Gender and Gender Equity Conference

Gender Equity Talks

Nebraska Union Plaza and Broyhill Fountain.

gen·​der eq·​ui·​ty  |  ˈjen-dər ˈe-kwə-tē  |  noun.
A structural and systemic concept allowing for the creation and provision of opportunities for people of all genders.

Welcome to Gender Equity Talks. This one-of-a-kind video series explores the emerging and vital concept from various angles: historical, contemporary, politically, academically, and socially. You will learn from well-versed expert presenters who are passionate about achieving justice across the gender spectrum.

Naeema Khatun

A study on good mothering: Expectations of Parenting by Gender and Relationship Status Among College Students

In the past few decades, the mothering ideology has become contradictory (Hays, 1998), anomic (Smithey, 2019) and continues as a prime contributor to the cultural and economic inequality of women (Crittenden, 2001; Doucet, 2000; Hochschild, 1989, 1997; LaRossa, 1986). Consequently, the behavioral content of what makes a “good mother” has become unclear although the vague expectations that a women should be a good mother are increasingly consequential and rigid.

This paper examines the normative, behavioral expectations of “good mothering” and the effect of conversation about children as a primary factor in the cultural transmission of the ideology. Data from over 400 college students enrolled in classes at two universities located in the southwestern region of the United States were collected on individual beliefs and expectations of mothers. The analysis examines these expectations as they vary by gender, race/ethnicity, social class, religion, number of children, and marital status.

In the past few decades, the mothering ideology has become contradictory (Hays, 1998), anomic (Smithey, 2019) and continues as a prime contributor to the cultural and economic inequality of women (Crittenden, 2001; Doucet, 2000; Hochschild, 1989, 1997; LaRossa, 1986). Consequently, the behavioral content of what makes a “good mother” has become unclear although the vague expectations that a women should be a good mother are increasingly consequential and rigid.

This paper examines the normative, behavioral expectations of “good mothering” and the effect of conversation about children as a primary factor in the cultural transmission of the ideology. Data from over 400 college students enrolled in classes at two universities located in the southwestern region of the United States were collected on individual beliefs and expectations of mothers. The analysis examines these expectations as they vary by gender, race/ethnicity, social class, religion, number of children, and marital status.

Jacob Vargas & Alexander Farquhar-Leicester

Anti-Transgender Rhetoric and Internet Commenting

Transgender and gender-diverse (TGD) people face prejudice, which is associated with psychological distress (Tebbe and Moradi, 2016). This study seeks to identify the arguments used to de-legitimize TGD identities online. Researchers will conduct a thematic analysis of anti-transgender comments on transgender-related articles taken from the Fox News, Buzzfeed, and The Hill websites. We chose to analyze article comments because a) users can edit comments, allowing them to articulate their meaning without the pressure of social interaction, b) the intentionality of aligning oneself with specific ideologies reveals attitudes, and c) anonymity and lack of consequences encourages honesty. A random number generator will be used to select articles published prior to the 2016 presidential election. Researchers will sort the comments from oldest to newest and select approximately 25 prejudiced comments from each article. The same number of prejudiced comments will be taken from each site despite the number of articles used—166 per site for a total of 500.

A commenter exhibits anti-transgender prejudice if they use language expressing negative affect (e.g., aversion) explicitly or implicitly toward TGD people. Lacking an a priori theory, we will use reflexive thematic analysis to analyze the data: it proceeds step-by-step, allows for an iterative process and so limits researcher bias, and systematically allows themes to emerge (Braun and Clarke, 2006). Examples of anticipated themes include gender essentialism (e.g., “Gender is biological”), and the belief that transgenderism is a mental illness (e.g., “Transgender people need therapy”). Much literature on anti-transgender prejudice relies on self-report and so is prone to socially desirable responding (Gerhardstein & Anderson, 2010). This study is innovative in its analysis of public comments that reflect anti-transgender sentiment and also shape societal rhetoric on TGD identities. We will present preliminary study findings as they relate to identifying misconceptions surrounding transgender communities and priorities for educational initiatives.

Transgender and gender-diverse (TGD) people face prejudice, which is associated with psychological distress (Tebbe and Moradi, 2016). This study seeks to identify the arguments used to de-legitimize TGD identities online. Researchers will conduct a thematic analysis of anti-transgender comments on transgender-related articles taken from the Fox News, Buzzfeed, and The Hill websites. We chose to analyze article comments because a) users can edit comments, allowing them to articulate their meaning without the pressure of social interaction, b) the intentionality of aligning oneself with specific ideologies reveals attitudes, and c) anonymity and lack of consequences encourages honesty. A random number generator will be used to select articles published prior to the 2016 presidential election. Researchers will sort the comments from oldest to newest and select approximately 25 prejudiced comments from each article. The same number of prejudiced comments will be taken from each site despite the number of articles used—166 per site for a total of 500.

