ERIC Number: ED214677
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Sex Roles and Statuses in Peer Interactions in Elementary Schools.
This longitudinal study investigated the frequency and type of cross-sex peer interactions which occurred in six first grade classrooms. The effects of task structures (or patterns of instructional organization), and the impact of the racial composition of the classrooms on the frequency and type of cross-sex interactions were also explored. Ethnographic observations were completed in 30 to 90 minute sessions over a 5 or 6 month period in each classroom. Results revealed the following: (1) a child's gender had a systematic effect on his or her peer relationships, with girls playing supportive roles and having less social power in their interchanges with boys; (2) classroom organizational patterns, while influencing the frequency of cross-sex interactions, had little effect on the quality of these interactions; and (3) majority-black classrooms displayed more egalitarian interchanges between male and female students. In general, these results provide support for the study's hypotheses that within classrooms, cross-sex peer interactions would mirror traditional sex role relationships among males and females, and that female students would have less social power than males in peer interchanges. Implications of the study's results for the design of effective programs to achieve sex and race equality are discussed. (Author/MP)
Descriptors: Behavior Patterns, Class Organization, Classroom Environment, Classroom Observation Techniques, Classroom Research, Elementary Education, Elementary School Students, Ethnography, Grade 1, Helping Relationship, Longitudinal Studies, Peer Relationship, Racial Differences, Sex Bias, Sex Role, Social Stratification, Teacher Role
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Mental Health (DHHS), Rockville, MD.
Authoring Institution: Michigan Univ., Ann Arbor. Dept. of Sociology.
Identifiers: Coding; Power
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New York, NY, March 19-23, 1982).