Comparing and contrasting responses from men and women

Part I: Fieldwork

Take an informal poll of at least six friends, family members, and/or classmates (but not your peers in this class – they’ll know what you’re after!). Feel free to do this virtually, over Skype, Facetime, or Zoom, or via text or email correspondence. Ask the women if they ever wanted to be a boy when they were growing up. Note their reaction to the question. Then ask why or why not. Also ask the women if they were considered tomboys growing up and how they felt about it if they were. Record responses and observations.

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Ask the men if they ever wanted to be a girl when they were growing up. Again, note their reaction to the question. Ask why or why not. Then ask if they were considered sissies growing up and, if so, how they felt about it. Record responses and observations.


-no, scoffed. Never felt the urge, felt comfortable as a girl and embraced being a woman. She considered herself a tomboy to feel freely. Didn’t dress “feminine” because she didn’t want to draw attention to herself in Iran as a child.


-firm no. never crossed his mind. Was considered a sissy, bothered him because it made him feel weak and less masculine.


-Firm no. because she’s satisfied with who she is. Didn’t feel like a tomboy, embraced her femininity.


-*laughed* no. because he feels comfortable in his own skin. Felt as though he was not considered a sissy, because he feels he’d be disowned by his family if he were to be otherwise. In persian community.


-no. Like never not even a thought. Never considered a sissy, felt “normal”.


-did not want to be a boy growing up. Considered a tomboy, wasn’t phased because she was confident in herself enough to not care about other people’s opinions.


-firm no. felt comfortable being a boy, enjoyed many things that were considered “boy” as a child. Wasn’t considered a sissy because he did not consider himself feminine.

Part II: Reflection

Once you’ve completed your poll and records, compare and contrast the responses you received from women and men. What do you notice? Why do you think responses may have been the way they were? What do responses suggest about gender in American society?

Type up your Fieldwork notes and Reflections to turn in (formatting in a way that makes the most sense to you). In total, this should be at least 750 words (3 double-spaced pages).

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