Data heads unite!

All right, people, I need your help. Pronto.

Here’s the situation: I am presenting in Vancouver, and although I am a qualitative researcher at heart, I see the value of mixed methods and do like the idea of quantitative (supposedly more objective) data to round it out. To that end, I gave my juniors and freshmen the short form of the Children’s Sex Role Inventory. This psychological inventory measures sex typing and androgyny and consists of three sub scales – femininity, masculinity, and neutral. The long form of the test has 60 items and the short form has 30. The kids rate each statement on a 4 point scale, with 4=very true of me, 3=mostly true of me, 2=a little true of me, and 1=not at all true on me.

I could go into why this is valuable for what I am studying, but I fear it will take longer than I have and bore you. What I would rather show you are the results, which I think are fascinating, but I need some help with what you think they mean. If you have no statistical background, even better (I think). I think I would like to include these results in my presentation, if not directly, than indirectly by choosing certain students to focus on based on their scores here.

Here is a line graph displaying the results of the juniors (you can click on these pics to enlarge them):

In this graph, the blue lines represent the average on the masculinity subscale and the red line represents the average on the femininity subscale. So, student 1 has a 2 on masculinity and a 3.2 on femininity. My questions to you are as follows:

  1. Which of these students would you want to hear more about? Pick about 4, please, and it would be great if you could put them in order.
  2. What does this graph tell you? Give me your gut reactions. Based on what little or how much you know about my school and my general student population, does anything surprise you?

Okay, now here is a graph representing one of my freshmen classes:

The same key applies, but this class has 20 students instead of 16. My questions are similar:

  1. Which of these students would you want to hear more about? Pick about 4, please, and it would be great if you could put them in order.
  2. What does this graph tell you? Give me your gut reactions. Based on what little or how much you know about my school and my general student population, does anything surprise you?
  3. What strikes you about the differences or comparisons between the freshmen graph and the junior graph?

Okay? If you have further questions, fire away.

Ready. Set. Go.

The most helpful response will win a free, autographed copy of my dissertation…but probably not really.

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7 thoughts on “Data heads unite!

  1. Joan Pesola says:

    Graph #1 Question #1 Students 1,6,5,11
    ? #2 Why are there no scores below 1.9? Do the high scoring masculine responders consider themselves jocks?
    Graph #2 ? #1 Students 1,6,18,20
    ?#2 Doesn’t appear to be as much separation between their female/male sides. More consistency in the groupings
    ?#3 Is it because they haven’t had as much time “hanging” w/ all males as the Jrs.

  2. scottbooth says:

    Juniors: 1, 6, 10, 11. Here’s why, 1) The biggest gap with masc majority, 6) the biggest gap with fem majority, 10) equal, 11) highest masc. I’m surprised at an all male school that 7 out of 16 identify more with fem qualities than masc. Even moreso with the freshman.

    Freshmen: 6, 1, 20, 10. 6) Huge gap, 1) both below 2.5 20) Highest fem 10) Middle of the road. Even bigger surprise that 13 of 20 identify more with fem qualities. To me, that means that over the course of two years in high school, more masc ideas and feelings arise shifting the balance toward masc. So the testosterone bump at puberty influences how the respondents see themselves.

  3. Kara says:

    Juniors:
    2 – same score for both
    11 – highest fem score
    6 – highest masc score
    1- lowest masc score

    Tell me? Shoot I don’t know. I learned that connect the dot graphs are challenging for me to read. I have more of a pie/bar graph mind. I do gather that there is a continuum of gender expression that I am pleased to see in an all male student establishment.

    Freshman:
    1 – lowest masc
    6 – lowest fem
    20 – highest masc also fairly high fem
    2 – highest fem and lower masc

    Tell me? There is change between freshman and juniors in how they express gender. The freshman graph seemed more chaotic while the junior graph seemed more balanced. That change also tells me that high school is a good place to discuss gender expression. That curriculum could assist students in exploring gender roles. Alright I am trying to come up with a cool thought. I know there is one in my head somewhere, it appears to be in hiding thus I will end.

    Props to you for working in various data collecting methods.

  4. phdpes says:

    (From Brendan)
    JUNIORS
    I would like to hear more about…
    1,3,11,14

    My gut reaction is that this is an interesting graph about what traits a
    young mail identifies with. I am very interested in learning more about
    the boys that have the vast difference between the male and female traits.
    How does #3 or #11 who leans so female work successfully in the SJP
    environment? Why are the differences so great. Why is #6 so male
    driven and how does he feel about female and their role in his world?
    Does #6 want to live in a 1950s society where the roles were so set?
    What kind of upbringing did #6 have?

    FRESHMAN
    1,18, 6, 20

    1– Why is this person so low in both genders?
    18–Why did this person identify equally well in both at a high rating?
    6– Why was the female so, so low?
    20–Why is this person so high in both genders?

    This graph is a bit more typical of a 14-15 year old. They are too afraid to lean toward the femininity or break from the male stereotypes! This seems to be the norm so I want to see those that break far from the 2.5 to 3 range.

    I’ve noticed how the ups and downs are so prevalent in your junior graph but so in the middle for freshman. Why does the sex role change so much in only two years? Why or are these two years (15 and 16) so important in determining what gender a young male identifies with? Opinons are seriously formed between the time of both graphs and life experiences to match this shifting?

  5. phdpes says:

    Thanks for the speedy replies! I have determined that a) I have the most data, at this point, from my juniors, and b) I can probably only talk about a few students, so c) I will focus on juniors 1, 6, and 11.

    You’ve given me a lot of food for thought. Kara, I will be running statistical analyses on this data. Have you done any of these yet in your stats class? What kind of test would you run to find whether the difference between the freshmen and juniors is statistically significant? Of course, my very small sample size is a giant limitation.

    I am actually kind of enjoying this work. I guess I better be since it will be my life for the next year…

  6. Kara says:

    Hmm. I believe that’s on the syllabus for the very end of the semester. Remember anything about that from your stats class?

  7. phdpes says:

    Oh, I know the answer. I was wondering if YOU knew – always the teacher, I guess. Will you have to use SPSS or run any of your own tests? I have lots of notes on that – and I have the software program, too.

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