Now, as the country wrestles with disturbingly permissive and prevalent disrespect for women, MBA's mission has never been clearer or more necessary. It's tempting to think that the all-boys atmosphere would exacerbate this cultural problem. However, if we make full use of it, the all-boys environment here actually affords us the opportunity to address the problem in a powerful way.
Baked right into the MBA experience is a culture of accountability among students. The Honor Code depends solely on students' expectations of each other. It's a positive kind of peer pressure. Similarly, the elements of competition that drive the boys on the field and in the classroom create an expectation that everyone should achieve, or at least pursue, excellence. That same kind of influence occurs in social settings. As the boys learn how to act around girls (and in the world at large), they hold each other to a higher standard.In addition to the elements of accountability and positive peer pressure, the boys also have several sources of support. The advisory system allows boys to build rapport with their advisors through daily interaction. These relationships establish trust and provide the right opportunity for discussing, solving, and/or preventing real problems. Prevention is the sweet spot. However, because boys are actually timid when it comes to truly expressing themselves in mixed company, many of these discussions would never arise in the presence of girls.
By putting all the pieces together, MBA can steer boys onto the right path. The powerful, lifelong connection among alums and what they learn here should keep them on it. The accountability and support stays with them.