JLBC: Battle of the Sexes
Does gender affect the ability of a leader to work with groups? Do males and females possess different leadership styles? Some studies show a difference in the group processes between males and females,
with males being more task-oriented and females being more relationship-oriented. Some researchers disagree with this generalization. "The stereotype that men are confident, dominant, and task-oriented and women are
democratic, accommodating, and relationship-oriented is too simplistic and fails to account for many situations and influences" (Ellis and Fisher, 1994). This activity will allow us to examine any differences in the way genders interact in group settings.
Were there any significant differences in the results of the different groups? If so, what were they?
Were there any differences in the group processes between the different genders? If so, what were they?
How does this knowledge affect leadership styles and ability?
At what types of group skills do females tend to be better? Males? Why?
Why is the awareness of gender group behavior differences significant? How does this affect working in life situations?
Are males and females treated differently in leadership situations? If so, why?
OBJECTIVES: For youth to:
demonstrate possible gender differences in following instructions and completing tasks. Practice working with teams.
Compare and contrast the gender behavior in group situations.
LIFE SKILLS: Learn behavioral
differences between the genders.
Getting along with others.
Two copies of BATTLE OF THE SEXES Observation Sheet Pens or pencils
Watch or another timepiece
For each group:
One poster board
Pair of scissors Package of markers Bottle of glue
TIME: 30 minutes
Comfortable room with tables and chairs.
Ask for one male and one female volunteer. They will be observers; give each copy of the BATTLE OF THE SEXES Observation Sheet and have them read the instructions.
Divide the remaining youth into small groups based on gender. (Groups should have approximately 4-5 members; it is OK if there are more female groups than male groups or vice versa).
Pass out the supplies to each group and tell them they will have 20 minutes to make a house with the supplies they were given. The homes will be judged according to appearance, sturdiness, and size.
Allow participants to start. Have the volunteers walk around each group during the construction and make notes about the processes used and roles are taken within the groups (especially those regarding differences between genders).
After 20 minutes, have the two volunteers explain their roles and report their findings.