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Chapter 2

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PSYC 3480
Noreen Stuckless

Chapter 2 Gender Stereotypes and Other Gender BiasesStereotypes beliefs and assumptions that we associate with particular groups of peopleGender stereotypes beliefs that we associate with females and malesIn other words stereotypes refer to our thoughts about a social group these thoughts may not correspond with realityPrejudice an emotional reaction or attitude toward a particular group of people Discrimination refers to biased treatment of a particular group of peopleGender bias includes all three issues gender stereotypes gender prejudice and gender discrimination Biased Representation of Women and MenGender Biases Throughout History o The invisibility of Women in Historical AccountsPrior to 1960 the field of women of history did not existArcheologists interested in prehistoric humans typically focused on tools associated with hunting which was often male activityThey ignored the fact that women provided most of the diet by collecting vegetables and fruitsHowever in the Early Middle Age researchers found the bodies of women on battlefields because they apparently fought in the war as wellWomen are often missing from history books because they were usually confined in the home and the hobbies which they did do like painting and music the work was less likely to be preserved compared to mens artistic efforts o Phisophers Representation of WomenWomen were often depicted as inferior to menAristotle believed that women could not develop fully as rational beingsRousseau even argued that the function of women was to please menth Before the 20 century the only known philosopher who argued that women should have equal rights was Taylor Mill o Gender Biases in Religion and MythologyWomen were less visible than men and were depicted with negative characteristics although every religion includes some positive characteristicsWhen we combine views of women from various religion and from traditional GrecoRoman mythology we can derive several conflicting views of womenWomen are evil Women can bring harm to men as Eve did to Adam Women may even be bloodthirsty like the goddess KaliWomen are terrifying creatures Women can cast spells like the wicked witches and evil stepmothers in fairytalesWomen are virtuous Women can also be virtuous and saintly especially when they nurture men and small children Example Virgin MaryEach image above emphasizes how women are different from menThese traditions illustrate ANDROCENTRISM or the NORMATIVEMALE PROBLEM men are the standard of comparison whereas women are the second sex o Gender Biases in LanguagePeople often use either subordinate or negative terms to refer to womenTerms used for WomenIn many situations people use different terms to refer to men and women and the two terms are not parallelFor example people call John Jones a doctor whereas they may call Jane Jones a lady doctor This usage implies that being a male doctor is normal and that a female doctor is an exceptionSometimes the female member of a pair of words has a much more negative sexualized or trivial connotation than the male member doesEx Bachelor and spinster master and mistress wizard and witchThe Masculine GenericMasculine genericsometimes called andocentric generic is the use of masculine nouns and pronouns to refer to all human beings both males and femalesinstead of males aloneMasculine generic terms produce more thoughts about males than do gender neutral termsGender Biases in the Media Advertisements are usually sexistStereotyped RepresentationsWomen are relatively invisible Research shows that women are underrepresented in the media Men also dominate entertainment and other forms of technology emphasize males
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