PSYC 3480 Chapter Notes - Chapter 2: Middle Ages, Heterosexism, Stereotype Threat

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Published on 17 Apr 2013
School
York University
Department
Psychology
Course
PSYC 3480
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 20th century John Stuart Mill’s views on women are the only ones seen as
acceptable before the 20th 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
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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
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Document Summary

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. 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. Systematic pattern of how women and men are portrayed women seen as the second sex represented as being inferior to men. We know little how half of humanity have faired throughout history. Archeologists look at tools that men used for hunting.

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