reHayes 1AbstractThe difference between male and females was examined in five investigations in a large, well known video store chain. Different genders were looked at in groups of all male or all female, single men and single women, and then groups of mixed gender. Differences between the two were measured in actions, words, and attitudes. The findings were in sync with what society generalizes so broadly as: men and women differ in everything they do. The research was conducted not to prove this familiar concept wrong but to show how men and women differ in a general setting of a video store.
The data was quite rich in that the customers did not hold back what needed to be said and actions tended not to be restricted. The findings revealed that not only do men and women pick out different movie titles but they go about the whole process differently as well. The belief that men and women differ in practically everything they do is widespread throughout the United States. There have been many studies on how they differ in certain aspects, which never seem to be a surprise to the reader. We are so used to findings that prove time and again the differences that we are ready to offer up a proposal such as a professor of mine once said ?If you find in your setting that there is not a difference between men and women then that is something that needs to be published right away.? However, in the setting of the video store gender differences were found.
Investigating the male-female relationship in a video store has a few different aspects. First, all male groups Hayes 2that came in to the store were quite different from the all female groups that came in to the store. They differed not only in the way they talked to each other and what they said to each other but also the type of movie title they chose. Second, when a single (single referring to coming in alone) man or a single woman came in there were considerable differences in the amount of time they spent in the store to their conversations with the workers. A man was more likely to know what movie he was looking for before he came in than a woman was.
This was proven in countless conversations that a woman would initiate with a worker. A woman would spend a considerable longer amount of time in the store than a man. Couples that came in were the same in that the woman and the man of the couple would show the same actions as another woman or another man in different couple.
In this paper I not only show the gender differences in customers at a video store but I also back those findings up by the observation that was conducted. The findings of the paper can also be taken outside the video Hayes 3store setting and can help us understand the age-old question of ?What makes men and women different?? My thoughts going into the research was of course men and women would differ to some extent. The extent to which they differ is what powered the research and thus the paper. First Investigation: Basic Gender DifferencesThe purpose of this first investigation in a large well-known video store in Manchester, CT, was to scope out basic surface differences, establish what I needed to look for, and get an overall sense of the setting. ProcedureThe first investigation was done in the middle of the week between the hours of 10am-12pm. This gave me a chance to really pay attention to specific details of the first customers that I studied.
At this point I did not know what I was looking for so every detail was important. I recorded how the people were dressed, whether they had wedding rings on, details of their features, whether they had a child with them or not, and anything else that was visible to the eye. Hayes 4Second Investigation: Length of Time in storeThe second investigation came with more familiarity in the research setting.
At the end of the first investigation I began to notice a repetition in the pattern of the length of time spent in the store between the two genders. I focused in on this aspect during the second investigation.ProcedureThe second investigation I walked around the store more than the first one. I browsed the aisles like a customer so I would have little or no effect on the situations around me. I paid more attention to the amount of time that a man spends picking out movies versus a woman. I didn?t write down in minutes how long they spent but took more notice in how the women read more cover boxes, which gave them a description of the movie. They took more time to look around the store to see what was available than the men did.
The men were very quick in the store and if they spent even a few extra minutes it was to check out video games, magazines, or video game cheat magazines.Hayes 5Third Investigation: Mixed gender groupsI decided that I needed to experience the video store on a busy weekend night at peak hours. I went to the store on a Saturday between 6-8pm. There were so many people in and out of the store that night that I focused on groups of mixed gender. I observed groups that had about the same amount of men and the same amount of women in it.
I focused on who was leading the group, who was making the movie decision, and who was paying. Fourth Investigation: One-gender groupsThis investigation was conducted during a weekday and weekend day. I focused on female groups of ages ranging from early 20?s to mid 40?s. I listened to their conversations, watched their actions, watched and listened to how they picked out a movie for the group, and who took care of the bill. I also focused on male groups who were mainly in their 20?s to early 30?s.
I looked for the same characteristics in these groups as in the female groups.Fifth Investigation: CouplesThroughout the investigation process I took field notes on couples. I focused on the attitudes of when they first Hayes 6walked in the store, who picked the movie, what type of movie they went home with, and who paid for the movie.ResultsThe results of male-female differences can be broken down into four main categories: single men or women, one-gender groups, mixed gender groups, and couples.The findings of single men were on target with the stereo typing that we have become so used to. The men typically were in and out of the store in 10 minutes, they very rarely asked for help, they knew what they wanted, and almost always went home with an action movie. On my first day of investigation the first customer I observed was a man who came in right when the store opened.
