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gender roles in psych.doc

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Western University
Psychology 1000
Terry Biggs

Gender roles have been a highly researched and controversial topic for years. Gender roles have been established throughout the decades, restricting males and females to certain categories that are seen as socially acceptable to social norms. A common day example would males growing up are to direct their interests towards playing video games, playing with super heroes, play sports etc. while females were likely to play dress up, play with Barbie. There are many factors that affect societies opinion on what is expected from males and females and what is considered masculine or feminine. The media plays a giant role in enforcing gender stereotypes, whether it is through movies, music videos, television shows, etc. Everyone has their own perception on what a specific gender should be like. Koblinskey , Cruse, and Sugawara's (1978) study on sex role stereotypes and children's memory for story content evaluates the gender roles that individuals from a young age are believed they are assigned. The researchers used the two variables, the independent variable which is gender, and the dependent variable, which is stereotypical sex roles, to manipulate their study. The aim of the present investigation was to see the pattern between the participants memory for stereotypical and reverse- stereotypical sex roles in their books. The first experiment was designed to give the researchers an idea of what the children perceived as masculine or feminine, while experiment two was designed to see whether there some sort of bias when it comes to the memory of gender related stereotypes. It was designed to show the researcher whether or not the participants were able to pick up the reverse-stereotypical gender roles assigned to individuals in the stories. The hypothesis being tested was that the participants would be more likely to remember masculine or feminine behaviours acted by the stereotypical gender rather than reverse-stereotypical traits. There were two experiments that had been taken place. The first experiment consisted of using 25 girls and 29 boys form a fifth grade classroom. The students were presented with a table full of characteristics and were asked to assign a gender role that they believed was suitable to each trait and behaviour. Traits ranged from tough and powerful, to sweet and gentle. Behaviours ranged from played roughy and fixes things to dresses up and sews. Resulting form this study, all the masculine roles were given to the predicted masculine traits and all the feminine roles were given to the stereotypical traits. The second experiment consisted of 24 males and 25 females form a fifth grade classroom, who were asked to read out loud children's books written by the researchers. Children books were chosen because they were used 80% of the time with that age group. Each story had four characters, two of which were male with presumed masculine characteristics, and the other two were females with presumed feminine characteristics. Another book had characters that switched characteristics, the males would be doing things one would see a female doing, while the female would be doing something that is expected of by the male. The purpose of this experiment is to prove the hypothesis, that children's memory for behaviour would better than that of their memory regarding reverse-stereotypical traits. The results revealed that the stereotypical gender roles were remembered by the participants while the reverse-stereotypical ones weren't. The hypothesis was proven where the participants tended to pick up on the behaviours of presumed masculine or feminine characters in the story rather than reverse- stereotypical traits. It was also evident that the participants displayed better memory for the characteristics of females characters than those of the males. This study concluded that the relationship betwee
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