Learning objective: students will compare and contrast peers’ gender

Learning Objective: Students will compare and contrast peers’ gender role expectations for females and males.

For this activity, you will interview some of your peers about what they perceive to be gender role consistent and gender role inconsistent expectations. Read the Helgeson reading before beginning this assignment; you will be applying concepts from this reading to the activity. IMPORTANT: PLEASE CONDUCT THESE INTERVIEWS IN A SOCIALLY DISTANT MANNER (e.g., email, Skype, phone, etc.)


1. First, ask some peers if they would be willing to let you interview them about female and male gender role expectations. Tell them that it is for a class assignment and that you will jot down their answers. You do not need to report the interviewees’ names. Ask each interviewee to state their own gender identity (e.g., does the interviewee identify as female, male, transgender). Ask your interviewees about what they consider to be consistent with the female role regarding being feminine, expressing emotions, career choices, gender role in family relationships, how females should compare to men regarding power, what makes females look strong, and what makes them look weak. For example, a gender consistent expectation is that women take care of children. Also, ask them to talk about these criteria regarding what is inconsistent with the female role. For example, you might ask them what occupations would be inconsistent with the female gender role (e.g., construction).

2. Second, interview individuals regarding what is consistent with the male gender role regarding being masculine, expressing emotions, career choices, gender role in family relationships, how females should compare to men regarding power, what makes males look strong, and what makes them look weak. Also, ask them to talk about these criteria regarding what is inconsistent with the male role. For example, you might ask them about what emotional expression is inconsistent with the male gender role.

You may need to give them examples or ask them to clarify their answers. For example, you may ask them if career choice is a central goal in a woman or man’s life. You may ask the same about relationships and family.

Ask questions in a nonjudgmental manner. You are trying to understand what your interviewee thinks. Try not to influence your interviewees’ responses through approval or disagreement with what the interviewee says.

Here are some sample questions you may want to ask your interviewee:

1. How does a woman(man) express femininity(masculinity)? What is considered unfeminine(unmasculine) behavior?

2. How are women(men) expected to express emotion (e.g., happiness, care for others, anger)? What emotions are appropriate for a woman(man) to express? Are there emotions that women(men) shouldn’t express? Can you give an example?

3. What careers are women(men) expected to have? What careers are not consistent with the female(male) role? Do you think that career goals are central to a woman’s(man’s) life? What defines success for a woman(man)? 

4. What is a woman’s(man’s) role in her(his) family or home? Is it more important for women or men to have a partner?

5. What roles make women(men) appear powerful? Can you give an example? Is the female or male role associated more with power? Are there any roles that are not consistent with women’s(men’s) power?

6. What are some characteristics of a strong female(male)?

7. What are characteristics of a female(male) that make them look weak?

Written Reflection in Essay Form (about 2 – 3 pages, doublespaced)

3. What you are doing in the interview is accessing individual’s schemas about female and male gender role expectations. Using the responses from your interviewees, compare and contrast your interviewees’ responses to the female and male gender roles. Discuss what they consider to be consistent and inconsistent with each gender role. Use quotes from your interviews as examples. When you provide quotes as examples, be sure to report the gender identity of the interviewee for clarity sake. Do you notice any themes among your interviewees? To what degree were their responses stereotypical? Organize your written essay by beginning with an introduction. Follow the introductory paragraph with the comparison and contrast of the female gender role. Then compare and contrast male gender role expectations. Finally, provide a concluding paragraph. 

Your essay should be written in complete sentences. Do not use bullet points or list interviewee’s responses.

Underline and bold the concepts that you use from the Helgeson article. You should use and define at least 6 separate concepts. These are used to help me determine whether you understand these concepts (e.g., gender roles, gender stereotypes, or other concepts from the Helgeson article relating to theories. See Grading for number of concepts needed).


In addition to describing your experience, I want you to use concepts and terminology from the Helgeson article. Those students who use these often and correctly will create assignments that are “Superior” (6 or more concepts used). Five concepts used accurately earns an “Effective.” Four earns an “Adequate.” Submissions with no terminology usage, no theory described correctly, or who do not underline the terms in the text earns “Below Average.”  Use of correct writing mechanics (grammar, spelling, organization and clarity) are also criteria for grading. Please see the grading rubric for the activities that can be viewed from the submission screen.

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