UCSF includes gender awareness for boys

By Eve Harris

The popular worksite program “Take Our Daughters to Work” changed its name this year. Now, acknowledging that UCSF has included boys in the program for several years, the UCSF program will be known as “Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work.”

“It’s still a key day for girls; one where girls’ and women’s issues will be highlighted, but we welcome the boys and look forward to working with them, too,” said Lynn Ponton, MD, professor of psychiatry and chair of the program at UCSF.

Almost 400 young people are expected to appear at various UCSF sites on Thursday, April 24 from 8:30-11:45 am. 

“A gender sensitivity curriculum supplements the activities for boys,” said Amy Levine, coordinator of the event and director of the UCSF Center for Gender Equity. The curriculum uses interactive activity and video to spark the boys’ exploration of issues like masculinity and power. “In the past, boys have found it very interesting,” Levine said.

The free program includes age-appropriate learning activities during the morning followed by a pizza lunch. Lunch hour entertainment will be provided by troupes performing traditional Filipino, Iranian and Native American dance. Children who cannot join their parent at the parent’s worksite in the afternoon are invited to see the movie “Monsters Inc.” on campus.

Some of this year’s highlights for girls are:

· A tour of the Women’s Health Center, where children will learn to use the stethoscope and other medical equipment to get a taste of the life of doctors and nurses.—UCSF Medical Center at Mount Zion

· A visit to the Intensive Care Nursery, where children will see tiny babies and learn about warmers and isolettes and how to set-up up blood pressure cuffs and monitors. - UCSF Children’s Hospital

Highlights for boys include:

· An interactive workshop specifically designed for kids by the AIDS Health Project, which will teach information about HIV/AIDS and its impact.—UCSF Medical Center at Parnassus

· A tour of the pediatric cardiology department that includes hands-on experience with electrocardiograms and echocardiography.—UCSF Children’s Hospital

“This day offers our children unique opportunities, including participating in a mock operation, visiting labor and delivery rooms and conducting laboratory experiments.  Most important is the time we spend with them, connecting and encouraging their interests,” said Ponton.

More than 10 years ago, the Ms. Foundation developed the ‘Take Our Daughters to Work Program’ in order to encourage parents to introduce their daughters to different opportunities. The program was designed to address the diminishing self-confidence that affects many girls in early adolescence, according to Ponton, a nationally-recognized expert who has spent more than 20 years working with children and adolescents.


Media interested in covering the event or interviewing Dr. Ponton or Ms. Levine should call Eve Harris, UCSF News Services at (415) 885-7277.  Picture opportunities include children in a variety of medical and office settings.