Degree Name

MA in Conflict Transformation

First Advisor

John Ungerleider


Youth around the world have proven that when they come together and put their energies toward a cause, impactful change can happen. While youth in the US have been involved in social issues for decades, there is a noticeable imbalance in the gender makeup of these groups: In civic engagement programs, social change organizations, and volunteer programs around the country, young women make up the large majority of those involved, creating a gender gap that cannot be ignored. It begs the question- why are so many more females involved in these programs than young men? What is causing this?

This question is examined using the Vermont Governor’s Institute on Current Issues and Youth Activism (GICIYA) as a case study. Using qualitative research methods, GICIYA participants from the 2010 program were asked about their motivations behind being involved in youth activism, their observations of the gender imbalance in GICIYA, and their ideas on how to address this gap. Their insightful input is used to draw conclusions regarding why more young women and less young men are involved in civic engagement, social issues, and youth activism and what can be done to address the issue. As this case study focuses on a very specific population, suggestions for further research are made.


Civic and Community Engagement | Gender and Sexuality | Service Learning