University of Twente Student Theses


Gender Differences in Informativity of Parent-Child Conversations in Zoo Visits

Lang, C.A.L. (2023) Gender Differences in Informativity of Parent-Child Conversations in Zoo Visits.

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Full Text Status:Access to this publication is restricted
Embargo date:25 July 2025
Abstract:In STEM-related fields, the gender ratio of men to women is unbalanced. Females are underrepresented even though activities in and outside of schools are being implemented to create balance. Before these activities can have an influence, parents already impact their children's interests. Previous studies have shown that parents tend to use more scientific terminology in interactions with boys than in conversations with girls, which impacts the learning gain and, therefore, indirectly, the child's interest. This research aims to gain insight into parental responses and dialogues with girls and boys when they visit a zoo, an informal biology activity. A sequential lag analysis calculated the transition probability of 233 family conversations. The probabilities were compared to each other based on the informativity of the utterances and gender. The results showed more informative responses based on informative utterances in zoo locations with interactive material than in those with non-interactive material. Furthermore, parents responded more informatively toward girls compared to boys. This finding was present in the non-interactive location. However, no significant difference was found in the interactive location. It can be argued that the results are related to parents' gender-stereotyped assumptions about their child's interests in biology. Furthermore, it is possible to conclude that the interactivity of the information presented influences gender-equal parental behavior. Future research should explore the influence of parental stereotypical thinking.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:01 general works, 02 science and culture in general, 05 communication studies, 10 humanities in general, 42 biology, 70 social sciences in general, 77 psychology, 80 pedagogy, 81 education, teaching
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
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