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C12: Chp 8

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Michael Inzlicht

PSYC12 – Advanced Social Psychology Chapter 8 – Sexism INTRODUCTION • Negative attitudes and behavior toward someone on the basis of gender is termed sexism. • Sexism influences our attitudes toward women, views of themselves and women’s career choices • When women are made aware of the stereotype against them (doing poorly in math), they perform significantly worse than males GENDER STEREOTYPES • Society tells us the typical characteristics of men and women and is found to be similar across various countries • Men are seen to be the exact opposite of women in terms of traits • People’s views of women (stereotype content) have remained virtually the same for many, many years MEASUREMENT OF GENDER STEREOTYPES • Bipolar assumption - a person has characteristics associated with either males or females, but not both. • Dualistic view – people can have some of both agentic traits (associated with males) and communal traits (associated with females) • People have positive views of women but negative attitudes toward equal rights, roles and privileges for women ORIGIN OF GENDER STEREOTYPES Religion • Bem and Bem found that many major religions have that taught women are different to, inferior to, and subservient to men. • 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. Social Learning • Children are taught at a young age the expectations, goals, interests and abilities associated with each gender shaped by parents and environment • Parents have a great influence on the child’s gender identity and subsequent behaviours Cultural Institutions • Society communicates to children gender roles and stereotypes • Child learns that violating these expected roles will draw negative attention • More female lead characters and cartoon characters today; portrayed more positively than in the past • TV commercials and advertisements generally show gender stereotypical roles with respect to certain products (food, medicine, cleaning) • Women do a greater share of housework than men • Normative influence – we hold a particular attitude in order to be liked by others • Informational influence – when we wish to be correct in our attitudes • Women are generally paired with attractiveness in advertisements • Faceism – greater facial prominence of men; greater emphasis on the whole body of women • Gender-stereotyped portrayals of women in ads has negative effects on women • Women who encounter counterstereotypic women are less likely to use activate gender stereotypes Evolution versus Social Roles • Evolutionary psychologists suggest that the difference between males and females exist because inclusive fitness favoured certain behaviours for men and for women • Social roles theory – gender differences exist because men and women perform different social roles in society Power • Societies allow males to dominate over females in every aspect of life • Stereotypes are a form of control; they limit the target, legitimize discrimination • Descriptive aspects of stereotypes tells how most people in a group think, behave and feel • Prescriptive aspects of stereotypes tells how groups should think, feel and act. • Prescriptive gender stereotypes predict sexism ACCURACY OF GENDER STEREOTYPES • Stereotypes suggest that all members have similarity among themselves • Common stereotype of women is that they are more emotional than men • This difference between men and women can be attributed to the fact that they use different information cues to define their internal state • Men use internal physiological cues whereas women use external situational cues • Researchers regard stereotypes as probability estimates when applied to individuals rather than accurate characterizations o There is a certain probability that the stereotype is accurate for the particular group member under consideration o Perceivers decide what those probabilities are; some use stereotypes more than others • men and women had very stereotypical images of each other and exaggerate small differences SEXIST LANGUAGE o language also communicates the patriarchical nature of society and how we think o generic masculine – when certain occupations are synonymous with men o women tend to be described based on their appearance o men are less likely to recognize sexist language towards women SEXIST HUMOUR Sexist Jokes Perpetuate Gender Stereotypes o gender schema
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