Stereotypes can either be obvious or not so much.
Stereotypes= beliefs and assumptions that we associate with a certain group
of people. It is our thoughts about a specific social group.
Gender stereotypes= beliefs we associate with females only and men only.
Prejudice= emotional reaction or attitude toward a specific group of people.
Discrimination= biased treatment to a group of people.
Gender bias= gender stereotypes, gender prejudice and gender
BIASED REPRESENTATIONS OF WOMEN AND MEN
Gender biases throughout history:
The invisibility of women in historical accounts:
Before the 1960s there was not a lot of information on women’s history and
the reason why they are missing so much in history is because women were
confined to home and family.
Only now have feminist historians found more info about women. They
discovered in the 16 cent women artists
o Lavina Fontana- portrait painter
o Artemesia gentileschi- active artist.
Philosopher representation of women:
It has been believed that women are inferior to men and there purpose in life
is to serve men.
Only John Stuart Mill argued that women should have equal rights and
Gender biases in religion and mythology
Religions have negative views on women. With the story with Adam and
chava- women was created from the rib of the man.
Judaism- women are invisible in the torah. (don’t agree with)
In the 21 cent, women are now part of more roles in Judaism with being
rabbis and scholars.
Hinduism- women are defined based on their husband.
Tradition states how women are DIFFERENT from men.
Androcentrism or normative male problem= men are the standard and
everything is compared to that standard.
Gender biases in language
Use negative or subordinate terms to refer to women.
Terms used for women:
There are different terms used to refer to men and women and these terms
aren’t the same.
Women term- more negative, sexualized or trivial connotation
The masculine generic:
= using masculine nouns and pronouns to refer to all human beings (men and
ex: his includes her- every student take his pencil. Many studies have been conducted that the generic terms aren’t actually
neutral. Because in the 50 studies conducted, the term man and he make
thoughts about males, where as thoughts about both genders.
Gender biases in the media:
These conclusions about the media support the differential treatment of
women theme as well as the invisibility of women theme:
1. Women are relatively invisible- they are underrepresented in the media. 10-
28% constituted of the opinion columnists
2. Women are relatively inaudible- we usually hear a mans voice in voice overs.
3. Women are seldom shown working outside the home
4. Women are shown doing housework
5. Women and men are represented differently- men are treated more
seriously. When women run for office, its hard to find a newspaper that
doesn’t comment on her physical features
6. Women’s bodies are used differently from men’s bodies- never see
overweight women, women are seen in seductive clothes where as men are
7. Women of colour are underrepresented and they are often shown in a
particularly biased way
8. Lower social class women are underrepresented and they are often shown in
a particularly biased way.
The effects of stereotyped representations:
Yes, the media does reflect reality- because they reflect that women are
unseen and unheard. Also, people believe that women should be more
Yes, the media can actually influence reality by changing some peoples
attitudes and cognitive performance- study done that after seeing
stereotyped ads, men and women have a less feminist attitude.
Study done on college women who have seen traditional ads vs. those who
haven’t seen the stereotyped ads. In the end these two groups had similar
Media can influence our attitudes toward other people
It can influence our cognitive performance.
PEOPLES BEIEFS ABOUT WOMEN AND MEN
The concept of stereotypes
People think certain things are more likely for men or women, but in the end
they are wrong.
Communion= a concern for you relationship with other people.
Agency= concern with your own self interests. (stereotypically masculine)
o Womens agency scores have been increasing in the past 20 years.
Stereotypes about women and men from different ethnic groups:
Study conducted that asked college students from 4 different ethnic groups
about which adjectives apply to certain groups and tht gender. The study showed that people not only have stereotypes about gender, but
within a specific race people will have even more specific stereotypes
towards that gender in that race.
There isn’t a simple and unified stereotype to represent all women, so there
are subtypes to reflect ethnicity, social class and other charac.
Subject variables that could influence stereotypes:
Its important to look at the characteristics of the subjects which are the
people who hold the stereotypes.
So people have different stereotypes about women than about men.
Men have stronger stereotypes than women
Implicit gender stereotypes:
Explicit gender stereotypes= you are aware of what you are being tested
Implicit gender stereotypes= automatic stereotypes you reveal when you
aren’t aware that your gender stereotypes are being assessed.
o Test with IAT, which you pair, words together that are related
Results of these tests show that participants respond faster then the
stereotype consistent pairings than to the stereotype inconsistent pairing.
So there are stronger gender stereotypes for implicit measures.
The complexity of contemporary sexism:
Today sexism is less obvious
Three components to prejudice:
1. Attitudes toward women’s competence:
Study by Abel and Meltzer: they gave students an essay written about
opportunities and they had to evaluate it. Students that were told that the
essay was written by a male- higher rating than the group who was told it
was written by a girl.
Students felt that men were associated with status and power- research from
susan fiske asked students from 16 dif countries.
Instances were women’s competence is d