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Expansive Intimacy EP06: Intimate Partnering, with Kate Mangino, PhD

“Men love talking about falling in love, the birth of their babies, when they’re scared or overwhelmed, or what’s hard in their life, but they’re never given the opportunity to do so.” - Kate Mangino

For her book Equal Partners: Improving Gender Equality at Home, Kate Mangino interviewed scores of men about how to bring more gender equality into their partnerships. One of the biggest takeaways from those experiences was the key role that intimacy plays in bringing partners of different genders together.

Kate and Jim explored several other big topics in this week's episode, including:

  • How “default gender mode”--making assumptions about a person’s characteristics based on their gender--blocks intimacy.

  • A key difference in how we socialize our children, with young women being encouraged to adopt traditional male traits, while young men are discouraged from embracing traits typically associated with women.

  • Kate also discusses the need for more platonic friendships between the sexes.

  • The power of fatherhood to open up access to greater intimacy.

  • How leaders can create intimate spaces where everyone is encouraged to open up.


“I lean on the idea that intimacy breeds intimacy.” (15:52-15:56 | Kate)
“What can we do as mothers to encourage our kids to be more vulnerable? One thing that came up over and over was encouraging different sex, platonic friendships.” (31:33-31:48 | Kate)
“We need to break out of that gender default. And we need to be more aware and open and think of people as humans and not as men, women or neither man or woman.” (24:23-24:35 | Kate)
“A lot of times we default into…all these little micro roles all the time…I will pause and think, ‘Would I write this email to anyone, regardless of gender identity?’ and I think that helps me see the water a little bit.” (38:42-39:08 | Kate)

Show Links

Connect with Kate Mangino:

Twitter: @ManginoKate

Connect with Jim Young:

The Men's Expansive Intimacy Project:

If you like what we're talking about on the show, would you consider sharing it with someone important in your life who might also appreciate it?

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The views expressed are that of the individual and do not represent the opinions of any companies past, present or future.


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