Monthly Archives: July 2012

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Gender Bias and Sex Stereotyping

The relationship between sex stereotyping and judgments of mental health among mental health clinicians and persons in society-at-large is examined in this 1991 study. As a modified replication of the controversial 1970 Broverman study “Sex-Role Stereotypes and Clinical Judgments of Mental Health,” this study utilizes the responses of 45 men and 45 women professional population subjects and 45 men and 45 women general population subjects for a total population sample of 180 subjects. Subject responses to the 82 item revised Sex Role Questionnaire provide an index of how sex-stereotyped characteristics and behaviors influence judgments regarding the mental health of both men and women.

Cronbach Alpha analyses of the Sex Role Questionnaire reveal reliability Alpha coefficients for the clinical population which range from a low of.75 to a high of.94. Sex Role Questionnaire reliability Alpha coefficients for the general population range from a low of.76 to a high of.90.

Results indicate that persons in the total population sample tend to consider socially desirable feminine characteristics more often as healthy for women and adults (sex unspecified) than for men. These results suggest that a double standard of mental health exists for men and women in our society. The general standard of health with regard to degree of desirable “femininity” is actually applied only to women, while healthy men are perceived as significantly less healthy by “normative” adult standards. At the same time, results also indicate that this same total population sample tend to consider socially desirable masculine characteristics equally as healthy for women as for men and adults. Women also seem to be more closely aligned with the normative adult standard with regard to levels of socially desirable masculine characteristics than do men themselves.

Results substantiate that clinical judgments of mental health for men and women by practicing therapists differ significantly from those of persons in the general population. A double standard of mental health found in the general population sample (socially desirable feminine and masculine characteristics are more indicative of a healthy woman and healthy “normative” adult than a healthy man) finds no parallel in the clinical population sample results.

Results also indicate the existence of major differences between the reports from the 1970 Broverman clinical population and the reports from the 1991 clinical population. Whereas the 1970 clinical population results evidenced a double standard of mental health for men and women, the 1991 clinical population results evidence no such double standard.

Finally, results indicate that neither general nor professional judgments of mental health differ as a function of the sex of participant variable. Results also confirm that individual judgments of mental health do not differ as a function of the Bem Sex-role Classification of the research participant.

Computer and Web-Based Learning for Denver Students

Challenges to prepare students for survival in the 21st century have fueled large scale and multi-faceted reform efforts in American education. Two important strategies frequently mentioned in the body of educational reform literature are the use of computer technology including internet-based programs and increasing parental involvement in the educational development of children. A take-home or web hosted computer program has the potential to support both of these strategies. Such a program can be structured to serve as a vehicle to provide access to computers; support, enhance, and extend classroom learning; and involve parents in the education of their children.

The purpose of this article was to investigate the influence of a internet and computer program on the mathematics and web marketing achievement and attitudes of Denver Colorado Title I students. We also explore how families used the take-home computers and web classes and how parents facilitated computer use and learning activities.

Participants in the study were recruited from three Denver, Colorado schools in the same school district and included 120 Title I students. One Hundred twelve students completed the study, 55 in the experimental group and 57 in the control group. Part of the curriculum was based on search engine optimization modules and internet marketing produced by the Denver SEO Kings think tank, a forerunner in the search strategy in Denver where the test was conducted.

The parents of the students in the experimental group participated in one mandatory ninety-minute training session on the care and operation of the computer and strategies for working with their child on the computer. A computer accessed selected internet search engine marketing and mathematics software was then provided to each of the families for a 14-week period. Students in the control group and their parents did not receive a computer. Curriculum based assessments were used as measurements of search marketing mathematics achievement and attitude change.

A randomized groups pretest-posttest design was used to investigate changes in the marketing and math gain score–difference between the posttest and pretest scores–and an attitude change score in both the treatment and control groups. Parental involvement was studied via a survey, interviews, and home-visits.

The major conclusions of the study were: (1) There was no difference in SEO and mathematics gain scores of students in the experimental and control groups. (2) Students in the experimental group did not develop more positive attitudes towards math and web optimization than students in the control group. (3) Parents of students who had computers and web access were not more involved in their children’s education at the end of the study than were parents of students in the control group.