The Daily Evergreen

Foley presentation broke down ‘the Boy Problem’

Lecturer says society must question privilege, empower all genders

Michael+Gurian%2C+New+York+Times+bestselling+author%2C+speaks+about+how+the+brains+of+boys+influence+their+actions+on+Thursday+afternoon+in+the+Foley%E2%80%99s+Speaker%E2%80%99s+Room+at+Bryan+Hall.
Back to Article
Back to Article

Foley presentation broke down ‘the Boy Problem’

Michael Gurian, New York Times bestselling author, speaks about how the brains of boys influence their actions on Thursday afternoon in the Foley’s Speaker’s Room at Bryan Hall.

Michael Gurian, New York Times bestselling author, speaks about how the brains of boys influence their actions on Thursday afternoon in the Foley’s Speaker’s Room at Bryan Hall.

OLIVIA WOLF | THE DAILY EVERGREEN

Michael Gurian, New York Times bestselling author, speaks about how the brains of boys influence their actions on Thursday afternoon in the Foley’s Speaker’s Room at Bryan Hall.

OLIVIA WOLF | THE DAILY EVERGREEN

OLIVIA WOLF | THE DAILY EVERGREEN

Michael Gurian, New York Times bestselling author, speaks about how the brains of boys influence their actions on Thursday afternoon in the Foley’s Speaker’s Room at Bryan Hall.

Chloe Grundmeier, Evergreen reporter

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






The Foley Institute presented “The Boy Problem” yesterday, a lecture that focused on how public policy is failing men and young boys.

The lecture featured Michael Gurian, New York Times bestselling author, marriage and family counselor, and co-founder of the Gurian Institute of Spokane.

“Our concept has been white males have it all and women don’t have it, and we don’t need to payChl attention to boys, but that isn’t the case anymore,” Gurian said.

Philosophy major Mark Tronsen said he is a regular attendee of the Foley lectures.

“I saw the topic “The Boy Problem” and knew it was in direct reference to the controversial Gillette ad, and I was immediately interested and wanted to know more,” Tronsen said.

After raising two daughters, Gurian sees himself as a fairly liberal feminist, he said, and he believes these ideals are crucial to solving “the boy problem.”

“I’ve always known if we were going to empower both, we were going to help both,” Gurian said. “I don’t see us making gains for women specifically because of the fact that so many males are in distress.”

During his lecture, Gurian discussed several myths he said we must dispel to empower boys. First, he said we should question whether men always have more privilege than women.

We see the 50,000 or so white men at the very top running the country and the world, he said, but below that is where the issues emerge.

Gurian said the nationwide STEM test scores gap that the media focuses on is about three points, while the male literacy gap is 10 points — more than three times larger.

“We have to find a way to empower and help females —which is not gonna stop,” Gurian said. “But we have to realize that today is not 50 years ago, and a lot of the adults suffering in our world are men.”

Gurian also specified the importance of not attacking all white males. These attacks assume all white males are part of the dominant class, he said. There are several public systems set up to favor women, he said, such as child custody, the school system and even the disciplinary system.

Boys in traditional education account for 85 percent of discipline problems, 75 percent of students with learning disabilities and only 40 percent of college undergraduates, according to Gurian.

Another myth Gurian addressed was the belief that there are no differences between men and women’s brains. Much of Gurian’s research is rooted in neuroscience, and he said it is important to see the differences in the ways female and male brains work. These trackable differences do not mean one sex’s brain is superior to the other, he said.

Male and female brain differences, however, do not provide an argument against nonbinary gendered people, Gurian said. Research has shown that transgender individuals’ brains act in the exact opposite way as their reproductive systems do. Both physiology and neurology are controlled by X and Y chromosomes.

“The male and female brains are binary, but they’re on a spectrum,” Gurian said. “Culture does not matter to X and Y. [Behavior] still manifests no matter what culture it’s in.”

The differences are responsible for the high number of boys dropping out of high school and college, Gurian said. He explained how when the male brain is in “rest” it is far less active than the female brain in “rest,” and often can go to rest after only 10 or 20 minutes of sitting still.

The final myth Gurian addressed is the idea that all social problems exist because of traditional masculinity, including characteristics such as stoicism and aggression. He clarified there has been no data to back up that either stoicism or aggression lead to violence, and some social scientists are aiming to teach women to be more stoic and aggressive.

“I was in the military prior to coming here, and there I noticed it can be difficult to get women up to the necessary ‘rage point,’ but it’s usually pretty easy to get men there,” Tronsen said.

The Foley Institute will host Aseem Prakash of University of Washington and Jeff Joireman of the Carson College of Business to discuss corporate environmentalism at 12 p.m. Feb. 19 in Bryan Hall, RM 308. Prakash will also discuss the politics of the carbon tax later that day at 4:30 p.m.

Leave a Comment

Social Media Policy

The Office of Student Media

The purpose of the comment section is to foster courteous and constructive discussion of relevant issues. The Daily Evergreen staff reserve the right to delete any comment we deem at odds with that mission.

We want to establish a fair and open forum for discussion, but personal attacks and threats of any kind actively take away from that purpose. Once we delete a comment we will explain both in the post and through a personal message to the sender as to why it didn’t meet our standards. We will also add a link to our social media policy page on our website. We cannot allow comments that could possibly keep others from speaking their mind on our page.

Prohibited comments include:

  • Comments with directed profanity, bullying, spam, false or misleading statements
  • Comments that could cause physical and emotional harm to any person
  • Offensive language targeted toward a specific group of people
  • Comments that are off-topic
  • Comments that are racist, sexist or bigoted
  • Comments by students working for The Office of Student Media, unless authorized





Navigate Left
  • Foley presentation broke down ‘the Boy Problem’

    Community

    New ice cream shop sources locally

  • Foley presentation broke down ‘the Boy Problem’

    Community

    Galentine’s Day to support non-profit

  • Foley presentation broke down ‘the Boy Problem’

    Community

    Comic writer, artist to teach one credit guest class

  • Foley presentation broke down ‘the Boy Problem’

    Community

    Indian restaurant opens in Moscow

  • Foley presentation broke down ‘the Boy Problem’

    Community

    Singles should take advantage of Valentine events

  • Foley presentation broke down ‘the Boy Problem’

    Columns

    Locals say Pullman acts as hippie haven

  • Foley presentation broke down ‘the Boy Problem’

    Community

    Student artists compete for scholarship

  • Foley presentation broke down ‘the Boy Problem’

    Community

    Moscow co-op to hold art show opening today

  • Foley presentation broke down ‘the Boy Problem’

    Community

    Black History Month exhibit opens tomorrow

  • Foley presentation broke down ‘the Boy Problem’

    Columns

    Local cafe manager runs reiki business

Navigate Right

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Every student. Every story. Every day.
Foley presentation broke down ‘the Boy Problem’