Dr. Michael Kimmel, Distinguished Professor of Sociology at Stony Brook University in New York, gave a talk in Filene Auditorium Monday July 8th entitled “Boys Will Be Boys: Deconstructing Masculinity and Manhood at Dartmouth.” Dr. Kimmel is a “Visionary in Residence” for the Center on Gender and Student Engagement and a leading academic on men’s studies.
Dr. Kimmel began by discussing the state of gender inequality in America and worked his way toward inequality on the American college campus. American college campuses are the most gender-neutral institutions, he said, but are still marked by incredible inequality, what we would call “daytime and nighttime” cultures.
The twentieth century marked the beginning of a new developmental stage between childhood and adulthood, labeled “adolescence” by G. Stanley Hall in 1902. Dr. Kimmel argues this new stage has become difficult to navigate and has changed the lives of men and women fundamentally. Dr. Kimmel used marriage as a marker of adulthood, an admittedly inaccurate but still somewhat representative statistic. Men and women were getting married at around twenty-one years old in the 1950’s and around twenty-nine today.