Human Sexuality Midterm 2
Gender and Sexuality Chapter 13
Gender Roles and Stereotypes
Gender role: set of norms, or culturally prescribed expectations, that define how
people of one gender ought to behave.
Stereotype: rigid set of beliefs about a group of people that distinguishes those
people from others.
o We become aware of these stereotypes as young as six years of age.
o A study shows that children who studied a picture of a woman almost
always described her as appreciative, gentle, weak, softhearted,
sentimental, emotional, excitable, and meek and mild.
o The men in the picture we described as aggressive, strong, coarse, cruel,
loud, and ambitious.
Gender schema: set of ideas that we associated with males and females.
o Influence how we process information. We distort or fail to remember
information that is stereotypeinconsistent. We tend to filter out
information that contradicts stereotypes.
Scripts: cognitive frameworks for how people are expected to behave in social
o The most pervasive in North America is a heterosexual script, called the
Traditional Sexual Script.
o TSS specifies how men and women are expected to behave in sexual
situations. Its ideas:
1. Men are ‘oversexed’, and women are ‘undersexed’. Men are
seen as having strong sexual needs and being highly motivated to
engage in sexual activity. Women are seen as being sexually
reluctant, slow to arouse, and interested in sex only in the context
of love and commitment.
2. High sexual experience enhances men’s but decreases women’s
perceived status. Men are seen as masculine and attractive, women
are seen as being nonselective with a lack of values.
3. Men are expected to be ‘sexperts’ and take responsibility for
both their own and their female partner’s sexual pleasure and
orgasm. Women are expected to be sexually naïve.
4. Men are supposed to be the initiators in sexual situations.
5. Women are expected to be sexual gatekeepers, and place limits
on sexual activity.
Socialization: ways in wh