ERIC Number: ED381793
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
Writing and Difference: The Student, Gender, and the Text.
Scarboro, Cheryl B.
A study investigated the ways male and female fifth-grade writers compose short, open-ended autobiographical narratives. The research focused on whether students composed narratives reproducing society's prescription of reality according to gender roles, or whether they found their own voices, writing as autonomous writers representing their own worlds. The writers for the research consisted of 139 volunteer fifth graders from six public elementary schools in Jackson, Mississippi. All texts were read blindly. Six dependent variables (fluency, setting, theme, voice, content, and agency) were measured for observing writing differences between males and females. Results in each of these areas were as follows. First, fluency level between male and female writers were not different. Second, settings described were significantly different; boys were more likely to write about the public/occupational/outside world and girls were more likely to write about the private/inside/domestic world. Third, boys were more likely to choose adventure topics and women were more likely to choose familial topics. Fourth, girls were more likely than boys to write in passive voice, that is, one where their thinking is concealed and voice strives to please others rather than challenge society. Fifth, girls were more likely than boys to write about topics considered characteristically female. (Contains 33 references and 6 tables of data.) (TB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Jackson Municipal Separate School District MS; Student Empowerment; Writing Topics
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Mid-South Educational Research Association (Nashville, TN, November 9-11, 1994).