Femininity and Social Change

  

Emily Boudet

 

Differing standards and beliefs about gender exist in today’s society that is unique to its particular time period.  By finding these main factors that contribute to the individuals beliefs, one can begin to understand the reason for such phenomenon.  This study will attempt to understand ideals of femininity held by college students.  The Developmental Niche Theory will be evaluated in an attempt to understand how parental attitudes and behaviors impact their children.  72 students from a small Midwestern University Undergrad students comprised of both male and females participated.  The experimental method involved a survey developed by the researcher that ranged from demographic information to opinion of maleness and femaleness in regards to pictures being shown.  The results indicated that males view females in non-traditional gender roles as feminine more than females view other females, and that the more one’s parents adhere to traditional gender roles, the more likely their children will view others who deviate from those traditional roles as less feminine or masculine. This research will further our knowledge of family dynamics and the influence perceived gender roles in college students. 

 

 

Introduction

Statement of Problem

From women’s suffrage to birth control the feminist movement has gradually been changing the view of women in society.  Along with the roles of women, personal attitudes of femininity have also evolved through history, and what was not accepted for women in the past is now accepted and even encouraged.  For example, women were once not allowed in the field of engineering, it was a male dominated field of study and work.  Furthermore, traditionally thought, men are the culprits for suppressing women in their endeavors, but perhaps through the times women are the ones who hold more to the traditional view of gender roles.  By researching factors of femininity and masculinity and who holds to the particular societal belief patterns one can catch a glimpse of what direction the feminist movement and humanity as a whole are headed.

However, careers and roles are evolving to becoming more compensating for women in not only the workforce but positions of power.  In essence gender roles can be defined as the norms viewed by society for maleness and femaleness.  Despite these changes; do traditional gender roles persist?  Although society has come a long way from what it once was, some attributes are still considered too masculine for women to hold.  Does society need to consider not only men’s view of what is feminine but also women’s views?  Do women react more strongly to deviations from traditional female gender roles than men?

 

Significance of the Problem

Sexism, stereotyping, and sexual harassment are in part, responsible for the emergence of the feminist movement.  However, they are still present in today’s culture which can cause tremendous divisions among the sexes.  For instance, women are still making less in the workplace and many times expected to be the main caregivers for the children and household.  One way in which culture considers worth is determined by what one is valued at doing.  In essence, the roles are deemed acceptable for women establish the amount of worth for the individual. 

Since the invention of birth control in the 1950’s it has been noticeable that divorce rates have increased dramatically.  The correlation between these two events is left to be theorized, but perhaps women began to see that they no longer were totally dependent upon a man and could control when they were to have children.  Women invaded the workforce and educational system resulting in the extreme challenging of stereotypical gender roles.  These challenges are still being confronted in today’s society and traditional feminine and masculine career roles are still evident.  Therefore, in order for society to move toward equality, basic views of gender roles need to be examined. 

Literature Review

            The impact that gender ideologies have on society is great in that it affects almost every part of daily living.  As a child is growing up they as individuals begin to understand what is acceptable for them to do in relation of their sex.  Eventually these societal views can shape how an individual decides to conduct the rest of their lives.  From career choices to appropriate sports and activities, gender roles affect and in some ways limit or determine what an individual does.  Society influences each person and gender roles shapes people in many respects.

            Gender Ideologies morph through an individual’s lifetime, and society slowly has been changing its belief on what is acceptable for men and women.  Traditional concepts of men as caregivers began to change during the mid 1980s when it was noticed that men were doing much more caregiving than they did in the past (Russell, 2007).  Conventional view of caregiving included women and mothers caring for both the young and the elderly.  Even though gender roles are broadening, Russell found that men are stressed and under pressure with the many burdens of care work (2007).  Although, it is also evident that men are participating in much more care work than they ever have in the past due to many societal influences including the ever increasing life expectancy rate.

            Another traditional view which has changed because of the expanding scientific knowledge is that women are less competent in math.  It is widely known that first talking Barbie’s words were “I hate math.”  These stereotypical beliefs influence young girls and affect their abilities in that particular field.  An article was written by Bonnot and Croizet (2000) which examines the particular labels associated with women in the math world.  It concluded that women who are engaged in mathematical occupations or majors do not hold a self-concept of their abilities being less than a man’s abilities, but rather those women who are not in those fields do hold to the stereotypical self-concepts of lowered abilities in math (Bonnot & Croizet, 2007).  Again one can see the beginnings of society’s ideologies changing into more relaxed roles of gender. 

