Gender And Locality As Factors Influencing Assertive Behaviour Among Adolescents

Project and Seminar Material for Psychology

Gender And Locality As Factors Influencing Assertive Behaviour Among Adolescents


This study investigated gender and locality as factors influencing assertive behaviour among adolescents. 92 participants comprising of 48 males and 46 females between the ages of 16-19years with a mean age of 17.42 and standard deviation of 17.42 were sampled. Rathus Assertive Schedule (RAS) was used for data collection. 2 x 2 factorial design was adopted and 2 x 2 F-test was employed to analyze the data. The findings revealed that gender and locality do not significantly determine assertive behavior among adolescents (F (1,88)) = 1.76 and F(1,88) = 0.01 at P< .05 level of significance. Results were discussed and recommendations made.

Chapter One


Of the 46 chromosomes in the human genome, 45 are unisex (Harris, 1998). Female and male are therefore similar in many physical and traits, such as age of setting teething, and walking. They are also alike in many psychological traits, such as overall vocabulary, certainty, intelligence, self-esteem, and happiness. Actually, there are some differences and it is this difference, not the many similarities that capture attention and make news. Researchers in the main stream sociological tradition exemplified by Limp-man Blumen (1984) have argued that people first acquire gender through socialization in childhood. It has been argued kin a large number of studies that boys act differently toward girls from birth onward. In the first 24 hours after birth, according to one study, parents described boys as more alert stronger and firmer and girls as less attentive, weaker, and more fragile, this go a long way in determining the behavior of the child in all aspect of his or her development including assertiveness. Gender is virtually assessed in every study that evaluated treatment, retention and outcome (Berrigan & Garfield, 1981). People expect woman to behave unassertively. Women also avoid behaviors that do not fit “the feminine role and when they do engage in “masculine assertiveness” they are likely to encounter disbelief or even hostility from others. Woman tends to be very agreeable be cause they want to have good social support and they may be hard to achieve consensus. Men and women speak different (Tannen, 1990).Men tends to be more aggressive speakers than women (Poynton, 1995) and women tend to be more polite (Newcombe & Arnkoft, 1970). Because of this difference, woman tends to be judged lower in assertiveness than men (Cakoft, 1975). The alternate perspective emphasized that powerless speech styles are used by both genders. When one has little central or power over a task, one may become uncomfortable performing the task, and this may end up speaking in a powerless style (Wheelam & Verdi, 1991). According to Colman (2003) he defines gender as “non-technically synonym for sex, especially in feminist psychology, the behavioral, social, and cultural attributes associated with sex”. Moreso, Cherlin (1999) construed gender as the social and cultural characteristics that distinguish women and men in the society. Therefore, being assertive will be subjected under this factor to investigate how it differs or manifest in these two different individuals. Behavioral change due to age is striking especially changes on physical appearance (Casmir & Auerbach, 1998).

However, it is a well known fact that the environment where we live has a great influence on our behavior. Environment which often are being referred to as locality, culture denote one meaning. In this study apart from gender, it is argued that locality will also create difference in human behavior. Evolution has prepared us to live creatively in a changing world and to adapt to environments from equatorial jungles to arctic field. The diversity of our language, customs, and expressive behavior suggest that much of our behaviors are socially programmed not wired. The understanding of behavior rooted in our cultural or locality context is more important in order to avoid the erroneous generalizations based on the assumption of western foreign cultures. Global traits do not exist and the greater the cultural variation the smaller the situational comparability. The assertive behavior should be evaluated within a given locality or cultural context. Cultural and social norms for behaviour are key variables in the definition, training and evaluation of the effectiveness and consequences of interpersonal behaviour. Reorganizing the important of locality or cultural context in assertion; the goal of assertion training is to have an understanding of assertive in various cultural or locality context, to recognize that discriminate those different situations, and to build an increased repertoire for responding effectively in each of these contexts (Wood & Mallinckrodt, 1990). Locality here refers to as district or area where people live; however, it encompasses the eternal surroundings within which an organism lives, or any external factors that affect the organism’s development or behaviour (Colman, 2003).

Assertive behaviour means standing up for your rights and expressing your truths without shrinking from what you want to communicate. Assertiveness also includes recognizing and expecting the equality, rights and truth of other people (, 2008). Behavior which enables a person to act in his / her own best interest to stand up for herself, without undue anxiety, to express interest, feeling, comfortable; Or exercise personal rights without changing the right of others, we call Assertive behavior (Alberti & Emmons, 1970, 1974).

