ERIC Number: EJ831531
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-May
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 46
"You'd Be Good at that": Gender Patterns in Parent-Child Talk about Courses
Tenenbaum, Harriet R.
Social Development, v18 n2 p447-463 May 2009
This study examined the parent-child dyad as a context in which children's gender-stereotyped course selections are reinforced. Fifty four children from two age groups (Ms = 10.67 and 12.71 years) and their mothers and fathers selected courses for when children reached secondary school. Afterwards, children and parents discussed their decisions. Parents of sons selected fewer foreign language courses than mathematics, language arts or science courses, whereas parents of daughters selected fewer science and foreign language than mathematics or language arts courses. Girls selected fewer science than language arts courses, whereas boys selected fewer foreign language than mathematics or science courses. Although parents' course selections followed gender-stereotyped patterns for language arts and science, their discouraging comments were not confined to cross-gender-stereotyped domains. Instead, parents made more discouraging comments in general to daughters than to sons. Counter to the hypotheses, daughters made more encouraging comments about science courses than did sons while talking to mothers. The findings suggest that parents and children may show gender-differentiated preferences for children before children are old enough to make course decisions.
Descriptors: Parent Child Relationship, Interpersonal Communication, Gender Differences, Sex Stereotypes, Children, Course Selection (Students), Negative Attitudes, Secondary Education
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A