Homeless Men

“…the influential classes, and those who take upon themselves to be leaders of the people, are fully liable to all the passionate error that has ever characterized the maddest mob.” Nathaniel Hawthorne

On 20th April, The Guardian, The Independent, and New Statesman covered the shocking statistic that at least 1,300 people died while homeless in 2022. Click the first image for the Guardian article and the second to see the Independent article.

What the articles revealed was an alarming increase in deaths among the homeless, often while they were sleeping in unsatisfactory hostel accommodation. Something is clearly going very wrong, the figure of 1,300 was 85% higher than that for 2019. The Guardian article quoted Matt Turtle of the Museum of Homelessness who said “A toxic cocktail of cuts, criminalisation and crackdowns is making life even harder for the UK’s most vulnerable people. Just tinkering around the edges as the government plans won’t fix the damage of the last 12 years.”

You might think most of these deaths occurred while people were actually sleeping out on the street or in public parks. Indeed, my image was of people freezing to death in doorways. The reality is different and most of the deaths occurred in people living in emergency accommodation or hostels. Often that accommodation was taxpayer funded but not regulated.

What was missing from all of the newspaper articles was the sex ratio of the deaths. Even looking at the underlying report you had to look hard for the breakdown according to sex. Here it is ~ 72.6% of deaths were among men.

The Museum of Homelessness report shows a pie chart displaying the ratio of deaths but the imbalance between men and women is not mentioned in the text. Only the 2015 women who died are mentioned, followed by waffle about ‘our findings reiterate what we found last year: gender is still treated as a very binary concept and it is therefore likely that people of marginalised genders are not represented accurately within our data. And then “we urge service providers and policy makers to urgently think critically about the role they play in supporting trans and non binary people.” The wider public believes sex to be binary and gender bimodal and the report should reflect that belief.

Suppose this had been the other way round and ~72.6% of the deaths were of women, would the reporting have been the same? I think we would be hearing all about the gender death gap and institutional misogyny. Jess Phillips would be reading out their names in Parliament; only that would take much longer than her yearly ghoulfest of reading out the names of women who have died as a result of domestic violence.

The enormous and implausibly massive elephant in the room, that the majority of deaths were of men, was not mentioned and seemingly was not a matter of concern. This fits nicely into the framework of gamma bias which is a schema for viewing the world that means in misfortunes befalling men, their sex is not mentioned. Whereas when it comes to receiving privilege their sex is in the foreground. Similarly, for acts of malfeasance male sex is all important whereas when men commit good or prosocial acts their sex is often not mentioned – they become rail-workers rather than railway men for example. For a good account of gamma bias I recommend this article by Martin Seager.

Luckily a ‘solution’ is at hand. According to the Guardian 28/4/23 a tower block is being built in London especially for vulnerable women (only) who face inequality and abuse see here. It’s good to know men’s problems are being taken seriously. No doubt this tower block will be largely built and serviced by men. The sewers that serve the building will be constructed and maintained by men and when vulnerable women move in, their possessions will carried in and installed by (hawk-spit) men.

By femgoggles

I was abandoned by my parents in the black mountains and raised by timberwolves. On my return to the 'civilised world' with questionable table manners, I became a detached observer of human behaviour in general and gender relations in particular. This blog is the product of those observations.


  1. This is an issue I’ve seen here as well: most vulnerable adults are male, but more money goes to supporting women. As a result, the men end up with more serious (and therefore more expensive) long term solutions.
    This is something that those of us in social care know about, and I suspect the activists know too, but of course the need for more cash in the coffers or the desperate need to promote trans/non-binary victimhood means they are trying hard to keep the narrative going in the face of the evidence.
    As an aside, I wonder what would happen if men refused to work on this shiny new apartments on the basis that if women don’t need no men, when they can build it themselves.
    Of course that would be evidence of The Patriarchy and Our Misogynistic Society et c.
    Keep up the good work.


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