ERIC Number: ED193137
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979
Communication and Male/Female Relations: A Behavioral Science Approach to Course Design.
Todd-Mancillas, William R.; Dennehy, Barbara A.
This paper discusses a needs assessment study undertaken to determine student attitudes toward womens studies. Specifically it proposes a male/female relations course and outlines a data-based approach for teaching a college level communication dynamics course based on the assessment. The needs assessment sample consisted of 481 students at Rutgers University. A 30-item questionnaire directed respondents to select up to nine high interest topics from a list of 20. Findings indicated that students were most interested in male/female roles and stereotypes, practical exercises to improve communication with the opposite sex, sexuality as an influence on interpersonal communication, and nonverbal communication differences between men and women. They were least interested in an historical overview of male/female liberation movements and research strategies for studying sex roles and communication. Findings also indicated that 53% of respondents would probably register for the proposed course and that there were few differences according to gender and/or academic major. A course based on this needs assessment set the following objectives: to help students understand role theory, consider the advantages and disadvantages of roles affecting interpersonal relationships, become aware of gender role stereotyping in mass media, recognize verbal and nonverbal communication differences between men and women, and be able to use behavioral science approaches to studying gender role dynamics. Activities recommended to achieve these objectives included keeping a journal, preparing written answers to assigned reading, discussing issues in class, and writing research reports. The document concludes with a copy of the course survey, the assessment questionnaire, footnotes, and additional reference materials. (DB)
Descriptors: Communication Skills, Communications, Course Descriptions, Course Organization, Educational Assessment, Educational Objectives, Females, Higher Education, Interpersonal Relationship, Males, Needs Assessment, Questionnaires, Sex Role, Student Attitudes, Tables (Data), Womens Studies
Department of Human Communication, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08903 (free plus $0.60 postage)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at both the Annual Meeting of the Communication, Language, and Gender Conference (2nd, Madison, WI, May 20, 1979), and the Annual Meeting of the Eastern Communication Association (Philadelphia, PA, May 5, 1979). Not available from EDRS in paper copy due to marginal legibility of original document; Appendices may not reproduce clearly from EDRS in microfiche.