            Because of these changes numerous instruments have been used over time to measure the degree of gender in individuals as society has changed.  In addition, a variety of styles are available for measurement as well such as photographic stimulators, written questionnaires, and many more.  One recent instrument is called the Social Roles Questionnaire which has shown that women are more likely to transcend traditional gender norm beliefs than men (Baber & Tucker, 2006).  Additionally, other pre-designed tests have been altered or revised in order to accurately measure current social gender beliefs.  The Male Role Norms Inventory (MRNI) is one such test that has been revised and now taking into consideration race and ethnicity in gender ideology (Levant, Smalley, Aupont, House, Richmond, Noronha, 2007).  As the knowledge base of gender views increases changes are in order for older tests to become more accurate in measure.  Moreover, The MMPI-2 has been revisited by researches on numerous occasions with skeptics questioning if gender roles can be predictors of psychological health (Woo & Oei, 2006).  It appears that the gender-masculine section of the MMPI-2 is a better correlate to psychological health than the gender-feminine scale (2006).  Interestingly enough it has been found that demographic information accounts for less than 6 % when compared to personality traits accounting for more than 20% in measuring well-being of an individual (2006).  With personality traits being much more complex than demographic, information research is still needed in order to determine which traits can be attributable. 

            The environment holds many powers that can pressure each individual shaping them into what society holds to be correct.  Young children are absorbing views of gender roles from their environment on a daily basis.  One dominant place among many where children and adolescents are forming their own variations of gender norms is at school.  School can either foster appropriate or inappropriate gender ideologies that influence the pupils that attend.  A Social Psychology of Education article discusses injustices in educational institutions especially in physical education that are dependent upon gender (Lentillon, Cogerino, & Kaestner, 2006).  It is shown that teachers in physical education classes spend one third of their interaction time with female students while spending two thirds with male students (2006).  The research concluded that “gender stereotypes may play a role in teachers’ assessments of pupils’ work and in teacher intervention, in particular with regards to biases against female pupils.” (Lentillon, Cogerino, & Kaestner, 2006)  Physical education and sports alike, gender expectations and beliefs have been and are still remaining sexually slanted toward the males.  Not only in the United States, but throughout the world competitive sports have remained focused toward masculinity and appear to be the arena for such a masculine display (McCabe, 2007).  Attempting to gain a better knowledge of where individuals gain their personal views of gender norms can lead to better understanding of various gender ideologies.

            Furthermore, gender role beliefs are viewed as being continuously changing throughout one’s lifetime and as more life experiences become evident alterations can occur.  Traditional gender ideologies affect children as young as preschool age, but as one grows older variations in gender norms are typically obtained by the individual.  Bartini (2006) defines gender role flexibility as “the transcendence of traditionally gender-typed traits, roles, and behaviors in the judgment of others and the self.”  She also notes that three factors appear to be attributable to the plasticity of gender ideology which include but are not limited to attitudes, self perceptions/preferences, and behaviors.  Therefore, attitude flexibility later in life seems to impact others’ personal gender role constructs that are influenced by environmental forces and beliefs.

            The way in which one labels themselves can be an indication of how tolerant they are to others in society.  Sociological researchers are particularly interested in not just the individual’s opinion of gender roles, but how those opinions influence the larger picture of culture.  Various studies and research has been conducted on gender norms and ideologies throughout recent history.  A “feminist”, is a label that has been hard to accept by the general public for a personal individual description.  Suter and Toller (2006) studied public opinion on why neither masculine men nor feminine females were likely to self-label themselves as feminists.  The feminist movement is supported by many, and their study reveals to what levels one will support feminism but reject the notion of being a feminist.  Inconsistency can be attributable in a range from individual previous experiences with the women’s movement to negative connotations and sex discrimination to the term “feminist”.  Suter and Toller found it important to examine society’s view of feminism and to what extreme one will associate them to the cause.  In general, too much association with the feminine movement appears to be viewed negatively or inappropriate on average.  Society seems to hold a presumed gender ideology that is expected to be known by its members and has drawn a line on which is too far to associate with an extreme view of femininity.  In addition, White and Black women also view the term feminine differently depending on their association with race (Cole & Zucker, 2007).  It has been found that White women who hold to more traditional female gender roles view and will rate themselves as less of a feminist, whereas Black women who are more customary rate themselves at a higher level of femininity (2007).  It is apparent that race holds to be an important factor in viewing femininity.

