Should we be matching male mentees with female mentors?

Although assigned mentoring relationships have typically involved same gender matches, a growing number of programs, particularly those in schools, are pairing female mentors with male mentees. This practice stems, in large part, from the relative dearth of male mentors and programs’ efforts to increase the availability of youth mentoring to young males on waiting lists. Is this a positive trend?


Niobe WayNiobe Way
Author of “Deep Secrets, Boys friendships and crisis of connectionMatching boys with caring mentors should be the goal of any mentoring program regardless of the sex of the mentor. My research with Black, Latino, White, and Asian American boys over the past two decades indicates that boys want close relationships with peers and adults.  [more]

Stella KanchewaStella Kanchewa
MA; Lead author of new study, “The Influence of Same versus Cross-gender Matching in Formal Youth Mentoring Programs”I believe that the emerging practice of matching female mentors with male mentees is a positive trend. It allows programs to accomplish their fundamental goal of providing youth with non-parental relationships who can serve as additional supports towards positive growth. In a recent study [more]

Roland WarrenRoland Warren
President of the National Fatherhood Initiative This is not a positive trend because it fails to strengthen the mentoring field by addressing the lack of male mentors. This solution is like running around a weak backhand in tennis. [more]

Therman Evans, Esq.
President of the Board, Mentoring to Manhood
Before a young boy can become a man he must see the image of one. We would never want to discount the power and impact that a woman can have in a young boy’s life. There are numerous examples where women have raised accountable and responsible boys. [more]