A commenter exhibits anti-transgender prejudice if they use language expressing negative affect (e.g., aversion) explicitly or implicitly toward TGD people. Lacking an a priori theory, we will use reflexive thematic analysis to analyze the data: it proceeds step-by-step, allows for an iterative process and so limits researcher bias, and systematically allows themes to emerge (Braun and Clarke, 2006). Examples of anticipated themes include gender essentialism (e.g., “Gender is biological”), and the belief that transgenderism is a mental illness (e.g., “Transgender people need therapy”). Much literature on anti-transgender prejudice relies on self-report and so is prone to socially desirable responding (Gerhardstein & Anderson, 2010). This study is innovative in its analysis of public comments that reflect anti-transgender sentiment and also shape societal rhetoric on TGD identities. We will present preliminary study findings as they relate to identifying misconceptions surrounding transgender communities and priorities for educational initiatives.

Donna Rae Devlin

A Comparative Legal History of Sexual Violence and Coercion on the Nineteenth-Century Plains

In 1887, Annie Sadilek Pavelka, prototype for Willa Cather’s novel, My Ántonia, experienced sexual assault in Red Cloud, Nebraska. In 1895, Daisy Lammey of rural Smith County, Kansas, faced sexual coercion and then the accusation of incest, a legal ploy used by the accused to escape punishment. Regrettably, most scholars have failed to acknowledge this type of violence on par with the clichéd violence associated with the nineteenth-century West, such as gun-slinging, saloon brawls, and armed robbery.

Relative historiography also stops short of recognizing that women actively fought against crimes of a sexual nature by using the laws of their state and their local courts of law. Evidence of this exists in abundance within such courthouses of the Plains today, yet these legal files remain largely unseen and the histories unwritten, leaving the story of the American West incomplete. This presentation will expose the records of these courthouses as modern-day witnesses to the sexual violence and coercion of this rapidly developing region during the late-nineteenth century, expanding our knowledge of the developing legal systems of the West, and giving a voice to women forced to reckon with such violence.

In 1887, Annie Sadilek Pavelka, prototype for Willa Cather’s novel, My Ántonia, experienced sexual assault in Red Cloud, Nebraska. In 1895, Daisy Lammey of rural Smith County, Kansas, faced sexual coercion and then the accusation of incest, a legal ploy used by the accused to escape punishment. Regrettably, most scholars have failed to acknowledge this type of violence on par with the clichéd violence associated with the nineteenth-century West, such as gun-slinging, saloon brawls, and armed robbery.

Relative historiography also stops short of recognizing that women actively fought against crimes of a sexual nature by using the laws of their state and their local courts of law. Evidence of this exists in abundance within such courthouses of the Plains today, yet these legal files remain largely unseen and the histories unwritten, leaving the story of the American West incomplete. This presentation will expose the records of these courthouses as modern-day witnesses to the sexual violence and coercion of this rapidly developing region during the late-nineteenth century, expanding our knowledge of the developing legal systems of the West, and giving a voice to women forced to reckon with such violence.

Sage Volk

An Investigation and Development of a Comprehensive Self-Report Questionnaire of Gender Identity

The primary aim of this study is to understand the most salient aspects of gender for a wide range of unique gender identities and create a measure that captures these components. The first research question is: How well do the elements of gender identity identified in the literature accurately describe the entirety of an individual’s self-concept of gender? The second research question is: What features do individuals consider to be related to their self-concept of gender that are not identified in the literature?

We predict that gender is more complex than current measures of “gender identity” (e.g., presenting a list of identity labels that participants can choose from) and may be comprised of multiple aspects such as physical appearance, emotional expression, adherence to gender roles, among other aspects. Results of the semi-structured interviews will be discussed as well as future directions for this work.

The primary aim of this study is to understand the most salient aspects of gender for a wide range of unique gender identities and create a measure that captures these components. The first research question is: How well do the elements of gender identity identified in the literature accurately describe the entirety of an individual’s self-concept of gender? The second research question is: What features do individuals consider to be related to their self-concept of gender that are not identified in the literature?

We predict that gender is more complex than current measures of “gender identity” (e.g., presenting a list of identity labels that participants can choose from) and may be comprised of multiple aspects such as physical appearance, emotional expression, adherence to gender roles, among other aspects. Results of the semi-structured interviews will be discussed as well as future directions for this work.

Daniel Lino Plata

Queer-Related Language and How Privilege and Heteronormativity Have an Effect on Language Perception and Use

An online survey was used to determine the use and perceptions of queer-related terms by heteronormative and queer people. Research participants were primarily from the US, UK and Ireland. Research was conducted from a Queer Linguistics approach, discussing gender and queer theories as well.

Results indicated that there was an existing relationship between privilege and heteronormativity and a distinguished usage and understanding of language, which was heightened when comparing heteronormative and queer participants. Privilege relations within in-group LGBTQ+ people were established, considering their gender and sexual identities separately. This study indicates additional research on other variants of participants’ identities, such as age or race/ethnicity to see how these identities intersect and affect their use of language.

An online survey was used to determine the use and perceptions of queer-related terms by heteronormative and queer people. Research participants were primarily from the US, UK and Ireland. Research was conducted from a Queer Linguistics approach, discussing gender and queer theories as well.

Results indicated that there was an existing relationship between privilege and heteronormativity and a distinguished usage and understanding of language, which was heightened when comparing heteronormative and queer participants. Privilege relations within in-group LGBTQ+ people were established, considering their gender and sexual identities separately. This study indicates additional research on other variants of participants’ identities, such as age or race/ethnicity to see how these identities intersect and affect their use of language.