Trinity Western University

2013 News

The Truth About Girls and Boys

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Along with TWU’s School of Education, the Gender Studies Institute will host its fifth annual lecture, which will examine and interrogate the myths and stereotypes commonly circulated about boys and girls in the 21st Century. On April 4, this year’s lecture is entitled The Truth about Girls and Boys and will be given by Professors Caryl Rivers and Rosalind C. Barnett.

Rivers and Barnett are widely acclaimed for their analysis of women, men, and society. They are the best-selling authors of The Truth about Girls and Boys: Confronting Toxic Stereotypes About Our Children, in which they tackle a new and troubling trend in the theorizing of gender.

Current gender theories enforce old stereotypes by claiming that the learning styles, brain development, motivation, cognitive and spatial abilities, and “natural” inclinations of girls and boys are so fundamentally different that they require unique styles of parenting and education.

In contrast, Rivers and Barnett unmake the pseudoscientific rationale for this argument by stressing the individuality of each child and the specialness of his or her talents and desires. They recognize that in our culture, girls and boys encounter different stimuli and experiences,  but argue that we should encourage children to venture outside their comfort zones to help them develop a multifaceted character.

Articles based on their book won a Casey medal for distinguished journalism about children and families and a special citation from the National Education Writers Association.

Professor Caryl Rivers is Professor of Journalism at the College of Communication at Boston University. A recipient of the Helen Thomas Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society of Professional Journalists, she is an internationally renowned novelist, journalist, and scholar. Rivers writes frequent commentary for the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, and Womens eNews. Of her book Selling Anxiety: How the News Media Scare Women, Gloria Steinem says it “will save the sanity of media watchers enraged or bewildered by the distance between image and reality.”

Dr. Rosalind C. Barnett is senior scientist at the Women’s Studies Research Center at Brandeis University. She is the recipient of the Radcliffe College Graduate Society’s Distinguished Achievement Medal and the Anne Roe Award from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education. She is also a practicing clinical psychologist. Barnett’s articles have appeared in numerous academic journals and in general publications including the New York Times, Sunday Magazine, The Washington Post, Newsday, the Boston Globe, McCall’s, Self, and Working Woman. 

Professors Rivers and Barnett are co-authors of Same Difference: How Gender Myths Are Hurting Our Relationships, Our Children, and Our Jobs; She Works/He Works: How Two-Income Families are Happy, Healthy, and Thriving; and The Truth About Girls and Boys: Challenging Toxic Stereotypes about our Children. http://thetruthaboutgirlsandboys.com/

Event at a Glance

Date: Thursday April 4, 2013
Time: 7 – 8:30 pm
Place: Northwest Auditorium
Cost: Free to the public
RSVP: Dr. Holly Nelson holly.nelson@twu.ca

Langley Campus

Trinity Western University is a Christian University of the arts, sciences, and professions, legislated by British Columbia to serve the public. Recognized for quality, TWU is consistently ranked among the top universities in Canada for Educational Experience by the National Survey of Student Engagement; holds four Canada Research Chairs; wins National Championships in CIS sports; and emphasizes experiential learning to prepare graduates to make a global impact. TWU offers 42 bachelor’s degrees, 17 graduate degrees, and adult degree-completion programs. A vibrant community committed to educating the whole person, TWU has been developing leaders of character and competence for 50 years.

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