Appearance and gender identity/role

L. Baxter, S.
(1983) Appearance and gender identity/role. PhD thesis, University of Liverpool.

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Appearance is a topic of universal interest. However, despite abundant popular speculation about its meaning and function, little in the way of systematic analysis has been undertaken. The present series of studies was designed to evaluate schematic aspects of appearance as they. relate to gender identity/role. They were carried out within the framework of the symbolic interactionist model. The purpose of the first study, with 32 boys and girls aged five to eight years, was to determine if differential schemata toward appearance occurred in young children. The subjects were interviewed individually using a preselected list of questions and they drew male and female figures. Findings indicated that both boys and girls held more comprehens~ve schemata in relation to th~ same-sex models. They expressed different expectations for patterns of dress: they used dress differently for fantasy purposes: they liked or disliked garments for different reasons. The second study used males and females aged 15 to 17 ye~rs in order to determine if differential schemata toward appearance also occurred in adolescence. Seventyfive students completed thequestionnaire. Findings showed that the girls had a higher fashion interest and a greater concern with their shape and aesthetic values.The boys considered their personality or parents to be greater impediments to their ideal images. The third study was composed of two parts. In the first part, 92 young female adults aged 18 to 21 years completed a questionnaire and had their photographs taken. In the second part, 24 young female adults in the same age range rated slides drawn from th~ previous group. The aim of this work was I.> to determine if individuals who varied on gender identity/role differed on aspects of appearance and 2.> to determine if some of those aspects were communicated to others. The results indicated that there were a number of differences between gender identity/role groups and that the communication of aspects of appearance was limited. Overall findings were discussed with relation to experimental and theoretical considerations and suggestions made for future research.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 20 Oct 2023 18:29
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2023 18:44
DOI: 10.17638/03175341
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