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PSYC12H3 (294)
Chapter 8

Chapter 8 Notes

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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 -researchers usually used it to refer to prejudice against women Stereotypes of women can sabotage their performance on stereotype-related task Spencer, Steele and Quinn found that when negative stereotypes about the math and science abilities of women was made salient to women participants, their performance suffered relative to a group of qualified men. Even though females and males had demonstrated equal talent for mathematics, when women were made aware of their stereotype about women performing poorly on math tests, the women participants performed significantly worse compared to their male counterparts. Thus, for members of groups whom negative stereotypes exist, stereotype threat and percniious effects of stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination, can impair performance, limit opportunities, and affect ones self concept. Gender Stereotypes We learn from a very young age the answers to what men and women are like We learn that women are not aggressive, not independent, tend to be more emotional and men are more aggressive, decisive There is a significant cross-cultural consensus in the content of gender stereotypes Williams and Best They examined data covering 30 nations -found men tend to be viewed as stronger, more assertive and dominant -found that women usually viewed as concerned with fostering relationships , nurturing, and deference -men and women tend to e viewed as opposites -why is this the case? -this data has been consistent for over the past 25 years (despite all the women rights and shit) QUESTION When we perceive that someone is either male or female , are those perceptions biased by general stereotypes about males or females, or are our perceptions of the individual guided by specific features of the person leading to specific gender stereotypes? (Male jock, career women) Deaux and Lewis -participants were given information about the gender of a checked this shit out target individual, as well as role behaviour or trait information and they were asked to indicate the likelihood that the target person had gender-related characteristics www.notesolution.com -results showed, gender stereotypes are best conceptualized as a set of components (such as traits, role behaviours, occupations, and physical appearance) -making features of a component salient lead the perceiver to think of other components of the gender stereotype -found that specific gender-stereotype component information can outweigh the influence of gender in evaluations of the target -thus it appears that if people just know that a target individual is a man or women, they will draw on gender-stereptype information in their inference about the target, however, once the perceiver knows more about specific information about the target, the influence of gender category will diminish in the perceivers evaluation of the target and the target will be viewed according to the specific component information Swim (1993) -found similar results in her studies and suggest that these data indicate that while participants do use gender information in their evaluations of a target, the influence of this information is weak -the reason for the weak influence of gender, according to Swim, is that participants prefer to use specific case information in their assessments of a target, rather than simple gender-category information Measurement of Gender Stereotypes -the notion of opposite sex suggests that women and men are opposites, not just different -the word opposite suggests a difference like hot and cold -but theyre not opposites, just different -thus, the notion that men and women are so different that theyre opposite represents the bipolar assumption among both researchers and the lay public alike Bipolar Assumption - this assumption states that a person has characteristics associated with either male or female, not both -this assumption tended to guide the way researchers devised measures of gender stereotypes; thus their results were tainted by these limitations -example: their surveys usually had dominant, non dominant, but never in between -thus, it is easy to see how this type of bias can affect results -interestingly though, when participants are asked in an open ended questionnaire to list the characteristics of males and females, their responses very closely mirror the bipolar traits -the bipolar assumption has been strongly criticized because very little evidence supports the notion that men and women are either masculine or feminine traits (no in between) www.notesolution.com -research reveals that many people do possess traits that are associated with males AND females -as a result, researchers have moved to a more dualistic view Dualistic View -suggests that people can have some of both agentic, and communal traits Agentic traits are those that have tradionally been associated with males Communal traits are those that have traditionally been associated with females -although most research suggests that people generally have less favourable attitudes toward women -research by Eagly and Mladinic suggests that people actually have quite favourable attitudes toward women -they found that researchers had actually been using the ATWS (Attitudes toward Women Scale) to test gender stereotypes -however, the ATWS is actually used to measure attitude toward women rights and didnt correlate with male and female views -so actually, people had negative views about men and female equal rights -it is interesting that people can have positive views of women, but not equal rights , roles, and privileges for women -one explanation may be found in the scores -men typically have significantly more negative attitudes toward equal rights for women than did women participants -this data supports the possibility that although women and men have positive toward women in general, men may react negatively to threats to their power dominance over women in society Origin of Gender Stereotypes -to understand the nature of sexism, it is helpful to examine the causes of sexist thinking and beliefs-there are several major factors that have led to the creation and maintenance of prejudice and stereotypes about women Religion -one of the earliest and strongest influences -Bem and Bem found that many religions in the world have taught that women are different from, inferior to, and subservient to men -research indicates that people who are more devoutly religious are more likely to hold stereotypical gender role attitudes and those attitudes tend to reflect a benevolent sexism -it is to be noted, that most religions have made advances in their perspective on the status of women in relation to men -specifically, many do nto adhere to the exact wordings of the bible www.notesolution.com and give equal status -in many churches however, many women do not enjoy all the opportunities and privileges afforded to men Social Learning -from a young age, children taught what it means to be a male or female in society -according to the Social-learning Theory children learn, through reinforcement and modeling, expectations, goals, interests, abilities and other aspects associated with heir gender -Childrens ideas of what their gender means to them is shaped by the environment, and most importantly their parents -through rewarding and punishment of gender appropriate e behaviours, children learn about their gender -they also learn through watching their parents and important others in their environment engage in behaviour -interestingly, a comprehensive review of the literature on different reinforcement and socialization by parents for boys vs girls suggests that parents do not really differentiate between boys and girls in the things they teach their children -a likely reason for this is that gender roles and characteristics are acquired via
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