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PSY323 Lecture2 Notes.pdf

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Alison Luby

PSY323 Lec2 9/27/12 4:01 PM Discussion about Miss Representation & Dominance and Interdependence àMISS REPRESENTATION -We learn to put women at a disadvantage through our cultural institutions -And the widespread belief that women are NOT at a disadvantage -Made the point of how differently women and men are treated in our society and to raise awareness so that we can realize that we need to change society -Media simplifies, objectifies, trivializes womenà lack of female political efficacyà and eventually leads it to become true REVIEW OF LEC1: -Cultural Approach -Evolutionary approach -Ongoing nature- culture debate -Social structural approach A. Cultural Approach -Where do we get these ideas? -The media, families, role models, peers -Gender norms in the media -Gender essentialism- when we see opposition it’-Our stereotypical ideas of gender are constantly being reinforced -We tend to receive punishment when we stray outside of the norms set for each gender -This public shaming Ex. Hairy armpit picture -There’s a lot of gender influence on us to follow gender roles -Why are gender identities important in so many different cultures? -Why are gender stereotypes so similar across cultures? -Where did these specific stereotypes come from? B. The Evolutionary Approach -Uses ideas from Darwin’s theory to explain gender differences in preferences -The evolutionary approach argues that gender roles evolved out of inherent sex differences -These sex differences made it more likely for people to reproduce, so these adaptive genes were passed on to future generations -To reproduce we need to be: healthy, attractive to a mate -From this perspective, our goal is to pass on our genes to the next generation -Desirable physical characteristics, psychological traits, mental processes and behaviors that lead one to sexual/ reproductive success will be bred into the future - -A woman can only spread her genes a max of 12 times -A mans ability is only limited by the number of mates he can aquire -Sperm is cheap -Evolutionary theorists argue that men look for any reproductively healthy women they see -Women will be more selective and want someone who will help to raise/ promote the survival of the children -You want a stable, loyal man with lots of resources to support the child, aggression, status and dominance -Men cant be completely sure that a baby is theirs -Ostensibly, men have evolved to have sexual control over their mates to ensure the propagation over their genes -Men are supposed to exhibit more sexual jealousy than emotional jealousy -In addition to mate guarding, men have evolved to be competitive providers and women caregivers -These ideas provide an evolutionary explanation for the trait of aggression being related to men more than women -This rests on the assumption that gender differences are stable and immutable and come from fundamental differences between men and women -A more modern approach says that humans have evolved to survive in rapidly changing conditions -Cognitive flexibility and willingness to be influenced by others -Our specific behavior isn’t genetically preprogrammed our ability to adjust to social and cultural differences -The environment influences biologically influenced traits C. Nature vs. Nurture debate -Nature: -There aren’t many cultural differences in gender stereotypes -Women seem to care more about earning potential, and malesc care more about physical attractiveness Cultural: -These differences could be culturally influenced -Countries that have more gender equality show less earning potential effect BOVE -When women can earn more, they show less interest in earning potential -Studies typically show small or no trait-based differences between sexes -When do they find differences they are typically much smaller between the sexes than within them -In sum, genders are far more similar than different -There are some consistent difference: more interest in casual sex, same- sex physical aggression D. The Social Structural Approach -The social structural approach posits that gender differences arise from differences in group social positions, specifically roles and occupations -These roles and occupations have respective status/ power differences -Emphasizes social cause -…….. Social role theory (Eagly 1987)= stereotypes evolve from the social roles that people occupy -Roles generate demands to act in certain ways (Zimbardo) -Your role reflects your personality -Women are naturally in the role of caretakers because of biology/ feeding -Men tend to provide for the family because they are typically biologically stronger -Role segregation produces stereotyped expectations -Status differences reinforce these social role-based expectations/ stereotypes -Male roles are typically higher across the board compared to female roles -The traits associated with women-based roles are lower-status traits: -Communal v. agentic -Gender stereotypes… -Roles help create and perpetuate these gender stereotypes -We are taught/ socialized to adopt these traits -We naturally adopt and define ourselves using the traits of our social group -When we take on these roles, we end up acting in line with gender stereotypes -The role elicits behavior -We get rewards and punishment from our environment for acting in line with what is expected of us -Consequently, we often act in ways that are not suited to our personalities, but instead to our gender roles -This perpetuates the idea that... -Cross-culturally, women tend to be homemakers/ child rearers, so the social structural approach can help to explain the cross-cultural similarity of gender stereotypes -However, men are more likely to be working nowadays -Do we see less reliance on “nurturing” and low social dominance traits in the stereotype? -Women still are the primary caregivers and homemakers even when employed -The stereotypes might not be less communal -If social role theory is correct, the stereotypes should start to include more agentic traits -There is support for this hypothesis -Men need to have these feminine traits to allow women to become more agentic -One of the most interesting things about gender stereotypes is that they are prescriptive, -they tell us how we should act rather than how people expect us to act -Typical stereotypes are descriptive -they tell us how we are perceived to act as a group -Role demands generate these gender prescriptions SUMMARY -Cultural approach -Evolutionary approach -Social structural approach -Role differences are linked to respective power different
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