Mark Sherman is an emeritus professor of psychology at SUNY, New Paltz. After receiving his BA from the University of Pennsylvania and his PhD from Harvard (where one of his teachers was B.F. Skinner), he went on to a distinguished teaching career at the State University of New York at New Paltz. He was twice nominated for the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. He took early retirement from teaching in 1995 to allow more time for his research and writing.
Sherman has taught, thought, researched and written about gender issues for more than 30 years. In 1979, he and colleague James Halpern, published Afterplay: A Key to Intimacy, the first book to examine the importance of the “post-intercourse” period in human sexuality. Originally published by Stein and Day, Afterplay was reprinted in paperback by Pocket Books in 1981. Excerpted in many magazines, both in the U.S. and Europe, after its publication, Afterplay popularized a word virtually unknown and unused before the book was published.
With communications professor Adelaide Haas, Sherman then embarked on a study of men’s and women’s conversational styles in single-sex groups. The result was “Man to Man, Woman to Woman,” published in Psychology Today in 1984, and cited in Time magazine shortly after publication. This brief article — which discusses sources of problems in male-female communication — anticipated by six years the work of Deborah Tannen. It has been reprinted in at least two major texts for English composition classes. Sherman and Haas also published scholarly papers based on their research.
In the early 1990s, Sherman became aware that boys and young men were falling behind girls and young women in school, and since that time, he has read, talked, and written about this issue extensively, including newspaper articles and, since 2010, pieces on his blog on the Psychology Today website.
While his concern about social issues is genuine and deep, Sherman has a wonderful sense of humor. A gifted songwriter with a penchant for wit, he has performed his very funny songs throughout the Hudson Valley as well as in New York City. The taping of a sold-out show at the Unison Arts Center in New Paltz, NY became a CD titled “Please, Professor,” and tracks from the CD have been downloaded digitally all over the world.
For the last 27 years, he has written a very popular bi-weekly humor column for the award-winning New Paltz Times. Some pieces have been reprinted in the Woodstock Times, Middletown (NY) Record, and Cleveland Plain Dealer. Many of his columns have dealt humorously with the subjects of gender, family, and therapy; in 2004 he published a collection of columns on these topics, titled Real Men Don’t Write Columns: A Psychologist’s Humorous Look at Men, Women, Family, and Psychotherapy.
Sherman is married and the father of three grown sons; he is also the grandfather of three growing grandsons.