The Younger Generations’ View on Masculinity and Femininity in Relation to Personality Traits<br />Amber Fonderwhite<br />
The concepts of masculine and feminine are not present at birth. Instead, these ideas are rooted in society’s definition that and individual learns throughout their life.<br />Children indirectly learn one’s gender identity by imitating the thoughts, feelings, or behavior of same-sex teachers, parents, peers, or same-sex models in the media (Coan, 1989).<br />Research and social role theory have suggest that people will use the norm expectation of their gender to guide their behavior and to act in accordance to social role (Vogel, Wester, Heesaker& Madon, 2003). <br />A study that was done showed that male and females often identify with stereotypical ideas of masculine and feminine. The results showed that women how higher self-ratings on the feminine factors and males had higher self-ratings on the masculine factors. (Coan, 1989)<br />Cultures around the world have their own definitions of masculinity and femininity. As Margret mead discovered in her study of three different cultures in New Guinea. (Kimmel, 2008)<br />Background Research<br />
The purpose of this study is to see if male and female teenagers of today still believe in rigid gender stereotypes when it comes to personality traits. <br />My hypothesis is that teenagers, especially males, will still have stereotypical views on what personality traits are considered to be masculine and feminine.<br />Hypothesis<br />
Methods:<br />A survey that consisted of a list of 52 personality traits.<br />Twenty-one of the traits were stereotypically “masculine,” twenty-one were stereotypically “feminine,” and ten were neutral.<br />The traits were then scrambled into random order on the list.<br />Next to each trait the participants were asked to write an “M” for masculine, “F” for feminine, or “N” for neutral depending on what they perceived the trait to be.<br />Subjects:<br />32 High school students<br />Average age of the participants was 16.5 years.<br />Method and Subjects<br />
The male participants labeled 11 of the 21 traits under the masculine category as masculine. (52%)In comparison, females said that 5 of 21 of those traits were masculine(24%)<br />Males labeled 13 of the 21 traits in the feminine category as “feminine.” (62%)<br /> Females labeled 10 of the 21 traits in this category as “feminine.” (48%)<br />Both the male and female participants labeled 8 of the 10 neutral traits as “neutral.”<br />“Being rough” (100% of males and 94% of females) and “aggressive” (88% of both) were the top rated masculine traits. <br />“Sloppy” was labeled “neutral” by 81% of females but “masculine” by 56% of males.<br />“Nurturing” (88% of males and 94% of females) and “emotional” (79% of males and 81% of females) were found to be feminine by majority of both groups. <br />Surprisingly, “easily hurt (emotionally)” was labeled “feminine” by 94% of females but only 69% of males.<br />The male and female participants had a few differing views on what they thought of as neutral traits. But seven they agreed on were: studious, irrational, cynical, carefree, energetic, and well mannered.<br />Results Pt. 1<br />
The results supported one part of my hypothesis. Male participants were more likely to identify traits as stereotypically “masculine” or “feminine.”<br />In contrary of my hypothesis the overwhelming response from both male and females for many of the stereotypical traits was “neutral.” I was expecting more stereotypical responses to the list of traits.<br />Lack of stereotypical responses may mean that the younger generations are pulling away from strict gender stereotypes.<br />If I were to do this study again I would like to create a more in depth survey and distribute it to a larger sample group. I would also like to include different age groups and compare the opinions of them all to determine if there is a significant difference in the responses. <br />Conclusion<br />
Coan, R. (1989). Dimensions of Masculinity and Femininity: A Self-Report Inventory. Journal of Personality Assessment, 53(4), 816. Retrieved from Academic Search Complete database. <br />Kimmel, Michael. 2008. The Gendered Society,Third Edition. New York, New York. Oxford<br />Vogel, David L., Stephen R. Wester, Martin Heesacker, and Stephanie Madon. "Confirming Gender Stereotypes: A Social Role Perspective." Sex Roles , Vol. 48 (2003): 519-527. <br />References<br />
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