Gender and Development

The study of gender cuts across many disciplines and, all ages, includes diverse methodologies, and requires complex ways of thinking about gender beyond biological sex. Faculty and students in HDFS are ideally situated to study this topic from a multi-disciplinary, lifespan perspective. HDFS graduate students interested in gender collaborate with faculty on a number of different projects, including those that examine gender role attitudes, work and family issues and policies, sibling relationships, stay at home fathers, body image and disordered eating, aggressive behavior, sexuality and romantic relationships, and aging and gender. In their research, faculty ask questions such as, When do fathers exit the labor force to care for children and how do couple-level, neighborhood, and peer factors influence their adaptation to this experience? What is the link between girls’ weight status and their developing sense of self during middle childhood? How are family gender dynamics connected to the choices girls and boys make later in adolescence in the areas of education, career, and family formation? How do college students’ beliefs about gender roles explain their behavior in romantic and sexual relationships?

Researchers in the department who study issues of gender use a range of methodological techniques, including survey methodology, daily diaries, physiological data, videotaped observations, and ethnography. Projects include families with both parents and multiple offspring, longitudinal designs, individuals from diverse ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds, individuals from across the lifespan, and both human participants and animal subjects. Students involved in this research have access to expertise across a number of other College and university-wide units, including the Center for Healthy Aging, the Population Research Institute, and the Center for Childhood Obesity Research.

HDFS Faculty who study gender and development:

Leann Birch

Ann Crouter

Tony D'Augelli

Kathryn Hynes

Eva Lefkowitz

Susan McHale

Emilie Smith