Chapter 8 – sexism
o Negative attitudes and behavior toward someone on the basis of their
o Often refer the term sexism to prejudice against women.
In subtle and overt forms, sexism influences our attitudes
toward women, women’s view of themselves, women’s career
choices, and countless other aspects of women’s lives.
o Stereotypes of women can also sabotage their performance on
- Effects of stereotyping, prejudice and discrimination can impair performance,
limit opportunities, and affect one’s self-concept.
- Best conceptualized as a set of components, such as traits, role behaviors,
occupations, and physical appearance.
o Making features of a component salient can lead the perceiver to think
of other components of the gender stereotype.
o If people just know that a target individual is a man or women, they
will draw on gender stereotypes information in their inferences about
However, once the perceiver knows more specific information
about the target, the influence of the gender category will
diminish in the perceiver’s evaluation of the target.
Reason for this is because people prefer to use specific case
information in their assessment of a target, rather than simple
gender category information.
Measurement of gender stereotypes
- Bipolar assumption
o States that a person has characteristics that are associated with either
males or females but not both. o Tended to guide the way researchers devised measures of gender
stereotypes. This limited their results. As women can be somewhat
emotional, and so can men. Does not have to be extreme.
o This type of research that has bipolar assumption is bias.
- Due to limitation of bipolar assumption, they moved to a more dualistic view
o Which suggests that people can have both some of agentic and
Agentic traits are those that have traditionally been associated
with males, traits that indicate task orientation, assertiveness,
and striving for achievement.
Communal traits, or expressive traits, are those that have
traditionally been associated with women, such as the desire to
foster relationship, to be sensitive and to get along with others.
- Developed attitudes toward women scale (ATWS)
o Measures attitude toward equal rights and roles and privileges for
o Though, responses were completely uncorrelated with their self-
reported attitudes toward equal rights and roles for women.
Origin of gender stereotypes
o One of earliest and strongest influences on the perception of men v.
Religion taught that women are different from, inferior to, and
subservient to men. Bible indicated many statements that
women and inferior that men.
Suggests that people who are more devoutly religious are more
likely to hold stereotypical gender role attitudes and these
attitudes tend to reflect a benevolent sexism.
Today, changes occurred, have more equality of men and
women. E.g. equal status in churches.
• Still remain to have slight levels of inequality.
- Social learning o Children are taught what means to be male and female in society
Social learning theory, children learn expectations, goals,
interests, abilities and other aspect associated with their gender
through reinforcement and modeling.
• Learn from their parents!
Substantial evidence that influence of parents in shaping the
childs gender identity is impactful and lasting.
• American tend to have belief that men and women are
naturally different in temperament, personality and
ability, leading to parents to feel the responsibility to
teach them differently and what is a boy and girl.
• Expectations of differences are communicated in direct
and indirect ways.
As children gets older, gender stereotypes become more rigid
and resistant to change.
- Cultural institutions
o Society plays a big part in communicating to the child similar gender
roles and gender stereotypes.
Through tv, movies, magazines, other media, society reinforces
the notion that boys and girls are indeed different, and that each
gender has gender-appropriate goals, interest, abilities, and
roles in society.
Although there are some changes, they are not big. Many
adverts today still remain to have prejudice and stereotyping
o 2 ways gender stereotypes in adverts influence gender attitudes is
through normative and informatio