Presentation Type

Poster

Keywords

Psychology, Gender Roles, Communication, Emerging Adulthood

Department

Psychology

Major

Psychology

Abstract

What did you say? A common expression uttered by males and females reflects a potential lack of understanding between the sexes. Gender and communication is not a new area, but it is an under researched area within emerging adulthood. Traditionally, development progressed from adolescence to young adulthood, but changes in today’s modern society have altered the typical pattern of "growing up". High school graduates are no longer forced into adult roles—careers and marriage—but are able to spend their late teens through mid-twenties exploring a variety of opportunities (Arnett, 2007). As a relatively new developmental stage, emerging adulthood has not been studied as in depth as adolescence and adulthood. Communication differences abound in these two groups, so it is reasonable to hypothesize that similar differences persist throughout` emerging adulthood. Some research claims these differences arise because male and female are two different cultures (Tannen, 1990), while others propose that socialization is the basis for this male-female miscommunication (Kunkel & Burleson, 1999). A result of socialization, masculinity and femininity develop through reinforcement of gender appropriate behavior (Maccoby, 2000). It is therefore important to consider how gender roles might affect male-female communication. An online survey was administered to students from Pepperdine University. The survey consisted of the Bem Sex Role Inventory (1974), demographic questions, and six visual stimuli. Participants were asked to subjectively interpret the images by creating a short vignette detailing their perceptions of the images. It was expected that men and women would interpret the images differently. In addition to biological gender, gender roles were assessed to see if any correlation exists between level of masculinity, femininity, and/or androgyny and interpretations of the visual stimuli. This research did not have the means to explore this topic more in depth, but it would be beneficial to further explore gender and communication in emerging adulthood from multiple perspectives, including ethnicity, relationship status, birth order, sexual orientation, religion, etc. Continued research could potentially result in "decoding" or translating these male and female languages that seem to so often be misunderstood.

Faculty Mentor

Tomas Martinez

Funding Source or Research Program

Not Identified

Location

Waves Cafeteria, Tyler Campus Center

Start Date

21-3-2014 2:00 PM

End Date

21-3-2014 3:00 PM

Included in

Psychology Commons

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Mar 21st, 2:00 PM Mar 21st, 3:00 PM

An Exploration of Gender Roles and Communication in Emerging Adulthood

Waves Cafeteria, Tyler Campus Center

What did you say? A common expression uttered by males and females reflects a potential lack of understanding between the sexes. Gender and communication is not a new area, but it is an under researched area within emerging adulthood. Traditionally, development progressed from adolescence to young adulthood, but changes in today’s modern society have altered the typical pattern of "growing up". High school graduates are no longer forced into adult roles—careers and marriage—but are able to spend their late teens through mid-twenties exploring a variety of opportunities (Arnett, 2007). As a relatively new developmental stage, emerging adulthood has not been studied as in depth as adolescence and adulthood. Communication differences abound in these two groups, so it is reasonable to hypothesize that similar differences persist throughout` emerging adulthood. Some research claims these differences arise because male and female are two different cultures (Tannen, 1990), while others propose that socialization is the basis for this male-female miscommunication (Kunkel & Burleson, 1999). A result of socialization, masculinity and femininity develop through reinforcement of gender appropriate behavior (Maccoby, 2000). It is therefore important to consider how gender roles might affect male-female communication. An online survey was administered to students from Pepperdine University. The survey consisted of the Bem Sex Role Inventory (1974), demographic questions, and six visual stimuli. Participants were asked to subjectively interpret the images by creating a short vignette detailing their perceptions of the images. It was expected that men and women would interpret the images differently. In addition to biological gender, gender roles were assessed to see if any correlation exists between level of masculinity, femininity, and/or androgyny and interpretations of the visual stimuli. This research did not have the means to explore this topic more in depth, but it would be beneficial to further explore gender and communication in emerging adulthood from multiple perspectives, including ethnicity, relationship status, birth order, sexual orientation, religion, etc. Continued research could potentially result in "decoding" or translating these male and female languages that seem to so often be misunderstood.