Gender Studies Programme - Recent Publications



Date: 2019-5-23

Title: Early Gender Differences in Spatial and Social Skills and Their Relations to Play and Parental Socialization in Children from Hong Kong 

Author: Wang Ivy Wong; Sui Ping Yeung

Abstract: Children’s play preferences are highly gender-typed. At the same time, much research revolves around spatial and social skills that sometimes show male and female advantages, respectively. There is evidence that play with masculine toys is associated with better spatial skills and emerging evidence suggests that play with feminine toys is associated with better social skills. However, several research gaps limit current knowledge on these aspects of gender development. First, the study of childhood gender development has been largely Eurocentric; second, the link between gender-typed play and social skills development is not well supported. We tested 644 5-year-old Hong Kong Chinese children on five gender-typed skills, play preferences, and parental gender socialization. The pattern of gender differences was remarkably similar to those in the West. Boys preferred masculine toys more than girls and were better at mental transformation and targeting accuracy, while girls preferred feminine (and neutral) toys more than boys and were better at empathy and were less aggressive, although there was no significant gender difference in comforting skill. There was little evidence that these gender differences varied with socioeconomic status (parental income and education). Play correlated with some outcomes in expected ways. This is in contrast to parents’ gender socialization, which showed some expected differences by child gender but minimally correlated with children’s skills. These findings shed light on the generalizability of current knowledge on early gender differences and may facilitate gender developmental research outside the West. Although the study did not test the direction of effects, they substantiate the growing discourse on gender-typed play as an important learning mechanism.

The article is included in the Humanities & Social Sciences section and is open access until Feb.29, 2020. 

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201912 Sara ZHONG

Date: 2019-12-30

Title: Procedural Justice and Gender Equality: Mechanisms and Practices Against Sexual Harassment in Higher Education Institutions of Hong Kong

Author: ZHONG Hua; WANG Minruo;

Abstract: The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in south China has boasted established laws and mechanisms to guard against sexual harassment. In addition, local higher education institutions have accumulated rich experience in the prevention and deal of complaints against sexual harassment through the specifications of the boundaries in legal definitions, granting equal rights between complainants and alleged harassers in strict procedures, and providing the underprivileged with necessary assistance when they are in a disadvantaged position in comparison with the opposite side. Existing policies and relevant case studies in Hong Kong can offer some reference to the Chinese mainland in the establishment of similar mechanisms.

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(ZHONG Hua is the Director of Gender Studies Programme, and an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology, CUHK. She is also a member of the Programme Board of the Centre for China Studies at CUHK. Her research interests include cross-cultural comparisons of social development and crime trends by gender and age, migration and crime/victimization in China, organizational studies on the criminal justice system, social forces of juvenile delinquency and substance abuse, social problems in broader Chinese societies and quantitative research methods. )

20200113 SIUCHO

Date: 2019-12-11

Title: Feminist activism in Hong Kong

Author: Joseph M. K. Cho, Trevor.Y. T. Ma and Lucetta Y. L. Kam

Abstract: In this chapter, we will offer an overview of feminist activism of Hong Kong before and after 1997 and in particular, focus on the emerging issues and challenges in the aspects of cross-border politics, ethnicity, and class. It is hoped that the experience of Hong Kong, especially that in the post-colonial period, can demonstrate the possibilities of feminist struggle at a time when overall political freedom is at risk, and how the feminist movement is an integral part of the fight for democracy.

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