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C12: chp 8

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Michael Inzlicht

Chapter 8- Sexism Sexism - negative attitudes and behaviour toward someone on the basis of their gender - refers to prejudice against men, but most coin this word towards females Central Question: - why would society/individuals be motivated to create and maintain these generalizations + neg attitudes towards women? - sexism influences our attitudes womens views, career choices, lives etc. Spencer, Steele, Quinn (1999) - prevalent stereotype: women less able to understand science/math - Study: Even though both M and F in study demonstrated equal talent (according to prior exam scores), when women were made aware of the stereotype, they performed significantly worse - Consequences: of stereotyping, prejudice, discrim o Impair performance, limit opportunities, affect ones self-concept Society - often sexism is shrugged off/minimized/unrecognized - Recent research suggests o Gender stereotypes are so well learned that they automatically influence our perceptions/judgements (w/o conscious awareness) - Other research (fr Ch.9) o Egalitarian responses can break the link btw these negative attitudes GENDER STEREOTYPES - Broverman et al. (1972) o F: polite, gentle, nurturing, compassionate, neat, indecisive, quiet, appearance- concerned, dislike math/science, passive o M: aggressive, independent, nonemo, decisive, confide, rough, blunt, sloppy, loud - cross-cultural consensus (30 nations); by Williams & Best o Men viewed as stronger, more assertive, dominant, active and aggressive o Women concerned with fostering relationship, nurturing, deference - US college students o Specific subgroups (dep on appearance) Men: nerd, ladies man Women: housewife, feminist - Broverman + coll (see above) o M and W seen as complete opposites with characteristics listed o Despite polit, social, eco changes, women gains etc.----views of women still tend to be shaped by traditional gender stereotypes today (Bergen, Williams, 91) - Study: Deaux and Lewis o Question: when perceiving a M/F, are those perceptions biased by general stereotypes OR are our perceptions of indiv guided by specific features of person leading to a spec gender stereotypes (male jock, career woman) o Study: participants given gender of target indiv + behave or trait info and asked the likelihood that the target had gender-related charac o Results: gender stereotypes = best as set of component (traits, roles, occup, appearance) Making 1 component salient leads to thoughts of other components Interestingly Gender-stereotype component info can outweigh influence of gender in evaluations of target Just knowing is M/Fwill draw on gender-specific inferences Once perceiver knows more specifics (i.e. traits) influence of gender diminishes - Swim (1993) o Found similar results to above BUT People do use gender in eval, but its influence is weak she suggests b/c participants prefer to use specific case info in their assessments of a target, rather than simple gender-category info Measurement of Gender Stereotypes - opposite sex implies that both men and women are opposites (not different) - This notion of the sexes as diametrically opposite reps a bipolar assumption o This assumption states charac are associed with either M or F, but NOT BOTH this tended to guide researchers measures of gender stereotype used limiting instruments i.e. Broverman & el study (fr above) used lists of dichotomous trait items (emo vs. nonemo) o what about the stuff in between o so can see why studies indicate opposite characteristics interestinglyparticipants open-ended responses to list charc of M/F were similar to those obtained by the study - Criticism of bipolar assumption o Little evidence shows that men and wom have either masc or fem traits, but not both o OR the presence of some # of mascu traits means they cant have any fem - Bem (1974, 1993) research o Found people do possess traits not typically associates with their gender - move towards a more dualistic view o where people can have some of both agentic traits those traditionally assoc w/ males o task orientation, assertiveness, striving for achievement and communal traits (or expressive traits) traditionally associ w/ females o desire to foster relationships, sensitive, get along w/ others - Although much research shows less favourable attitudes towards women o Research by Eagly and Mladinic shows that actuality people have favourable attitudes towards women o Noticed researchers were using Spence and Helmreichs Attitudes Toward Women Scale (ATWS) Used it when measuring attitudes towards women was not purpose Name is misleading---scale actually measures attitudes toward equal rights/roles/privileges for women - So E and M administered the ATWS to participants in their study to SHOW THIS o they also asked them to list their stereotypes of the typical man and women (open- ended) Also asked them about their attitudes towards equality of women/men o Result Questionnaire responses (stereotypes) did not relate completely w/ the ATMS scores o As Predicted The scores were strongly correlated with self-reported attitudes toward equal right and roles for women o Conclusion Test measures attitudes towards equal rights and privileges for women in society (NOT about women) Open-ended responses show favourable views of women Not like what was suggested in the past! o Discussion What went wrong with the past results of the ATWS? Data perhaps showed negative views on the idea of M-F equality in society So they may have positive views about women.but negative views on equal rights, roles, privileges etc. Differences in ATWS scores Men had more neg attitudes equal rights for W than women participants o They react negatively to threats to their power dominance over women in society ORIGIN OF GENDER STEREOTYPES Religion Bem and Bem found that many major religions have taught that women are different from, inferior to, and subservient to men (i.e. Islam, Jewish, Christian) Southern Baptists (religious denomination) o Added a statement to their faith which sanctioned prejudice against women Viewed less than men in spirit + intellect People who are more devoutly religious are more likely to hold stereotypical gender role attitudes and those attitudes tend to reflect a benevolent sexism. Religions have made progress in eliminating sexist ideology but more work is to be done. o Dont adhere to the exact wording of scriptures Social Learning Children are taught at a young age the expectations, goals, interests and abilities associated with each gender shaped by parents and environment o Differential reinforcement Rewarding gender appropriate vs. discouraging gender inapp behaviours o Modeling Watching and learning parents behaviors (observational) Boys and girls equally learn to be aggressive w/ toys with a model (adult) behaving in such a way Parents have a great influence on the childs gender identity and subsequent behaviours American society beliefs o Men and women naturally different in temperament, personality, ability o Expectations are communicated in direct and indirect ways o As they get older, childrens stereotypes become rigid + resistant to change Comprehensive literature review on differential reinforcement + socialization by parents for boys vs girls suggests rents so not really differentiate in what they teach their children o Why isnt there evidence? Jacklin and Baker Likely reason = parents are egalitarian in socialization of children
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