ERIC Number: ED233399
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Gender Difference and Student Writing.
Flynn, Elizabeth A.
An exploratory study examined gender differences in writing in the essays of five male and five female freshman composition students. The findings suggest parallels between the writing and speaking behaviors of men and women students and between student writing and the work of male and female professional writers. The male students made few references to women and often wrote on typically "male" topics: gun control, nuclear power, or cars. In contrast, the women revealed worlds in which men were definitely present but they often expressed contradictory attitudes toward both men and traditional sex roles. The women described a more complicated reality than the men in that their conflicts resulted not only from their inexperience but also from their gender conditioning. Their settings were more frequently interior spaces, and their action was less assertive than that of men. Women frequently described accommodation to the environment rather than rebellion against it. This emphasis upon accommodation, forbearance, and caution was, no doubt, a result of the women's intuition that they were not to inherit the world they inhabited. There was evidence in the women's essays, though, of a desire for achievements of a kind not traditionally available to females. This tension between submission and a longing for assertion sometimes produced inconsistencies and ambiquities. As a result of their differing experiences and circumstances, men and women appeared to confront different problems in and adopt different attitudes toward their writings. (HTH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Researchers; Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Freshman Composition
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (34th, Detroit, MI, March 17-19, 1983).