ERIC Number: ED385870
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Apr
Gender in Interpersonal Communication.
Pifer, R. Duane
Gender-related problems that need to be addressed in the interpersonal speech communication classroom can be broken down into three categories: awareness, involvement, and understanding. Awareness is the key to gender equity in the classroom. The faculty member has the responsibility to be aware of his or her habits regarding calling on individuals and to make sure students have the chance to participate if they want to. Understanding the role of a gender-sensitive instructor in the classroom is equally important. The instructor's awareness should be focused on the areas of language, classroom style, and responding to students. Language in the classroom can be easily handled by a simple exercise involving the students. The exercise deals with identifying sexist language, but in order to have an impact, this exercise must be conducted daily. Professors must try to keep the classroom climate open, both to men and women. Research shows that professors typically call on men by name more often than they do women; they are more attentive to men's comments and questions; they word questions as though no women were present; and they will even divert discussion to comment on a woman's appearance. After becoming aware of the classroom and gender-related practices in it, the professor must then involve his or her students in activities intended to raise their level of awareness of concepts and ideas of gender. One activity might involve a role play; another could involve group discussions in single-sex groups. (Contains classroom handouts on awareness of sexual stereotyping, and avoidance of sexist language.) (TB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Southern States Communication Association (New Orleans, LA, April 5-9, 1995).