Previous research provides evidence that women's and gender studies (WGS) classes are successful in helping students to develop more egalitarian gender role attitudes, appreciation and acceptance of diversity, awareness of sexism and other social inequities, and agentic self-confidence in both women and men. The mechanisms by which these changes take place were the focus of this study. WGS students (n = 328) from 23 classes on four college campuses participated. Results indicated that (a) student readiness (positive WGS class expectations and capacity for positive interpersonal relationships) predicted the development of alliances with teachers and cohesion with classmates, (b) alliance and cohesion were associated with changes toward more egalitarian attitudes, (c) cohesion was associated with increases in confidence, and (d) links between student readiness and change were mediated by alliance and cohesion developed within the WGS classroom.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 18, 2004
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