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Lecture 8

PSYC 363 Lecture Notes - Lecture 8: Social Constructionism, Heterosexism, Mass Media

Course Code
PSYC 363
Scott Neufeld

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PSYC 363 WK 8 Sexism, Singlism Heterosexism & Trans-Antagonism
- Gender-based oppression
- Gender: categorization/ stereotypes help us simplify the world and know how to
interact with others
- ≠ sex (Ridgeway, 2011)
- our social construction of gender inherently ties it to sex
- It is a system of social practices that constitutes males and females (a biological
distinction) as socially different and organizes relationships between them on
the basis of these presumed differences
- ≠ sex
- our social construction of gender inherently ties it to sex
- Eg even everyday consumerialism
- Gender is an example of a primary category
- Simple classifications that supercede all social contexts
- Regardless of context, there are “rules” for cross-gender interactions
- Primary categories are considered “essential” for interactions
- How do you react when you cannot define someone’s gender?
Explanations for gender differences
- Biological essentialism
- Differences are due to biology/ evolution
- Inherent
- Social/ constructionism
- Differences are small and few, overcapitalized on, and context dependent
- Fear” of discussing differences because difference = biology = destiny
- Social psychologists always emphasize context
Gender socialization
- Begins early and never stops
- Has a cumulative effect
- Sources: family, peers, religions, school
- Mass media

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- Women highly under-represented in top management and executive positions in
media companies
- Sexist portrayals on TV shows
- Women under-represented as “experts” in news
Gendered labour
Paid work
- Increase in women working for pay
- Many jobs still highly gender-segregated
- Pay gap
Unpaid work
- Men do less unpaid work in the home
Glass Metaphors
- Glass ceiling

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- Women’s advancement to high status positions limited
- “Unseen, yet unbreachable barrier that keeps women from rising to the upper
rungs of the corporate ladder, regardless of qualifications
- Discrimination and inequality increases higher in the status hierarchy
- Women only tiny percentage of the most powerful social positions (eg CEO’s)
- In federal representation, 77% of current MPs are men
- Glass cliff (Ryan & haslam)
- Women are more likely than men to be promoted to/ hired for risky positions
likely to result in failure
- Reasons:
- Think crisis -- think woman?
- To signal change/ attract attention
- Women as “expendable”
- Men refusing
- Glass escalator
- Men in “feminine” professions rise
- Men in nursing, elementary education,
librarians, social work
- Glass escalator and racialized
- “Escalator” may specifically be
helpful for white men
- Good example of maintaining white male privilege at the expense of other
(Cuddy, Fiske, & Glick, 2004)
- Participants rated profiles of professionals
- Profiles varied based on gender, whether the person had a
- DV
- Warmth, competence, deservingness for
professional rewards (hiring & promotions)
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