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PSYC 3480 (233)
Chapter 2

Chapter Two

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PSYC 3480
Noreen Stuckless

Psychology of Women Chapter 2 Notes  We live in a sea of stereotypes  For example: birth order amount of education and political beliefs  Stereotypes are the beliefs and assumptions that we associate with different types of people  Primarily focus on gender-stereotypes: the beliefs that we associate with females and males  Some gender stereotypes partially accurate: ex: men less likely to ask for directions than females  People differ widely from one another  No stereotype can accurately describe all women and all men – however we all hold stereotypes  Prejudice – an emotional reaction toward a particular group of people – usually refers to a negative attitude but can also be positive  Discrimination – refers to biased treatment of a particular group of people Biased representation of women and men  Systematic pattern of how women and men are portrayed – women seen as the second sex – represented as being inferior to men The invisibility of women in historical accounts  We know little how half of humanity have faired throughout history  Archeologists look at tools that men used for hunting  Women as gatherers  Early middle ages know that women in battles because of bones and tools found  Women often missing form history books because work confined to home and family  Women art is seen in tapestry and paintings not preserved, man tools etc. preserved Philosopher’s representation of women  Throughout the centuries have typically depicted women and inferior to men  Aristotle: women cannot develop fully as rational beings and more likely to tell lies  Function of women was to please men  Before 20 century John Stuart Mill’s views on women are the only ones seen as th acceptable before the 20 century, influenced by wife’s opinion  JSM argued women should have equal rights Gender biases in religion and Mythology  In the Bible: the Adam on eve story shows that women are made for men and women are therefore secondary  Other religions: yin and yang (yin women side: dark) yang – man side light and welcoming  Mohamed and the Quran emphasized the equal treatment of women and men  Hinduism women typically defined in terms of her husband therefore unmarried women have no identity or personality  Combined religious views: women are evil, sorcerers, virtuosos  This illustrates the normative male problem: men are the standard of comparison and women are the second sex Gender Biases and Language  People use subordinate or negative terms to refer to women  Women are invisible in language  “He” used in both reference to men and women Terms used for Women  Female member of a set of words has a much more negative sexualized or trivial meaning then the male word does  Language infantile women “girls or gals” whereas adult men not called boys Masculine Generic  Masculine generic: the use of masculine nouns or pronouns to address all things (male and female etc) instead of just man alone  Generic terms are not gender neutral  Issue is not a grammatical one it is rooted in political and practical ways  STUDY: when females heard “he” they referred more to males versus females  Masculine generic terms produce more thoughts about males then do gender neutral terms  The use of gender neutral terms is increasing Gender Biases in the Media  Eight conclusions about media representation of women  1. Women are relatively invisible – under represented in the media  2. Women are relatively inaudible – they are not seen much and are heard even less  3. Women are seldom shown working outside the home  4. Women are shown doing housework – TV ads captures reality accurately  5. Women and men are represented differently – men treated more seriously then women  6. Women’s bodies used differently from men’s bodies  7. Women of colour are underrepresented and often shown in a very biased way – black individuals are represented in TV programs or magazines but seldom in romantic relationships – most women of colour are shown as either asexual or sex pots  8. Lower social class women are underrepresented and shown in a very bias way – jerry Springer – considered acceptable to show if dysfunctional The effects of stereotyped representation  Basically, media endorses stereotypical thoughts  Media can influence reality by changing peoples attitudes and cognitive performance  Wilhelm Hurts: radio advertisements  people who heard the gender stereotyped ads reported greater amount of stereotyped characteristics The Content of Stereotypes  Gender stereotypes extend to a wide range of human behaviours  Communion: emphasizes a concern for your relationship with other people  Agency: describes a concern with your own self interests  women’s agency scores have been increasing over the past 20 years Stereotypes a
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