            So many influences impact one’s individual view of gender norms including society, family, sports, education, time, race, occupation, and activities.  Researchers have been intrigued by varying beliefs about gender and have attempted to conduct tests on finding those views.  Vast studies have been conducted and many more are appearing at the present time.  Determining and rating one’s ideas of gender has been a difficult task and will continue to be a challenge in the future. 

Theoretical Perspective

            Sociologists have consistently used the Super and Harkness’ theory of the Developmental Niche in order to understand how a child grasps their own views and behaviors.  The three components of the niche include the physical and social settings of everyday life, customs of child care and child rearing, and the psychology of the caretakers (Gardiner & Kosmitzki, 2005).  Parents’ attitudes and actions have been shown to reflect on children in positive and negative ways.  Children are constantly under the influence of those that have most contact with them.  Parents hold authority and meaning in their children’s eyes and are constantly being watched and mimicked.  In particular, the psychology of the caretakers focuses on what parenting styles are implemented, such as authoritarian, authoritative, or laissez-faire (Gardiner & Kosmitzki, 2005).  The parent’s value systems and parental cultural belief systems are also included in this section of the niche.  It is indisputable that infants to adults, parents have an influencing role in shaping their child’s life.

            The Developmental Niche Theory will be used to shape the current research on believed gender roles held by college students.  In understanding that parents play a vital role in the shaping of individual schemas, questions will be asked regarding parental characteristics.  Some parents may hold traditional gender roles such as the mother being the main caregiver in the family, and the father being the “breadwinner” for the family.  In contrast, some college students may have grown up in families where both parents worked or the father stayed at home to help with the children.  Encouraged activities from parents can also be influential, such as sports, dating customs, and appropriate household work.  The hypothesis that will be tested is that college students will express similar gender ideals as their parents and women will rate other women more strictly on non-traditional gender roles. 

Methodology

            The research being conducted observed what role family dynamics and activities as a child have on perceived acceptable gender roles of others in college.  The parental modeling theory explains how parent’s opinions, beliefs, and priorities play a major part in their children’s lives many times being reflected in their own child’s beliefs.  The unit of analysis being studied is on the individual level.  In addition, the population is from a Midwestern privately funded university (McKendree), which consists of male and female college students between the ages of 18-24.  The study was cross-sectional where all information gathered will be in the relative same time period.  A convenience sample of 72 students was taken from classes that vary from general education to specific major classes on the campus of McKendree University.  Furthermore, the data collection method being used is a self-administered survey and a PowerPoint slide of pictures [Appendix: A & B].

            There are different dependent variables including the respondents view of females and males in non-traditional gender roles in addition to the overall ranking of the masculine and feminine view of each picture presented [Table: 1].  A seven point Likert scale will be used ranging from one being “Not at All Feminine/Masculine” to four being labeled as “Undecided” and seven as “Extremely Feminine/Masculine”.  The participant will be instructed to rate their first opinion in response to the picture being shown on the Likert scale [Appendix B].  The dependent variable will be coded as the numbers increase and decrease according to the Likert scale that is provided [Appendix: B].  The pictures will be shown in 12 sec intervals and will consist of males in female roles, and females in male roles.  The pictures include, a male holding a baby, a male feminist, a male nurse, a male vacuuming, a male doing laundry, a female basketball player, a female firefighter, a female in the military, a female scientist, and a female changing a tire [Appendix: A].  Moreover, each picture will be rated by the participant on the seven point Likert scale and recorded by the number circled.