He proceeded to the action section without even stopping on the way. He returned to the counter with two movies within two minutes of walking in the store. He asked how the worker?s day was going and briskly left when the transaction was completed.
On the other hand, it was during my second investigation that I experienced the big difference between men and women in a video store. It was late around 11pm when a woman in her early 30?s came in. She approached the counter Hayes 7immediately without even looking around.
She asked one of the workers ?Has anything good come in lately?? The worker listed off some new movies but the lady was indecisive and asked to use the phone so she could call home to see what she should get. After using the phone the lady was in the store approximately 20 more minutes. Almost all of the women that came in engaged the workers either right away or during their shopping experience. On average they were in the store for 15-25 minutes at a time. It was fascinating to see the similarities between the same gender groups that came in. The all male groups had a similar pattern of how they shopped, as did the all female groups. The male groups typically had 3-5 guys and as soon as they walked in the door they split up.
One would go to the new release section to pick out a movie, another would go straight to the video games (even though it was obvious they were there to pick out a movie), and the other would go to the magazines or elsewhere. These groups had no qualms about yelling to each other across the store. There was always one in the group who focused on getting the movie and this same person was also the one who paid for Hayes 8the movie. More often than not the others in the group would have no money and balances on their account. I witnessed one particular group during the fourth investigation that fit every aspect of this generalization. Four guys walked in and immediately split up.
Two of them went to the new release section, one of them went to the video game area, and the other poked around until he ended up in front of the magazine rack. The two guys on looking for a movie shouted out titles to the other two with responses like ?That movie sucked? or ?I already saw it.? The other male groups observed were not far from this initial group of men. The all female groups observed were in direct contrast to the male groups. The women never separated, there was a steady chatter among the group while looking for a movie, and when they approached the counter there was always a slight disagreement on who wanted to pay. The first female group I observed were mid 30?s and on their lunch break.
They all came in dressed in business attire around 12:30pm. They were all very lively and chatted while they looked around. They were very intent on choosing a movie that all Hayes 9of them wanted to see but one that none of them had already seen. They always chose some sort of romantic or drama movie. When they approached the checkout counter they were all very adamant that they were going to pay.
Money would be thrown or shoved back and forth into hands with one of the women reluctantly always giving in. The mixed gender groups had the most surprising of results. In every split gender group that came in there typically was a female who was the self-appointed leader of the group.
She was normally quite loud and boisterous. She would lead the way, initiate the picking of movies, decide when it was time to leave, and never pay. There was only a half dozen of these types of groups to observe but the findings were consistent with the above. There were some exceptions to the general findings of the couples that were observed but most were the same. Couples either came in happy or from their actions, visibly did not want to be there. The man almost always paid for the movie while he usually picked out the movie but not without a struggle from the woman. Typically a man and woman would check out the new release section and the man would find a Hayes 10movie almost immediately that he would want.
The woman would want to continue looking just to make sure they didn?t miss a better movie. She would show the man different cover boxes of other interesting movies all the while the man would be clutching on to the original movie he picked out. Nine times out of ten the couple would walk out with the original movie picked out by the man. The woman however would seek an unspoken revenge by adding multiple items at the checkout or asking for a certain stuffed animal off of the Disney cart. The woman would always do this petulantly with an unspoken threat that she gave into the movie now he must in turn fork over the money for what she wants. The findings reported in this section came of no surprise to me because as stated in the introduction, it is a universal belief that men and women differ in many ways in everything they do. DiscussionFrom the results we see that men and women do differ significantly in the way they shop for videos.
They not only differ in the videos that they watch but also the Hayes 111process in the way they choose movies. The differences we see our not specific just to this situation. We see these same differences in almost all settings that we observe.
Why we see these differences is what this paper just begins to touch on. What makes almost every woman pick out the same type of movie and what makes her spend a significant amount of time in the store? In contrast, what makes men want typically only action movies and what makes them spend ten minutes or less in the store? The findings of the research confirm that there are gender differences but where and when these gender differences begin is the question? Words/ Pages : 2,324 / 24