Published on: 2 August 2013

Senior School boys, mothers and fathers had an opportunity to hear from one of the world’s leading authorities on the journey into manhood this week. Dr Michael Kimmel, who issued a challenge to Christ Church to be a school about boys not just for boys when he first visited in April, urged boys to have conversations about the difference between what makes a good man and masculinity.

The sociologist and bestselling author of Guyland: the Perilous World Where Boys Become Men spent the week running workshops with Years 10 and 11 boys in classes as well as a group presentation Year 12s on Friday.

At the Senior School Assembly, he asked all boys to set up a conversation in their minds about what it is to be a good man. “Think about the values of a good man and then think about the difference between that and masculinity, or what we do for other guys,” Dr Kimmel said.

Years 10 to 12 boys explored these ideas in the workshops, identifying the contrasts between being inside or outside the ‘male box’ and the set of rules boys and men created to ensure their individual masculinity was not questioned. Dr Kimmel said: “As we look in the mirror, we want you to continue to see that good man that you want to be.”

On Tuesday night, more than 150 mothers attended a talk by Dr Kimmel, titled ‘How do I help my son have a healthy attitude towards women?’ in the Senior School Staff Room. On Thursday, fathers were invited to hear him speak on ‘Talking to boys about becoming men’.

Dr Kimmel’s visit was made possible thanks to the Christ Church Parents’ Association.