            Independent variables consist of attributes such as; age, sex, race, social class, family structure, and parental roles [Table: 1].  Age was measured as a continuous variable with the unit of years written in, sex was also be coded male:1 and female:2.  Race was selected by the respondent as African American: 1, Caucasian: 2, Asian: 3, and Hispanic: 4, an other category was also available to make the category exhaustive, however no one added a race.  In the survey recipients African Americans made up 9.9%, Caucasians 84.7%, Asians 1.4%, and Hispanics 1.2% [Figure: 1].  In addition to the race category, a dummy race was made determining Whites: 1 and Non-Whites:0.  Whites rated at 84.7% of the total while Non-Whites were 13.9% of those studied [Figure 2].  The participant will have the option of high, upper middle class, middle class, lower middle class, and low class which will be coded from one being low class to five being high class.  The socioeconomic status of family was then collapsed into three variables which were upper class, middle class, and lower class.  The distributions were as follows; upper class 33.3%, middle class 50.7%, and lower class 15.9% [Figure 3].  Family structure will consist of several questions; Have your parents/guardians been divorced?; How many times has your mother been remarried?; How many times has your father been remarried?; How many siblings do you have?; Did any other adult live with you growing up?; Would you view that you grew up in a single parent household?; If so, how what parent did you primarily live with?  In addition, parental roles will be examined in the following questions, Who was the primary breadwinner in your family?; Did both or one parent hold a job in your family?; Who was the primary childcare adult in your family?; Which parent carried out more discipline on the children in your family?; Who primarily took care of the inside household chores?; Who primarily took care of outdoor household chores? Furthermore, activities will include any organized event such as sports and clubs.  The participant will be instructed to write any and all organized sports and clubs they participated in while growing up.  Univariate statistics appear in Table: 2 which show measures of central tendency including mean, median, and mode along with measures of dispersion including standard deviation, interquartile range, and range were ran with all the variables [Table: 2].  The bivariate and multivariate analysis that were conducted on the received data included T-test, Pearson’s R, and a Multiple Regression. 
 

Table 1: Data Description

             Variable                                     Description                                   Measurement

Dependent Variables

Respondents View of Non-Traditional Gender Roles

 

(viewtot)

Collapsed variable which includes respondents rating of feminine and masculine view of non-traditional gender roles portrayed in pictures (Scores Range From 20-68)

 

 

Interval/Ratio

Respondents View of Females in Non-Traditional Gender Roles

(Fviewtot)

Collapsed variable which includes respondents rating of feminine and masculine view of non-traditional gender roles of females portrayed In pictures (Scores Range From 9-33)

 

 

Interval/Ratio

Respondents View of Males in Non-Traditional Gender Roles

(Mviewtot)

Collapsed variable which includes respondents rating of feminine and masculine view of non-traditional gender roles of males portrayed in pictures (Scores Range From 11-35)

 

 

Interval/Ratio

Independent Variables

Sex

(sex)

Sex of respondent, male reference group (0,1)

Nominal

White or Non-white

 

(raceR)

Dummy variable measuring Caucasian, reference group and all other races combined (0,1)

 

Nominal

Socioeconomic Status

 

(soceconR)

Dummy variable measuring socioeconomic status of respondents family (1 lower class, 2 middle class, 3 upper class)

 

Ordinal

Single Parent Household

(singpar)

Variable measuring if responded grew up in a single parent household (0,1)

 

Nominal

Traditional Held Jobs

(traditionaltot)

Collapsed variable measuring parents traditional held gender roles in family

Ordinal

Masculine Extracurricular Activities

(extraboy)

Variable measuring extracurricular activities held by a respondent growing up that are traditionally masculine

 

Interval/Ratio

Feminine Extracurricular Activities

(extragirl)

Variable measuring extracurricular activities held by a respondent growing up that are traditionally feminine

 

Interval/Ratio

Neutral Extracurricular Activities

(extraneut)

Variable measuring extracurricular activities held by a respondent growing up that are traditionally neither masculine or feminine

 

Interval/Ratio

 


 

 

 

Measures of Central Tendency

Measures of Dispersion

 

Variable

 

Mean

 

Median

 

 

Mode

 

Standard Deviation

Interquartile Range

 

25 %

50 %

75 %

 

 

Range

Respondents View of Non-Traditional Gender Roles

 

39.56

 

39.00

 

32.00

 

10.56

 

32.00

39.00

46.00

 

 

48.00

 

Respondents View of Females in Non-Traditional Gender Roles

 

 

18.10

 

 

17.00

 

 

16.00

 

 

 

5.67

 

 

14.00

17.00

22.00

 

 

 

24.00

 

Respondents View of Males in Non-Traditional Gender Roles

 

 

21.46

 

 

21.00

 

 

20.00

 

 

5.73

 

 

18.00

21.00

25.00

 

