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October 13, 2004

Upcoming conferences focus on families and boys

The national debates over gay marriage, marriage promotion, welfare reform and child care are often clouded by myths. As voters prepare to choose presidential candidates with different social agendas, the Stanford Institute for Research on Women and Gender (IRWG) is co-sponsoring a conference on Saturday, Oct. 16, to increase public understanding about the reality of families in America. “Valuing Families: A Debate Over What Works,” is being organized with the University of Maryland’s Journalism Fellowships in Child and Family Policy. It will feature reporters moderating panels of scholars and policy experts who will discuss topical issues such as balancing work and family, and marriage promotion.

The following day, on Oct. 17, IRWG and the Ms. Foundation will co-host a second conference on boys in American society. “Supporting Boys’ Resilience: Expanding Definitions of Masculinity and Manhood” will bring together leading scholars, media figures and experts to discuss how gender order in society affects boys and girls, and consider possibilities for redefining stereotypes about manhood.

Both conferences are open to journalists and will be held in Levinthal Hall, Stanford Humanities Center, 424 Santa Teresa St.

Detailed schedules follow:

Saturday, Oct. 16, 2004

Valuing Families: A Debate Over What Works


8:30 a.m. Continental Breakfast

9 a.m. Welcome, Introductions, Program Overview


9:30 a.m. Balancing Work and Family: Real Solutions for Real Lives


Ellen Galinsky, president, Families and Work Institute.

Eleanor Maccoby, professor emerita of developmental psychology, Stanford, will discuss “Question for new mothers: How soon to return to work?”

Ed Potter, president, Employment Policy Foundation.

Myra Strober, professor of education, Stanford.

Moderator: Maggie Jackson: “Balancing Acts” columnist for the Boston Globe and author of What's Happening to Home? Balancing Work, Life and Refuge in the Information Age.

11 a.m. Break


11:15 a.m. Family Diversity: Dispelling Myths and Informing Policy


Rosemary Chalk, director, Board on Children, Youth, and Families, The National Academies.

Jeanne Tsai, assistant professor of psychology, Stanford.

Judith Stacey, professor of sociology and professor of gender and sexuality, New York University.

Michael Wald, Jackson Eli Reynolds Professor of law, Stanford.

Moderator: Sue Horton, Los Angeles Times.

12:45 p.m. Lunch


2 p.m. Supporting Families: What Children and Families Need to Thrive


Frank Furstenburg, Zellerbach Family Professor of Sociology, University of Pennsylvania.

Sandra Hofferth, family studies professor, University of Maryland. Former co-director of the Michigan Panel Study of Income Dynamics and founding director of its Child Development Supplement, 1994-2001.

Bill Pollack, assistant clinical professor (Psychology), Harvard.

Bruce Fuller, professor of education and public policy, University of California-Berkeley.

Moderator: Rachel Jones, reporter, National Public Radio.

3:30 Break


3:45 p.m. Promoting Marriage: Should Marriage be Promoted and Among Whom?


Stephanie Coontz, director of Research and Public Education, Council on Contemporary Families; professor of history and family studies, The Evergreen State College.

Nan Hunter, professor of law and co-director of Brooklyn Law School’s Center for Health, Science and Public Policy, will discuss “Marriage As Choice.”

Obie Clayton, professor of sociology, executive director of the Morehouse Research Institute, will discuss, “Understanding the Past, Surveying the Present and Framing the Future: Examining African American Marriages and Families.”

Esther Rothblum, professor of psychology, University of Vermont.

Moderator: EJ Graff, Boston-based journalist and author of What Is Marriage For?

5:15 p.m. Concluding remarks

5:30 p.m. Adjourn

Sunday, Oct. 17, 2004

Supporting Boys’ Resilience: Expanding Definitions of Masculinity and Manhood

10 a.m. Welcome and refreshments

10:30 a.m. Introduction: Why boys? Feminism and Masculinity

Susan Wefald, director of Institutional Planning, Ms. Foundation for Women.

Marie Wilson, president, White House Project.

10:50 a.m. Boys, Masculinity and the Family

Bill Pollack, assistant clinical professor (psychology), Harvard.

Respondent: Myra Strober, professor of education, Stanford.

11:50 a.m. Lunch

1 p.m. The Media and Masculinity


Patti Miller, director of children and the media, Children Now.

Byron Hurt, producer, “I Am a Man: Black Masculinity in America,” “Beyond Beats and Rhymes: Masculinity in Hip-Hop Culture.”

Moderator: Michael Balaoing, vice president of programs, Entertainment Industry Foundation.

2:30 p.m. Break

2:45 p.m. New Possibilities for Manhood


Gary Barker, chief executive officer, Promundo, a Brazilian non-governmental organization working to improve the quality of life for children, adolescents and families.

Barbara Sprung, co-founder, Educational Equity Concepts, a nonprofit promoting bias free learning.

Esta Soler, president, Family Violence Prevention Fund.

Patrick Lemmon, executive director, Men Can Stop Rape.

Moderator: Judy Chu, former IRWG scholar, Stanford.

4:45 p.m. Summary by Susan Wefald, Ms. Foundation.

5 p.m. Adjourn

Editor Note:




Sandra Bass, Institute for Research on Women and Gender: (650) 814-8798,

Lisa Trei, News Service: (650) 725-0224,


Londa Schiebinger, Institute for Research on Women and Gender: (650) 723-2760,

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