Gender development in adolescence

This assignment has two parts: an activity with an adolescent and a scientific article review and analysis. There are no formatting requirements for the paper except these:

You should have a cover page with your name, the name of your specific assignment (see title above), and the date that you turn in the assignment.

You must use complete sentences and paragraphs in each part of the assignment. NO bullet points at all.

You should refer to the research article by either the last names of the author and the year the article was published or by the title of the article.

It does not matter to me if you complete the activity first or the review first, but please have the activity description as the first part of your paper and the review as the second part of your paper. You may use headings to differentiate the two parts from one another.

Activity with an adolescent

You should select 1 adolescent to help you with the activity. If you need help finding an appropriate adolescent, please let me know and I will offer some assistance. However, you must let me know at least 2 weeks before your deadline if you expect to turn in your paper on time. You can complete this activity in-person if you are sheltering in place with your participant or you can use Skype or Facetime or Zoom or simply the phone to complete the activity with individuals that you do not currently live with.

The adolescent should be between 13 and 17 years of age. You should collect and include in your report information about the adolescent’s age and gender. Make sure that the adolescent knows that he/she does not have to answer any question that makes him/her uncomfortable and you will not be sharing their responses with anyone other than your professor (and I won’t know who they are because you will not give their last names in your report). Then you will complete the following activities with the adolescent.

Gender Identity

For this activity, you will be asking the adolescent about how he/she views him/herself. Please record the answers to the following questions:

Do you consider yourself to be male or female?

Other than the biological (body) differences, do you feel that you have traits or characteristics of your gender? Which ones?

Do you have any traits or characteristics that may be more typical for the other gender? Which ones?

How do you feel about your gender typical or gender atypical traits?

What type of career do you wish to pursue? Are you in the majority or minority for people in that career (i.e. do more men or women have that career)?

Do you think that women should become firefighters or construction workers if they wish to be? Why or why not?

Do you think men should be nurses or elementary school teachers if they wish to be? Why or why not?

Gender Vignettes

For this activity, you should read the following story to the adolescent. Make sure to emphasize that there are no right or wrong answers to these questions. You are trying to see how this individual processes gender information, not determine if they have a gender bias. Please do not share your opinions unless you are asked directly.

Genevieve was born a typical baby girl. However, as she got older, she felt a strong desire to play more sports and with boy-typical toys, like trucks and blocks. She did not like dress-up or playing with dolls and she refused to wear dresses. She started to tell her parents that she was a boy when she was around 6 years old. She changed her name to George and now dresses exclusively as a boy. He is currently a junior in high school and is taking male hormones to appear more masculine. George uses the boy’s restroom, even though he has not had gender reassignment surgery yet.

Now you should ask the adolescent the following questions and record their answers:

Do you believe that George is a male or female?


Not all of the boys agree that George should use their restroom. What should be done about this?

Do you think George’s home environment or genetics played a role in his choice to become a male? Which one or both? How could that play a role?

Do you think the status of the gender reassignment surgery should affect whether George is viewed as male or female?

Next, read this story to the adolescent:

Susan has the genes to be male but has a rare genetic condition that caused Susan’s body to appear female. She was not aware of her condition until she tried to get pregnant and couldn’t. She went to a doctor, who analyzed her genes, and the doctor showed her the problem. Susan has always viewed herself as female but she isn’t sure how other people will feel, especially her husband. She did find out that Jamie Lee Curtis also shares her condition and she has adopted children since she could not get pregnant.

Now you should ask the adolescent the following questions and record their answers:

Should Susan continue to view herself as a female? Why or why not?

Should Susan tell her husband about her condition? Why or why not?

How do you think Susan’s husband will respond to her diagnosis?

Do you think that society should treat Susan differently because her gender identity doesn’t match her genes?

When you type up your report of the activity you completed, make sure to include as many details as possible about how you did the activities and the outcomes of each activity. Also, you should include your answers to the questions for the two stories in your report.


Finally, in a summary paragraph at the end of this section: discuss the adolescent’s attitudes toward completing the activities and how you think the adolescent performed compared to the “typical adolescent” described in lecture and in the textbook. How do you think life experiences might influence how someone views George or Susan? Do you feel the same way about gender identity and roles as the person you interviewed?

Scientific Article Review and Analysis

In this section, you will be describing a scientific research article and then discussing the strengths and weaknesses of the article and how the article tied in to what we have discussed in class, what you have learned from the activity, and your overall understanding of development. I have given you a pdf copy of the article that I wish you to read and summarize.

Once you have thoroughly read the article, you should write a summary of the article. Make sure to include the goal or hypothesis of the researchers, the importance of the research, a basic description of the methods and participants (total number and ages), and some of the main findings from the article. This summary should be at least a page long. You will identify which article you are discussing by referring to either the last names of the author and the year the article was published or by the title of the article. If you directly quote from the article but do not cite where the quote came from and the page number for the quote, you will not receive any credit for the summary!!! If you quote more than 2 sentences in your entire paper, then you will only be able to earn up to a 50% for the activity portion of this paper! You should make sure to write using your own words, rather than just quoting from the article because your own words show your understanding of the article much more than quotations do.

After completing the summary, you should include several paragraphs about the implications of the article and how the research ties together with the activity that you completed. In this part of your paper, you can discuss the research ideas. Are they good ideas? Do you see any flaws or aspects that they overlooked? You can also connect the principles in the article to principles from our class/textbook. How are they related? Do they conflict or do they reinforce the ideas that you have already learned?

Finally, you can discuss your feelings about the article itself. Did the article interest you? Is it related to anything in your life? Does any of the research change how you view the study of development? Does the research affect how you view the activity that you completed earlier? No reference page is needed.

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