 

 

24.00

 

Sex

 

 

 

1.00

 

 

 

 

White or Non-white

 

 

 

1.00

 

 

 

 

Socioeconomic Status

 

 

2.00

 

2.00

 

 

2.00

2.00

3.00

 

 

2.00

 

Single Parent Household

 

 

 

0.00

 

 

 

 

Traditional Held Jobs

 

 

13.00

 

13.00

 

 

13.00

13.00

14.00

 

 

7.00

 

Masculine Extracurricular Activities

 

2.25

 

2.00

 

2.00

 

1.71

 

1.00

2.00

3.00

 

 

9.00

 

Feminine Extracurricular Activities

 

1.19

 

1.00

 

1.00

 

1.23

 

0.00

1.00

2.00

 

 

4.00

 

Neutral Extracurricular Activities

 

1.19

 

1.00

 

1.00

 

 

1.28

 

0.00

1.00

2.00

 

 

6.00

Table 2: Univariate Statistics


 

 

Figure 1: Race Distribution

 

Figure 2: White and Non-White Race Distribution
 

Figure 3: Socioeconomic Distribution

 

 

Analysis

            Bivariate and multivariate analyses were used in determining the outcome of the study.  T-tests were run in order to compare the means of the nominal and interval/ratio variables.  The dependent variables included respondents view of female and male non-traditional gender roles as well as the total view of non-traditional roles.  The dichotomous variables included sex, race dummy variable, and single parent household.  The results indicate a negative relationship in that if a respondent grew up in a non-single parent household they are less likely to view males in non-traditional gender roles as masculine which is significant at the .05 level [Table: 3].  In addition, it was found that those who grew up in a non-single parent household overall rated the pictures less feminine or masculine on non-traditional gender roles by a p value of .046 [Table 3].


 

 

Table 3: T-test Comparison of Means

Dependent Variable

Dichotomy

Mean

Significance (2 Tailed)

Mean Difference

Respondents View of Females in Non-Traditional Gender Roles (Fviewtot)

Male

Female

18.1852

18.0455

.921

.927

.13973

.13973

Respondents View of Males in Non-Traditional Gender Roles (Mviewtot)

Male

Female

21.5926

21.3864

.884

.891

.20623

.20623

Respondents View of Non-Traditional Gender Roles (viewtot)

Male

Female

39.7778

39.4318

.894

.902

.34596

.34596

Respondents View of Females in Non-Traditional Gender Roles (Fviewtot)

White

Non-White

19.1000

17.9167

.548

.617

1.18333

1.18333

Respondents View of Males in Non-Traditional Gender Roles (Mviewtot)

White

Non-White

22.9000

21.2667

.411

.530

1.63333

1.63333

Respondents View of Non-Traditional Gender Roles (viewtot)

White

Non-White

42.0000

39.1833

.442

.534

2.81667

2.81667

Respondents View of Females in Non-Traditional Gender Roles (Fviewtot)

Non-Single Parent House

Single Parent House

17.7636

20.2857

.136

.263

-2.52208

-2.52208

Respondents View of Males in Non-Traditional Gender Roles (Mviewtot)

Non-Single Parent House

Single Parent House

20.9636

24.6429

*.028

.098

-3.67922

-3.67922

Respondents View of Non-Traditional Gender Roles (viewtot)

Non-Single Parent House

Single Parent House

38.7273

44.9286

*.046

.144

-6.20130

-6.20130

*Significant at the .05 level

                In correlation data, Pearson’s R was ran to find associations between variables.  Significant inverse correlation results at the .05 level were found in that those students that grew up with parents that took on traditional gender roles viewed all males and females as less feminine or masculine when they deviate from those roles [Table: 4].  Furthermore the research indicates that those students who participated in more gender neutral extracurricular activities showed an inverse correlation with the view of deviation from traditional gender roles.  At the .05 level of significance they viewed deviation from traditional gender roles as less feminine and masculine [Table: 4]. 


