I would also add people of different gender to this quote – an important point that Celia Lashlie highlighted so well in her book ‘He’ll be OK: Growing gorgeous boys into good men’:
“I often encountered the negative view that boys’ schools produce men who are unable to relate to women and who, because of their arrogance about being male – encouraged by the school – carry negative perceptions about the place of women in today’s society…. At the very least it has been suggested the boys leaving such schools are emotionally bereft and incapable of establishing and maintaining effective personal relationships with women…
It was uncommon for the fathers of some students, men who had themselves been educated at boys’ schools, to reflect that they’d been unable to understand or communicate effectively with members of the opposite sex when they left school. Some of them went on to conceded that the workings of the female brain remained a mystery to this day and I have no doubt they’re not alone in holding that view….
Their adolescent sons didn’t, however, appear to share their experience of not being able to communicate effectively with adolescent girls. Partly due no doubt to the greater degree of social freedom available to girls today, the boys appeared to understand their female counterparts much better than their fathers had.
Almost all boys I spoke to had close female friends within their immediate peer group – often referred to as ‘chick-mates’ – and many spoke of the value of the conversations they had with these girl friends about the ‘real’ stuff, the stuff they could not or would not talk about with their male peers…”
How do you grow?