Literacy in the College Classroom: Gendered Perceptions of Reading, Writing, Revision, and Grammar

Epting, L. Kimberly; Rand, Lizabeth A.; D'Antuono, Hayley L.
December 2014
North American Journal of Psychology;Dec2014, Vol. 16 Issue 3, p537
Academic Journal
This study investigated students' perceptions of various literacy activities in terms of the following qualities: usefulness, coolness, difficulty, stimulation, as well as masculine/feminine and girlish/boyish. A total of 377 students from two liberal arts colleges participated in the study. Participants completed a survey in which they rated four literacy activities - reading, writing, revision, and grammar - on six semantic differential scales. Although gender differences in ratings depended upon the literacy activity, generally, males indicated activities as roughly gender neutral, while females indicated them to be somewhat-feminine/ feminine. Furthermore, males rated revision and reading less useful than did females, and males rated reading and writing as less cool and less stimulating in comparison to females. These findings suggest that male and female students do, in fact, view at least some literacy activities differently, with males somewhat more likely to perceive literacy in less positive terms and as less connected to their own gendered identities.


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