 

 

Table 4: Correlation Matrix

 

Respondents View of Non-Traditional Gender Roles

 

Masculine          Feminine              Combined

Sex

(sex)

-.018

-.012

-.016

White or Non-white

 

(raceR)

-.100

-.073

-.093

Socioeconomic Status

 

(soceconR)

-.097

-.047

-.078

Single Parent Household

(singpar)

.165

.075

.129

Traditional Held Jobs

(traditionaltot)

*-.302

*-.285

*-.324

Masculine Extracurricular Activities

(extraboy)

-.115

-.091

-.111

Feminine Extracurricular Activities

(extragirl)

-.041

-.099

-.075

Neutral Extracurricular Activities

(extraneut)

**-.357

*-.242

**-.324

*Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level (2-tailed).

**Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed).

 

A regression analysis was ran on each dependent variable along with the independent variables.  It was found that for every unit increase in parents holding traditional gender roles there is a corresponding decrease in viewing males in non-traditional gender roles as masculine by 33.7% (Table:5).  The Beta coefficient was -.337 and the b coefficient was -1.147 for parents with traditional gender role  jobs.  The r square percentage was 24.3% which shows a strong level of indication for the dependent variable. 
 

Table 5: Regression Analysis of Respondents View of Males in Non-Traditional Gender Roles

 

Unstandardized Coefficients

B

Standardized Coefficients

Beta

Significance Level

Sex

(sex)

.436

.044

.829

White or Non-white

(raceR)

-3.38

-.193

.175

Socioeconomic Status

(soceconR)

-1.055

-.138

.357

Traditional Held Jobs

(traditionaltot)

-1.147

-.337

*.022

Masculine Extracurricular Activities

(extraboy)

-.388

-.131

.466

Feminine Extracurricular Activities

(extragirl)

.183

.049

.777

Neutral Extracurricular Activities

(extraneut)

-.930

-.218

.153

R Square= 24.3%                              Adjusted R Square = 11.7%

Dependent Variable: Respondents View of Males in Non-Traditional Gender Roles

 

In addition, when comparing males to females, males score 37.6% higher than females in viewing females in non-traditional gender roles as more feminine (Table: 6).  Furthermore, when comparing whites to non-whites, whites score 32% lower than non-whites in viewing females in non-traditional gender roles as more feminine (Table: 6).  It was also found that the more that the parent held a  traditional gender roles job  there is a corresponding decrease in viewing females in non-traditional gender roles as feminine by 26.4 %.  (Table:6). 


 

 

Table 6: Regression Analysis of Respondents View of Females in Non-Traditional Gender Roles

 

Unstandardized Coefficients

B

Standardized Coefficients

Beta

Significance Level

Sex

(sex)

3.804

.376

*.069

White or Non-white

(raceR)

-5.735

-.320

*.026

Socioeconomic Status

(soceconR)

.200

.025

.863

Traditional Held Jobs

(traditionaltot)

-.919

-.264

*.067

Masculine Extracurricular Activities

(extraboy)

.357

.536

.509

Feminine Extracurricular Activities

(extragirl)

-.513

-.134

.435

Neutral Extracurricular Activities

(extraneut)

-.359

-.082

.583

R Square = 25.5%                             Adjusted R Square = 13.1%

Dependent Variable: Respondents View of Females in Non-Traditional Gender Roles

 

When comparing whites to non-whites, whites score 28.6% lower than non-whites in viewing non-traditional gender roles as feminine or masculine (Table: 7).  For every unit increase in parents holding traditional gender roles there is a corresponding decrease in viewing non-traditional gender roles as feminine or masculine by 33.3% (Table 7).


 

 

Table 7: Regression Analysis of Respondents View of Non-Traditional Gender Roles

 

Unstandardized Coefficients

B

Standardized Coefficients

Beta

Significance Level

Sex

(sex)

4.240

.235

.241

White or Non-white

(raceR)

-9.117

-.286

*.042

Socioeconomic Status

(soceconR)

-.855

-.061

.673

Traditional Held Jobs

(traditionaltot)

-2.066

-.333

*.020

Masculine Extracurricular Activities

(extraboy)

-.031

-.006

.974

Feminine Extracurricular Activities

(extragirl)

-.330

-.048

.773

Neutral Extracurricular Activities

(extraneut)

-1.289

-.166

.262

R Square = 28.1%                             Adjusted R Square = 16.1%

Dependent Variable:  Respondents View of Non-Traditional Gender Roles

 

Conclusion

Much was found in studying college students’ perception of femininity and masculinity.  The original question of research was which sex tends to view non-traditonal gender roles as less feminine or masculine?  The research conducted indicates that males view females in non-traditional gender roles as feminine more than females view other females.  Furthermore, the more one’s parents adhere to traditional gender roles, the more likely their children will view others who deviate from those traditional roles as less feminine or masculine.  In conclusion there appears to be a link between family structure and the child’s view of femininity and masculinity.  The theory of the developmental niche was shown to be a good indicator of forming the ideologies of acceptable norms in children. 

