Seminar in Outdoor Pursuits and Adventure Education

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					Seminar in Outdoor Pursuits
and Adventure Education

            UW-La Crosse
               ESS 777
               Fall, 2007
        Instructor: Jeff Steffen
Need for Research for Gender
Issues and Adventure Education
 Adventure Education is predominately
 seen as a male dominated activity
   More females are interested in outdoor
   pursuits than ever before
 Self concepts and self images of boys
 and girls can be increased by being active
 in an outdoor education program (Gray, T., 1997)
   Much research has ignored differences
   between male and females in adventure
   education and outdoor pursuits (Culp, R.H., 1998)
Overview of Girls and Adventure
 Differences between masculinity and femininity rarely
 researched (Culp, R.H., 1998)

 Increased trend to find research based studies on
 girls/women in outdoor pursuits than men
 (Gray, T. 1997 )

 More opportunity and choices for girls to participate in
 outdoor adventure activities, should continue to increase
 (Henderson and Hickerson, 2007)

 Outdoor Education gives girls opportunity to participate in
 male dominated area

 Girls see a world that is obsessed with relationships rather
 than of people standing alone (Porter, T., 1996)
Key Definitions in
Adventure/Outdoor Education and
 What is Outdoor Education?
    “a means of approaching educational objectives through guided
    direct experience in the environment, using its resources as
    learning materials” (Humberstone, B., 1990)

 What is Gender?
    Sexual identity, especially in relation to society or culture

 What are Gender Roles?
    Social construction of gender in relation to behavior and
    identity. What it means to be masculine or feminine
    (Culp, R.H., 1998)

 Single-Sex Groups:
    Involving either an all male group or all female group, separated

 Mixed-Sex Groups:
    Involving both male and female counterparts working with one
    another in a group setting
The Power of Gender in Adventure
Education and Outdoor Pursuits
Gender Issues in Outdoor Education
1. Single Sex Groups versus Mixed Sex
       Why Separate Boys and Girls?
2. Social Change and Girls
3. Benefits of Outdoor Adventure
   Pursuits and Girls and Women
       Self-Concepts and Self-Esteem
Single Sex Groups versus Mixed Sex
                  Why Separate Boys and Girls?
12-16 year olds have a pre-conceived idea of what their abilities and worth are
                                     (Baker-Graham, A. 1999)

     Girl Single-Sex Groups
          Often encourages support, admiration, and camaraderie (Baker-Graham, A., 1998)
          When separated, girls don’t have roles to follow or conform by (Baker-Graham,
          A., 1998)
          Opportunity for discovery and motivation (Baker-Graham, A., 1998)
          Tend to be more supportive and less critical of each other (Baker-Graham, A.,
          Females achieve better gain scores compared to males (Gray, T., 1997)
          Increased Self-Esteem and Self-Concepts

     Boy and Girl Mixed Sex Groups
          Stereotypes come about (Baker-Graham, A., 1998)
          Girls may feel inferior
          Boys do see their emotional side and recognize girls abilities, girls gain self
          confidence and see sensitive side of boys (Baker-Graham, A., 1998)
 Advantages and Disadvantages of
        Single-Sex Groups
              Advantages of Single-Sex Groups:
1.   May increase confidence, leadership roles, and self awareness
     (Berger and Vollbracht, 1997)
2.   Themes of the programs may be designed differently to
     accommodate to male/female personalities, etc.
3.   Girls/women are more encouraging towards mutual support,
     admiration, and camaraderie (Baker-Graham, A. , 1998)
4.   Girls/women feel more safe and may be able to express emotions
     better (Baker-Graham, A.., 1998)

            Disadvantages of Single-Sex Groups:
1.   Girls and boys are unable to work cooperatively and interact with
     male counterparts.
2.   Genders can be influential to each other, separating the two will
     not accommodate interaction
 Advantages and Disadvantages of
        Mixed-Sex Groups
            Advantages of Mixed-Sex Groups:
1. Both sexes are encouraging toward each other, while still enjoying
   the experience as a mixed group (Berger and Vollbracht, 1997)
2. Boys see their emotional side, at the same time recognize the girls
   abilities (Baker-Graham, A., 1998)
3. Girls do gain self confidence and see a different side of the boys
   (Baker-Graham, A., 1998)

           Disadvantages of Mixed-Sex Groups:
1. Girls may tend to group themselves together (Berger and Vollbracht,
2. Females tend to be more supportive than males, and males tend to
   be more competitive (Berger and Vollbracht, 1997)
3. Females may find their abilities undermined and may not try certain
   activities because males are present (Humberstone, B., 1990)
        Social Change and Girls
              Girls Initial Reactions to
            Outdoor Adventure Education

Outdoor activities has created more fear in females
compared to males (Culp, R.H., 1998)

Girls seemed to hold back more in physical activity which
was related to fear of trying the activity (Henderson and Hickerson,

Hesitant and have a less competent persona and feel as if
they are not physically and emotionally ready to participate in
risky activities (Humberstone, B., n.d.)

