The summer going into my senior year, I enrolled in COM 311, Gender and Communication. This course would help me fulfill the requirements of my Strategic and Corporate Communication Major. The objectives of this course aligned with my motives to find a position as a Public Relations strategist within the music industry.

The way we construct our messages is influenced by our socially constructed idea of gender.

Since becoming aware of the socialization of gender, I’m constantly analyzing the environment around me and attempting to identify the ways that I either comply and/or outright reject gendered messages. I realized that, in some cases, I am comfortable with certain traditional gender roles. However, there are several gendered messages that discriminate against women that I feel obligated to do my part in stopping. By observing how gendered communication is omnipresent in both my personal and professional life, I am now privy to the knowledge that gender communication can make or break effective communication.

One of the most valuable concepts that I took away from this course was my ability to alter my own verbal and nonverbal communicative behavior in order to make a positive significant impact on my personal and professional relationships. This course stimulated me to analyze and value alternative communication styles that I would not have learned in any other course.

One’s gender identity affects how they both speak and interpret a message.

Observing gender communication in the professional field, I found that gender stereotyping and sexism is still very much prevalent. For instance, during one of my internship interviews, I noticed sexism as well as the use of trivializing terms made by a man toward their female superiors. Similarly, I was surprised to notice the gendered communication between my brothers and I often left all involved feeling misunderstood, frustrated, and frankly – a little salty. These instances triggered me to reference concepts from the COM 311 course; such as the ideas behind benevolent sexism, gendered communication roles, and traditional stereotypes.

As the foundation of this course, you’ll learn that the concept of gender is not only socialized but also institutionalized. This frequently leads to stereotypes and unfair dynamics within the home and workplace. This results in the cultivation of the most detrimental ingredients for effective communication – misinterpretations, aggravation, and unnecessary tension.

We live surrounded by gendered objects which help to reinforce gender stereotypes.

Gendered communication is embedded in our society; therefore, it has become increasingly more important to possess the capability and knowledge essential to interpret gender communication rules. Taking one semester of COM 311 has provided me with the invaluable skills to effectively communicate in my personal and professional life. Chapman’s Gender and Communication course bestows you with the fundamentals required to engage in positive gender communication norms for all.