Although, the research found significant correlations and figures, there were limitations on the study.  For instance, McKendree University is a small, mid-western, private university which could disrupt the data.  Furthermore, a convenience sample was taken and the survey respondents were not an accurate representation of the entire campus population or U.S. population.  In addition, the sample size was small and a limited amount of time and money was available for the study.

               
 

References

 

 

Baber, K., & Tucker, C. (2006). The Social Roles Questionnaire: A New Approach to Measuring Attitudes Toward Gender. Sex Roles, 54(7/8), 459-467.

 

Bartini, M. (2006). Gender Role Flexibility in Early Adolescence: Developmental Change in Attitudes, Self-perceptions, and Behaviors. Sex Roles, 55(3/4), 233-245.

 

Bonnot, V., & Croizet, J. (2007). Stereotype internalization, math perceptions, and occupational choices of women with counter-stereotypical university majors. Swiss Journal of Psychology - Zeitschrift für Psychologie - Revue Suisse de Psychologie, 66(3), 169-178

 

Cole, E., & Zucker, A. (2007). Black and White Women's Perspectives on Femininity. Cultural Diversity & Ethnic Minority Psychology, 13(1), 1-9

 

Gardiner, H., & Kosmitzki, Corinne. (2005). 3rd ed. Lives Across Cultures . Pearson Education

 

Gaunt, R. (2006). Biological Essentialism, Gender Ideologies, and Role Attitudes: What Determines Parents’ Involvement in Child Care. Sex Roles, 55(7/8), 523-533.

 

Kottak, Conrad P. Cultural Anthropology. (2006) 11th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill

 

Lentillon, V., Cogérino, G., & Kaestner, M. (2006). Injustice in physical education: Gender and the perception of deprivation in grades and teacher support. Social Psychology of Education, 9(3), 321-339.

 

Levant, R., Smalley, K., Aupont, M., House, A., Richmond, K., & Noronha, D. (2007). Initial validation of the Male Role Norms Inventory-Revised (MRNI-R). The Journal of Men's Studies, 15(1), 83-100.

 

McCabe, C. (2007). Spectators' Attitudes toward Basketball: An Application of Multifactorial Gender Identity Theory. North American Journal of Psychology, 9(2), 211-228.

 

Russell, R. (2007). Men doing 'women's work:' Elderly men caregivers and the gendered construction of care work. The Journal of Men's Studies, 15(1), 1-18.

 

Suter, E., & Toller, P. (2006). Gender Role and Feminism Revisited: A Follow-Up Study. Sex Roles, 55(1/2), 135-146. Retrieved October 22, 2007

 

Woo, M., & Oei, T. (2006). The MMPI-2 Gender-Masculine and Gender-Feminine scales: Gender roles as predictors of psychological health in clinical patients. International Journal of Psychology, 41(5), 413-422.


 

 

Appendix A: Power Point Pictures

Picture 1

Picture 2

Picture 3

Picture 4

Picture 5

Picture 6

Picture 7

Picture 8

Picture 9

Picture 10

 


 

 

Appendix B: Survey

Consent Form

The data collected from this survey will be used to further the knowledge of social beliefs in college students.  As a participant in this study you will be asked to complete the following survey as honestly as possible.  This survey/experiment involves minimal risk to you as a participant, but if at any time you feel uncomfortable you may choose to discontinue. 

Do not put your name on the survey.  Your identity in this study will be treated as confidential.  The results of the study and any gathered data may be published for scientific purposes but will not give your name or include any identifiable references to you.

If you have any questions or discussion contributed to the survey ask the instructor.  Please keep the informed consent for your benefit, and if at any time you feel that you need to discuss your reaction to the experiment please contact me.  Your participation will further expand the sociological field, and is greatly appreciated.

Thank You,

Emily Boudet

eaboudet@mckendree.edu

 

Melissa A. Barfield-Works, Ph.D.

mabarfield@mckendree.edu

Office:  Carnegie Hall 111a

(618) 537-6899     


 

 

Please rate the following pictures in order corresponding to your initial thought.