Reluctant to participate    (Gray, T., 1997)
Social change and Girls…from
beginning to end (continued)
1.   Choices of activities, for girls and women, can be influenced by athleticism or non-
     athletic features, physical appearance, and their desire to have fun and belong to a
     group. (Henderson and Hickerson, 2007)

2.   Girls can also be embarrassed to try activities because they may have low perceptions
     of themselves. (Henderson and Hickerson, 2007)

3.   Some women see leisure as a way to oppose activities which are considered
     stereotypical and dominant by gender (Henderson and Hickerson, 2007)

4.   If women assume a leadership style which is more masculine, they tend to be
     evaluated negatively by others in the group (Wittmer, C.R., 2001)

5.   Leaders of a group tend to be evaluated on: gender, race, sexual orientation, physical
     appearance, level of experience, and social class (Wittmer, C.R, 2001)

6.   Social support is important (Henderson and Hickerson, 2007)

7.   For girls, outdoor education provides personal development and they
     receive positive outcomes (Baker-Graham, A., 1999)

8.   Most important personal consequence of participating in a program = 70% indicated
     that “it increased my pride in women generally” (Wittmer, C.R., 2001)
Benefits of Outdoor Adventure
Pursuits and Girls and Women
              Self Esteem and Self Concepts

Self Concepts and Self Images can be enhanced through participation
in outdoor recreation activities (Gray, T., 1997)

Outdoor activities boosts Self-Concepts and Self-Esteem

Outdoor activities help to increase a variety of personal, social, and
therapeutic benefits (Gray, T., 1997)

Self Esteem and Self Concepts can be increased when girls and
women are involved in outdoor activities because they often talk about
characteristics/personalities of themselves they never knew existed
(Pohl, Borrie, and Patterson, 2000)

Women/girls learn more about themselves and overcome self-doubt
(Neill, J.T., 1997)

Females can have independence from others in an outdoor adventure
setting and this can increase their self-trust and self-worth (Pohl,
Borrie, and Patterson, 2000)
How to Reach Women Through
1. Many girls/women are interested in male
   dominated activities
2. They desire variety
3. Quality of experience needs to be
4. Consider health issues
5. Social support is important
6. Encouragement and promotion needed

        (Henderson and Hickerson, 2007, p. 28)
 In Adventure Education classes, it is
 important to have many opportunities
 available to students:
   Allowing a time for a mixed-sex group setting is ideal for
   males and females alike. It allows them to participate
   together and learn from one another.

   It is also important to allow time for single-sex groups to
   take place. Allowing students to learn and interact with
   others of the same sex, may increase their self-esteem
   and self-concepts. They may also feel less intimidated to
   try new activities.
Baker-Graham, A. (1999). Work with girls and young women. Outdoor Education and
        Experiential Learning in the U.K. p. 2-10
Berger C., Vollbracht, C. (1997). Women in the wilderness: them-based outdoor
        programming at the university of florida. In: Back to the Basics: Proceedings
        of the International Conference on Outdoor Recreation and Education. p. 11-20
Culp, R.H. (1998). Adolescent girls and outdoor recreation: a case study examining
        constraints and effective programming. Journal of Leisure Research. 30(3).
Gray, T. (1997). Examining the fruits of the outdoor education tree from a gender
        perspective. In: Deeply Rooted, Branching Out. 1972-1997. p. 113-130
Henderson K.A., Hickerson B. (2007). Research update: women and recreation
        opportunities. Parks and Recreation. p. 26-29
Humberstone, B., (1990). Gender, change and adventure education. Gender &
        Education, 2 (2)
Humberstone, B. (n.d.) Girls concepts of themselves and their experiences in outdoor
        education programmes. Journal of Adventure Education and Outdoor
Hurtes, K.P., (2002). Social dependency: the impact of adolescent female culture.
        Leisure Sciences, 24, p. 109-121
Miranda W., Yerkes. R. (1987). Women’s outdoor adventure programming. High
        Adventure Outdoor Pursuits (Organization and Leadership) 2nd edition. p. 259-
Neill, James T. (1997). Gender: How does it effect the outdoor education experience?
        In Catalysts for Change: Proceedings of the 10th National Outdoor Education
        Conference. Sydney: The Outdoor Professionals (pp. 183-192)
Pohl S.L., Borrie, W.T., Patterson, M.E. (2000). Women, wilderness, and everyday life:
        a documentation of the connection between wilderness recreation and women’s
        everyday lives. Journal of Leisure Research, 32(4), p. 415, 20 pgs.
        Leadership, 8(3), 27-31
Porter, T. (1996). “Connecting with courage,” an outward bound program for
        adolescent girls. Women’s Voices in Experiential Education. p. 267-275
Wittmer, C.R. (2001). Leadership and gender-role congruency: a guide for wilderness
        and outdoor practitioners. The Journal of Experiential Education. 24 (3)

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