What do measures of gender identity tell us about gender identity over time? (2024)

Authors: Ellena Fisher, Srah Wright and Cora Sargeant
Published: 2024
Publication: British Journal of Developmental Psychology

Gender identity is a multifaceted concept and is represented by a wide range of measures and constructs including both self-report and researcher observations of preferences and behaviours. However, despite their similar theoretical underpinning, gender identity measures are rarely found to correlate with one another, and contrasting patterns and trajectories are often found for each construct (Egan & Perry, Developmental Psychology37, 2001, 451). Therefore, this systematic review aimed to present a review of the longitudinal research evidence surrounding gender identity development in the absence of formal intervention. Using a systematic search strategy, 21 studies were identified. Narrative synthesis was used to synthesize the data collected in these studies and trajectories were explored for (1) self-identification measures of gender identity, (2) clothing preferences, (3) peer preferences, and (4) object/activity preferences. Overall, the results of this systematic review are consistent with wider research suggesting that distinct developmental patterns can be observed when using different constructs and measures of gender identity.

Fisher, E., Wright, S., & Sargeant, C. (2024) What do measures of gender identity tell us about gender identity over time? British Journal of Developmental Psychology, https://doi.org/10.1111/bjdp.12491

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Exploring the impact of gender identity and stereotypes on secondary pupils’ computer science enrolment interest (2023)

Authors: Eleanor Beck, Cora Sargeant and Sarah Wright
Published: 2023
Publication: International Journal of Gender, Science and Technology

There is an underrepresentation of women working in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) industries. Initiatives to encourage greater diversity in STEM have been less successful in computer science. This research investigates whether identification with gender stereotypes (defined as the extent to which one identifies with stereotypical masculine or feminine traits) and other factors predict enrolment interest in computer science and whether stereotypical cues impact on these relationships. British secondary school students were shown either a stereotypical or a non-stereotypical computer science classroom and completed measures assessing their identification with gender stereotypes, enrolment interest, belonging, stereotype threat, self-efficacy and utility value. Femininity significantly predicted lower enrolment interest and this relationship appeared to be mediated by stereotype threat. This study extends previous research by showing that young peoples’ identification with gender stereotypes predicts enrolment interest to some degree. We highlight the need to challenge persistent stereotypes regarding who best ‘fits’ computer science.

Beck, E., Sargeant, C. & Wright, S. (2023) Exploring the impact of gender identity and stereotypes on secondary pupils’ computer science enrolment interest (2023). International Journal of Gender, Science and Technology, 15(1), 48–71.

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“If You’re Not Yourself, Who are You Going to be?” an Exploration of Gender and Sexuality Diverse Pupils Experiences of Visibility Management in School: A Systematic Literature Review (2023)

Authors: Cleo Timney, Sarah Wright, and Cora Sargeant
Published: 2023
Publication: Journal of Homosexuality

Like all young people (YP), those who are gender and sexuality diverse (GSD) spend their youth exploring and discovering their identities; but unlike their peers, they must consider whether, how, and when to disclose their GSD identity to others in a dynamic process of visibility management (VM). At school, GSD YP actively test social reactions, interpret attitudes, and assess safety, ultimately seeking belonging as their authentic selves. Our systematic review explored findings from 16 qualitative studies capturing GSD YPs experiences of managing visibility in schools internationally. Data were thematically synthesized, and seven themes were constructed. The process of visibility management is fluid, a negotiation with social norms that GSD YP’s very existence transgresses. YP search for, and through activism actively shape, accepting environments in which they can safely be their authentic selves. GSD YP are actively asking school staff for help in creating open communities where all YP can find a place to belong, to fight to be visible. We offer some suggestions for how we might begin.

Timney, C., Wright, S. & Sargeant, C. (2023) “If You’re Not Yourself, Who are You Going to be?” an Exploration of Gender and Sexuality Diverse Pupils Experiences of Visibility Management in School: A Systematic Literature Review (2023). Journal of Homosexuality, DOI: 10.1080/00918369.2023.2246616

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