March 29, 2017 - mh9868a

Commonplace 10: Evidence Should be Convincing

In my US Society class we had to find a sociological academic journal and write about it (Sounds familiar, right?). I chose an article about gender nonconformity in preschool age children in Maine (obviously I chose a study from New England). In her study “No Way My Boys are Going to be Like That,” Emily Kane argues that generally parents of many socioeconomic demographics are accepting of their preschool age child’s gender nonconformity. Kane does find a few exceptions to her findings, but for the most part parents in her study encourage their children pushing gender norms.

An ad depicting children playing with toys outside of their traditional gender norms.

I honestly found Kane’s results to be rather interesting. She claims, and has the evidence to back up her claim, that Maine parents are so quick to be accepting. While she did find that some parents had problems with their sons playing with dolls, wearing feminine clothing, and wearing nail polish, she still concluded that most were not opposed to that kind of behavior. Honestly, I sort of expected that outcome as soon as I read where the study took place. Maine is a rather liberal state, especially at upstate wealthy and private liberal arts colleges Bates, Bowdoin, and Colby. Similarly to AU, these schools are notorious for being liberal. Kane works at Bates College. Of course she would interview people around her and get a liberal result.

I thought that if she had extended her research to include the interviews of families all over New England, then she would have had stronger, more well-rounded evidence. Perhaps she could have interviewed more conservative families in western Massachusetts or even some parts of New Hampshire to hear parent opinion in those traditionally more conservative areas there. If Kane had presented diverse examples from more than one location, then I would have had an easier time believing her argument.

Commonplace Book commonplace / newengland / wrtg101s17 /

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