Research Project Power Point for Gender Roles in Society
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.
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,
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).
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)
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.
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
My hypothesis is that teenagers, especially males,
will still have stereotypical views on what
personality traits are considered to be masculine
A survey that consisted of a 32 High school students
list of 52 personality traits. Average age of the participants
Twenty-one of the traits were was 16.5 years.
stereotypically “feminine,” and
ten were neutral.
The traits were then scrambled
into random order on the list.
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.
The male participants labeled 11 of the 21 traits under the masculine category as masculine.
In comparison, females said that 5 of 21 of those traits were masculine(24%)
Males labeled 13 of the 21 traits in the feminine category as “feminine.” (62%)
Females labeled 10 of the 21 traits in this category as “feminine.” (48%)
Both the male and female participants labeled 8 of the 10 neutral traits as “neutral.”
“Being rough” (100% of males and 94% of females) and “aggressive” (88% of both) were the top
rated masculine traits.
“Sloppy” was labeled “neutral” by 81% of females but “masculine” by 56% of males.
“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.
Surprisingly, “easily hurt (emotionally)” was labeled “feminine” by 94% of females but only 69%
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
Traits in feminine cateogry labeld as Traits in masculine category labeled Traits in neutral category labeled as
"feminine" as "masculine" "neutral"
The results supported one part of my hypothesis. Male participants were
more likely to identify traits as stereotypically “masculine” or “feminine.”
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.
Lack of stereotypical responses may mean that the younger generations are
pulling away from strict gender stereotypes.
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.
Coan, R. (1989). Dimensions of Masculinity and
Femininity: A Self-Report Inventory.
Journal of Personality Assessment, 53(4), 816.
Retrieved from Academic Search
Kimmel, Michael. 2008. The Gendered Society,
Third Edition. New York, New York. Oxford
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.