The topic of male and female roles vis-a-vis students in higher education has prompted a long (and occasionally hard-to-follow) discussion at Crooked Timber. Leave aside the observation that you should know somebody extremely well before buying the gift mentioned in the post and we are left with the questions:
1. Are female academics who have children more easily identified/stereotyped as “Mothers” than male academics (as “Fathers”) by students?
2. Do students expect female academics to be more engaged than male academics in their personal life?
To quote myself from my comment in the thread: What, if any, role do formal policies (paid parental leave) and informal norms (splitting of parental leave between parents) play for students’ behaviour and expectations?
Me? Oh, if you can share your problems with this guy, then you could probably also ask me.