Panel 4: Education (Evaluating Claims about "the End of Men" Conference)

Panel 4: Education
Katharine Silbaugh, Boston University School of Law (introductions)
Anthony [...]Rao, Behavioral Solutions
Caryl Rivers, Boston University College of Communication
Rosemary Salomone, St. John's University School of Law
Katharine Silbaugh, Boston University School of Law

Panel 4 examined educational outcomes. Compared to girls, boys make less eye contact, hear the human voice less acutely, and fidget more in the womb. These differences set up “the perfect storm of developmental problems as soon as these little guys hit school” where they are confronted with “let me see your eyes,” “you’re not listening,” and “please sit still.” Anti-bullying policies focus on direct communication in relationships, which may be in tension with the nonjudgmental acceptance of boys as “rough and tumble players with attention issues.” Single-sex classrooms in co-ed schools overcompensate—a warm tone of voice for teaching girls versus shouting at boys, classical music and reading to start the day for girls versus physical exercise for boys. But the impressive outcomes of single-sex schools such as The Young Women’s Leadership Schools may not be “a gender story in particular” given the reality that “a school with an idea and with energy does better than a school without an idea and without energy.” Women’s “gains [in school] have not translated into money and influence” after school due to a higher standard—“women are hired on performance, men are hired on potential.”

About the Conference:
Friday, October 12 & Saturday, October 13, 2012
Boston University School of Law

"The end of men," a phrase coined by journalist HannaRosin, captures the proposition that women have made such remarkable progress in all domains—and men have suffered such declines and reversals—that women are effectively surpassing men and becoming the dominant sex. This interdisciplinary conference evaluated claims about "the end of men" and consider their implications.

Feminist diagnoses of sex discrimination have fueled changes in law and policy, as well as in cultural norms. Should recent claims about the status of men likewise prompt redress? The conference examined empirical assertions about men's and women's comparative status in concrete domains, such as education, the workplace and the family. It examined how the data supporting claims about the end of men—and progress of women—look once differentiated by class, race, region and other categories. It provided historical perspectives on current anxieties about imbalances between men's and women's power, opportunities and status.

The conference also offered comparative and international perspectives on the "end of men" thesis, testing it in a variety of contexts in Europe and the Middle East. Papers and proceedings will be published in the Boston University Law Review.


Tags: education, law, gender equality, discrimination

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