INTRODUCTION Self-Esteem Among College Students With Respect To Gender Self-esteem among college students has been an issue when it comes to gender. A study done by Seifert and Miller (1988) states that males are judged less harshly than females, which in turn causes femalesí performance and behavior to be evaluated negatively which decreases their self-esteem. From as far back as you can think of, starting with grade school to the present, self-esteem has been around and has always been of some concern. When you were younger you never thought about self-esteem and what it meant or even how it could possibly shape you as a person. As you got older, self-esteem started to become of some importance on how you viewed yourself especially when your peers started to have an influence or impact on your life. Self-esteem can be measured in many different ways. One way would be measured through the individualsí leadership and attitudes. A researcher (Canary & Hause, 1993) found gender scales traditionally used to measure masculinity do predict leadership. Another researcher went on to say that women are less likely to be pre-selected as leaders and the same leadership behavior is often evaluated more positively when attributed to a male than a female (Butler & Geis, 1990). With that in mind, you could say that women have lower self-esteem than men when it comes to leadership. One other way self-esteem can be measured is by performance in the academic field. If someone doesnít excel as well as others in academics then that could lower a personís self-esteem. Academically, self-esteem does matter and is just as important as personal characteristics. It is said that males tend to exceed in certain subjects, such as, math more females, which boost the males self-esteem as a whole to a higher level. When it comes down to it, self-esteem affects the genders in more ways than one. To each gender as a whole, self-esteem comes more or less depending on circumstances, situations, and settings. The purpose of this study is to see how self-esteem affects the genders and to compare the different levels of self-esteem to see who has a higher or lower self-esteem level.
Two groups of college aged subjects, exactly 20 males and 20 females between the ages of 18-23 from which data was collected. They were randomly chosen.
Paper and pencil assessment was given in the form of a questionnaire made by the researcher. The assessment consisted of a likert type scale version of the Finley self-esteem scale (Finley, 2005) which was distributed (see Appendix A).
The participants were divided into two groups, one male group and one female group. The scale was administered. They were asked to answer honestly. The questionnaire was administered to the participants randomly. From the collected responses of the data a comparison was done to see which gender had higher or lower self-esteem overall as a whole.
RESULTS An Independent Samples t Test was calculated comparing the mean score of the malesí self-esteem levels to the mean score of the femalesí self-esteem levels. No significant difference was found (t (38)=.673, p=.505). The mean of the males (m=29.5, sd=7.01) was not significantly different from the mean of the females (m=28, sd=7.53).
DISCUSSION From the data collected, we found that there was no significant difference between males and females on their levels of self-esteem. From the females, we saw that they had similar self-esteem levels among the different ages. Although the 19 or younger seemed to have slightly higher self-esteem. The results did not go along with the hypothesis that was stated as males having better or higher self-esteem than females. The relationship to the literature, as brought up by the professionals, seemed to be consistent throughout the study and with the data collection. Some limitations that came about from the study were that there could have been more than just one area from which the participants where chosen and from where the data was collected, such as going to other colleges and universities. In addition, I think that the ages of the participants had little to do with whether or not they had high or low self-esteem. Some generalities of the study were that the younger participants had higher self-esteem compared to those who were older. One situation that could contribute to the external validity would be family factors and how they might encourage or discourage self-esteem in the household. Another one might be the college students individual experiences that might have caused them to distribute high or low self-esteem among themselves. If a third study was conducted, one thing I would do would be to add ethnicity to the study and see if race makes a difference or has an impact on self-esteem along with gender among college students.
REFERENCES Butler, D., & Geis, F.L. (1990). Nonverbal affect responses to male and female leaders: Implications for leadership evaluations. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 58, 48-59.Canary, D.J., & Hause, K.S. (1993). Is there any reason to research sex differences in communication? Communication Quarterly, 41, 129-144.Seifert, C. & Miller, C.E., (1988). Subordinatesí perceptions of leaders in task-performing dyads: Effects on sex of leader and subordinate, method of leader selection, and performance feedback. Sex Roles, 19, 13-28.
APPENDIX Appendix ARespond to each statement by circling how much on the scale you actually agree or disagree with each statement. Please answer truthfully and honestly.
SA=Strongly Agree A=Agree D=Disagree SD=Strongly Disagree1. On the whole, I am satisfied with myself. SA A D SD2. At times, I think I am no good at all. SA A D SD3. I feel that I have a number of good qualities. SA A D SD4. I am able to do things as well as most other SA A D SD people.5. I feel I do not have much to be proud of. SA A D SD6. I certainly feel useless at times. SA A D SD7. I feel that Iím a person of worth, on an SA A D SD equal plane with others.8. I wish I could have more respect for myself. SA A D SD9. All in all, I am inclined to feel that I am a SA A D SD failure.10. I take a positive attitude toward myself. SA A D SD11. I find it hard to make new friends. SA A D SD12. I am satisfied with my social skills. SA A D SD13. I wish my height or weight was different. SA A D SD14. I am happy with the way I look. SA A D SD15. I live up to other moral standards. SA A D SD Gender: M_____ F_____ Age:______