 

1.  Not At All                                                                      Somewhat                                                          Extremely

      Feminine                                                                                                                                                          Feminine

1                      2                  3                    4                    5                  6                7

 

2.  Not At All                                                                      Somewhat                                                          Extremely

      Masculine                                                                                                                                                       Masculine

1                      2                 3                    4                     5                  6                7

 

3.  Not At All                                                                      Somewhat                                                          Extremely

      Feminine                                                                                                                                                          Feminine

1                      2                  3                    4                    5                  6                7

 

4.  Not At All                                                                      Somewhat                                                          Extremely

      Masculine                                                                                                                                                       Masculine

1                      2                 3                    4                     5                  6                7

 

5.  Not At All                                                                      Somewhat                                                          Extremely

      Feminine                                                                                                                                                          Feminine

1                      2                  3                    4                    5                  6                7

 

 

 

6.  Not At All                                                                      Somewhat                                                          Extremely

      Masculine                                                                                                                                                       Masculine

1                      2                 3                    4                     5                  6                7

 

7.  Not At All                                                                      Somewhat                                                          Extremely

      Feminine                                                                                                                                                          Feminine

1                      2                  3                    4                    5                  6                7

 

8.  Not At All                                                                      Somewhat                                                          Extremely

      Masculine                                                                                                                                                       Masculine

1                      2                 3                    4                     5                  6                7

 

9.  Not At All                                                                      Somewhat                                                          Extremely

      Feminine                                                                                                                                                          Feminine

1                      2                  3                    4                    5                  6                7

 

10.  Not At All                                                                  Somewhat                                                          Extremely

      Masculine                                                                                                                                                       Masculine

1                      2                 3                    4                     5                  6                7

 

 


 

11. Sex:            M                     F                                  12. Age: _______________

  


 

13. Major(s): ________________________              14. Race/Ethnicity:      African American

                                                                                                                        Caucasian

                                                                                                                        Asian

                                                                                                                        Hispanic

                                                                        Other: ______________________________

15. Please mark the socio-economic class that best describes your family.

Upper              Upper-Middle                          Middle                         Lower-Middle                       Lower

 

16. Have your parents/guardians been divorced?                 N                      Y

17. Did you grow up in a single parent household?               N                      Y

(If no proceed to question 19.)

 

18. If so, how what parent did you primarily live with?

            Mother                                    Father                          Guardian

 

(If you answered #22 proceed to question 25.)

 

19. Who was the primary breadwinner in your family?

            Mother Figure             Father Figure              Both Equal

 

20. Who held a job in your family? (Mark all that apply.)

            Mother Figure             Father  Figure             None

 

 

21. Who was the primary adult that provided childcare in your family?

            Mother Figure             Father Figure 

 

22. Which parent carried out more discipline on the children in your family?

            Mother Figure             Father Figure

 

23. Who primarily took care of the inside household chores?

            Mother Figure             Father Figure

 

24. Who primarily took care of outdoor household chores? (Mowing, House Repairs, etc.)

            Mother Figure             Father Figure

 

25. Please list all organized sports and clubs you were apart in while growing up. (Basketball, Soccer, Swimming, Boy Scouts, etc.)

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

 

Thank You For Your Participation!


 

 

Appendix: C

Sex Frequencies

 

Frequency

Percent

Male

27

37.5

Female

45

62.5

Toatal

72

100

 

Race Frequencies

 

Frequency

Percent

African American

7

9.7

Caucasian

61

84.7

Asian

1

1.4

Hispanic

2

2.8

Missing

1

1.4

Total

72

100

 

Dummy Race Frequencies

 

Frequency

Percent

Non-White

10

13.9

White

61

84.7

Missing

1

1.4

Total

72

100

 

Socioeconomic Status of Family Frequencies

 

Frequency

Percent

Lower

2

2.8

Lower-Middle

9

12.5

Middle

35

48.6

Upper-Middle

22

30.6

Upper

1

1.4

Missing

3

4.2

Total

72

100

 


 

 

Collapsed Socioeconomic Status of Family Frequencies

 

Frequency

Percent

Lower

11

15.3

Middle

35

48.6

Upper

23

31.9

Missing

3

4.2

Total

72

100