Then there’s going to jail: Men make up 93 percent of the inmates in federal prison. Men commit suicide at four times the rate of women, and they are more likely to abuse alcohol or drugs or over-work, which is probably why women outlive us by an average of about five years.

But when it comes to sexual misconduct, there’s no contest. From harassment to assault, we have a corner on it, as we’ve seen in the past year with high-profile cases emerging from the worlds of politics, entertainment, the news media, Silicon Valley, celebrity kitchens – basically anywhere anyone has bothered to look.

It feels like we are living in a great historical moment for American women. A cascade of revelations have exposed sexual harassment committed by powerful men, and instead of being called liars or sluts, the accusers are being believed, giving more women the courage to tell their stories.

But what is going on with American men? It can’t be written off as just a few monsters, this goes too broad and too deep. It’s not just Republicans or Democrats, or libertines or religious hypocrites.

It’s becoming clear that there is something about the way that we bring up boys in our culture that damages them. There is a thread that connects these workplace incidents with murder, suicide, gender discrimination and all the other ways that men are hurting women and themselves simply by being men.

Feminist writers call it “toxic masculinity,” the destructive force of the cultural expectations that men are taught to impose on themselves.

Practically from birth, boys are taught to stifle their feelings and deny any emotion other than anger, which they are told doesn’t count as an emotion, writes Kali Holloway on the website alternet.org.

As they grow, boys are taught by their peers and through the media that men are supposed to be aggressive and always interested in sex, unlike women, who are more mysterious. Men pursue women for sex (“girl chasing”), and women usually resist at first, but succumb if the man persists.

Achieving manhood is not just a question of getting older. It’s conditional, something that has to be earned by acting in a certain way (“It’ll make a man out of you,” boys are told when offered a shot of whiskey or a tour in the Marine Corps). Men are judged by their ability to make money and possess women. A man can be “emasculated” if he doesn’t exert power over women.

Women are more likely to report being depressed than men, but researchers find that men are more likely to express their pain as anger and act out.

Because the standards of masculinity are impossible to meet, and because a man can lose his status by failing to meet those standards, men are always at risk of being humiliated. This is dangerous.

James Gilligan, former director of the Center for the Study of Violence at Harvard Medical School, has interviewed countless prisoners. He doesn’t report finding much remorse, but he did find a lot of embarrassment.

“I have yet to see a serious act of violence that was not provoked by the experience of feeling shamed and humiliated, disrespected and ridiculed,” he told the men’s health blog MenAlive. Virtually every act of violence he researched was “an attempt to prevent or undo that loss of face – no matter how severe the punishment, even if it included death.”

I can hear the groans now. Leave it to a male writer to make the story of sexual harassment in the workplace into a tale of how tough men have it.

Yes, women have their own set of impossible-to-meet standards, and it’s hard to be sympathetic to men when they are the ones committing harassment and assault.

It’s men who have to change.

Making a demeaning joke that uses a woman as a prop (like the now-famous photo of Al Franken pretending to grope a sleeping woman’s breasts) is not the same thing as demanding sex in exchange for a promotion. But they both come from the same place – a man’s need to assert power.

We are going to have to learn how to share power without giving up our status as men. We need different role models and heroes. We need to teach boys to better understand their emotions.

Because this toxic masculinity is killing us.

Greg Kesich is the editorial page editor. He can be contacted at:

[email protected]

Twitter: gregkesich