Hence, the aim of this study is to investigate and determine which of these two factor gender or locality actually portrays assertiveness. Since, we all are made of different biological, social, religious and cultural characteristics. It is imperative to know that being assertive or unassertive which many studies have shown to cause different healthy and unhealthy behavior can be as result of the individual gender or the locality or culture where he or she is coming from.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study is to determine whether gender will determine assertive behaviour among adolescents and also to examine whether locality will determine assertive behaviour among adolescents.

Statement of the Problems

This study will provide answers to the following problems.

  1. Will gender significant determine assertive behaviour among adolescents?
  2. Will locality significantly determine assertive behaviour among adolescents?

Operational Definition of Terms


This refers to the cultural and social characteristics that distinguish woman from men in the society.


This refers to the external surrounding within which an organism (human) lives, or external factor that affect the organism development of behavior. This can also be defined into urban and rural locality.

Urban Locality:

These are people who have resided in the city from birth or 6years after birth.

Rural Locality:

These are people who are born and brought up in the rural area of village.


These are group of individual who are between the ages of 13-19 years, referred to as the teen years.

Assertive Behaviour:

This is expressing personal right and feelings in such a way that the rights of others are not violated.

Chapter Five


The outcome of this study revealed that the first hypothesis tested which stated that “gender will not significantly determine assertive behaviour among adolescents” was accepted. This means that gender as a factor did not significantly determine adolescent’s assertive behaviour. This is due to fact that the null hypothesis stated was confirmed, indicating that no remarkable observation was made between male and female in determining assertive behaviour among adolescents.

This outcome can be related to an empirical study conducted by Scherbath (2000) which examines dating competency and status kin relation to assertiveness and assertion of autonomy as well as aggression are discussed. 96 Universities of Nebraska students, of age 21 and their third years of college, completed a demographic questionnaire and buttery of surveys. Result indicates neither dating status nor gender as predictors of assertiveness, which in turn is not always associated with aggression or argumentativeness (Scherbath, 2003).

The second hypothesis tested which stated that “locality will not significantly determine assertive behaviour among adolescents”, was also accepted. This means that locality did not significantly determine assertive behaviour among adolescents. This is due to the fact that the null hypothesis stated was confirmed; indicating that locality (rural or urban) of the adolescents did not significantly determine assertive behaviour. This outcome can be discussed in line with a study which focused on the impact of ethnicity by having women from different ethnic background evaluate the assertiveness of individuals in fictitious situations. In evaluations of the result, it was suggested that assertiveness may have culturally relative definitions associated with the value upheld by different societies. For instance, the statement, “Excuse me, I am in a hurry, put the phone down and help me” means viewed as assertive by Caucasian and African American women and as aggressive (negative assertive) by most women in the Hispanic group (Yoshioka, 2000). The study contradicts the finding of Rodriquez et al (2001) in which they conclude that assertiveness in strongly affected by age and ethnicity.

Implications of the Findings

The major implication of this findings is that assertiveness has to be measured in a continuum to give out an individual levels of assertiveness, this will go long way in determine whether an individual is assertive (positively or negatively) or non assertive. This is due to cultural differences in the perception of event and situations. Moreso, a lot of orientation/training should be giving to people especially during their school years on what assertiveness is all about.


The outcomes of this study are summarized as follows.

It was observed that gender is not a significant determinant of assertive behaviour among adolescents. Also locality was observed not to significantly determine assertive behaviour among adolescents.


Based on the outcomes the research hereby concludes that gender and locality of adolescents does not determine their assertive behaviour.


Based on the outcome of this study one could recommend that the assertiveness scale should be modified to have a continuum measure in order to incorporate other fact of assertiveness. Also, children should be taught assertive skills, good communication etc. to help boost their interpersonal relations.

Children should not be exposed to any sort of abuse or maltreatment, since they go a long way in affecting his/her assertive behaviour, self-esteem etc.

The research also recommends that future investigations should sample from other area based on ethnic groups, or cultural disposition to increasing the sample towards cross-validating the outcome of this study. Again, try other related variable like, educational level, SES etc. as the independent variable, to help build theories in this area of study.

Limitations of the Study

Limitation of this study includes, the Naïve and Lack of interest shown by the participants especially those from rural locality. The reluctancy which the research use reports to continue the participants to objectively complete the questionnaire. Also money and track has taken in collecting the data since there is no research grant posed a difficulty.

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