Analysis of Gender Norms in a Sitcom

Analysis of Gender Norms in a Sitcom

In this assignment, you will make an observation for at least 20 minutes and document the frequency of particular behaviors/variables that you are analyzing. Prior to your observation, you will make a generalized prediction or hypothesis about what you expect to see.

Options include (one of the following):

  • Choose a particular type of behavior to analyze (gender norms, dating stereotypes, homophobic biases, parenting beliefs, etc.). Watch a television program (a sitcom would work well) and spend at least 20 minutes documenting how often the behaviors that you are analyzing occur.
  • Analyze courtship behaviors for at least 20 minutes (be safe, social distance!). You can use reality television programs or bar webcams/livestreams for this assignment (such as The Palms Bar & Grill Samui in Thailand). What is the person’s posture like? Is s/he scanning the room and making eye contact with others? Is s/he smiling, sullen, what? How is s/he dressed? Please note: I am not advocating for alcohol use. This assignment is meant to be observational, and the setting is one in which courtship behaviors often take place.
  • Text analysis: Instead of doing an observation, choose a particular variable to analyze (gender norms, racial norms, etc.). Compare 5-10 pages of a recent sexuality text/article (must be something other than the textbook in this course) with 5-10 pages of a sexuality text/article published before 1950. Document how often your variable occurs. You may want to read the text once to get a sense of the tone and language used. Then, come up with a variable to analyze in the text.
  • Another idea (confirm with me) – as long as you are collecting quantitative data (for example, you could survey or interview people and analyze the data)


  • 6 pages, double-spaced, 1 inch margins, Times New Roman font, size 12 font (not including charts/graphs/images)
  • 5 scholarly sources need to be cited (AAA, APA, MLA, or another citation style you are comfortable with)
  • Report the frequencies of your variables (number of times or length of time). Examples below:

Behavioral Analysis examples

You can choose to report frequency or length of time (depending on the type of variable).

Behavior Number of times performed Frequency
Adjusting hair 4 5.2%
Smiling 23 30.3%
Laughing 5 6.6%
Total Frequency 76 100%
Behavior Length of Time Frequency
Adjusting hair 2 seconds, 3 seconds 0.04%
Smiling 10 seconds, 18 seconds, 3 seconds 2.6%
Laughing 12 seconds, 28 seconds, 14 seconds 4.5%
Total Length of Time 1200 seconds 100%

Converting time into percentages:

  • Smiling for 10+18+3 seconds = 31 seconds (out of 20 minute (1200 sec) observation)
  • 31/1200 x 100 = 2.6% smiling

Text Analysis example

Theme Number of times Frequency
Shame 2 3.7%
Moralistic tone 13 24.0%
Judgmental tone 9 16.7%
Total Frequency 54 100%

For instance, if you were analyzing flirting behaviors in your 20-minute behavior observation, you could document how often someone smiles, makes a joke, or adjusts hair. Alternatively, you could analyze themes instead of specific behaviors. So, if someone is analyzing homophobic biases, perhaps they’d document the frequency of comments that are judgmental, that are about appropriate/inappropriate behaviors in public, that are about gender roles, etc.

Writing Tips

  • If you are having a hard time meeting the length requirement, try to be more thorough with your observations or make additional observations to gather enough data.
  • Be descriptive and provide specifics such as “Rio could hear his coach call him to come on the field from a distance of approximately 50 feet with traffic noise in the background.”
  • Don’t worry about analyzing your data as you are collecting it. Focus on collecting the information you can to give yourself enough room for analysis afterwards.
  • Think about the tone of your paper. Do you want to be scientific/distanced or do you want to write something that is more of a narrative? The scientific approach is generally more formal and written in the 3rd person. The narrative approach tends to have storytelling elements in it and is written in the 1st person (sometimes including the author’s own reflections).


  • Introduction
    • Introduce your topic and discuss predictions/hypothesis
  • Background (2-3 pages)
    • Include background information and relevant research related to your topic
  • Procedure (1 page)
    • Describe the considerations you made in choosing your research design
    • Explain and describe the variables you are planning to examine
    • Thoroughly describe the setting or context of your observation
  • Results (1-2 pages)
    • Describe how you collected data
    • Draw from your field notes, and use rich, descriptive statements to discuss what you observed
    • Include actual frequencies/percentages, and discuss any patterns or trends in your observations
    • Include relevant charts, images, and/or graphs
  • Discussion (1-2 pages)
    • Discuss the implications of your findings – did your observations resonate with your predictions? Is there anything that surprised you?
    • Connect your observations to your background information and concepts discussed in the course
    • Discuss limitations and potential biases in your interpretations
  • Conclusion
    • Summarize what was found in your observation
  • Bibliography
    • Include citations for 5 scholarly sources
  • Appendix
    • Field notes
    • Spreadsheet/graphs

How to write about your observation – example:

Door holding is considered to be the issue of etiquette and courtesy. It is generally socially appropriate behavior to hold the door for the person passing next, however, in some of the cases the standard is not strictly kept which varies from the gender, distance between the people, and number of people entering or exiting. The following research focuses on the human behavior observation and seeks to identify in which cases the etiquette of door holding is followed or neglected. The reasons for abstaining from the ethical standard of holding the door will also be defined based on the observation findings.

The hypothesis in this experiment posits that most people will hold the door for a person passing next to them. Provided that the two people are located rather close to each other so that holding the door for too long will not put the first person in the awkward situation, both men and women observed will hold the door for the person passing next regardless of the person gender or age with, however, increased probability of the door-holding etiquette preserved between the two individuals of a different gender or age group.

The location of the observation was chosen out of the considerations of a popularity of the place so that more cases will be traced. One of the most commonly used doors in the campus was observed. The observer set 15 feet from the door. The total number of people that were entering or exiting was counted during the four hours. The observer also counted the number of cases of door-holding. Observer also noted the approximate distance between the people and the gender of those holding the door in case the first person exiting or entering held the door for the one passing next. Since the location is rather crowded, the observation procedure was kept secret from the people observed.

The total amount of people passing through the door in four hours was estimated to be over 300. The total number of a door holding cases was estimated to be 73 cases, out of which 49 door holders were of the male gender. It was noticed that the men in general, looked back or held the door more often than the females, whereas the arm extension behavior was similar between men and women. It was also noticed that in most of the cases the distance between people was rather close. Only in 2 cases out of the total number the person holding the door had to wait longer than a few seconds until the person for whom the door is being held approaches.

It was noticed that men are more likely to hold the door than women which can, in general, be linked to the socially appropriate gender associated standards of behavior. In general, it can be stated that the percentage of the door holding cases is rather high reaching almost 25% out of the general exiting and entering cases …

I have an outline with 5 resources. Let me attach the file.This is also in the instruction as well ^_^ Can you please read all the instruction before you start? Thank you very much

Answer preview:


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