Gender Bias—general term—all 3
Androcentric—masculine nouns/pronouns for men/women
Gender Biases Throughout History
The Invisibility of Women in Historical Accounts
Look for missing information about women
life activities—What were women doing?
arts—Examine the more fragile and anonymous forms
philosophy and religion
Aristotle—bio based inferiority
Jean-Jacques Rousseau—please and be useful to men
John Stuart Mill & Harriet Taylor Mill--=rights
Images of Women in Religion and Mythology
Women are evil
Women are terrifying sorceresses
Gender Biases in Language
How gender is represented in English language---
Male as normative---impacts language practices.
Masculine language: chairman vs chairwoman
Terms Used for Women
Non-parallel terms---negative terms for females:
Bachelor vs spinster
Childlike terms---girl, babe, little gal
Diminuative suffixes for female terms
Animal and food terms—chick, cookie
Sexualization of women---use of slang--50% terms for females were sexual
Guy, dude=male bitch, slut=female
Spotlighting---the practice of emphasizing an individual’s gender
“Female basketball team”
The Masculine Generic
masculine generic terms are not gender neutral
shifting to nonsexist language
Significance of differential treatment in language
Whorfian hypothesis: idea that language influences our thought. Way we think is affected by words we use
Gender stereotypes: widely shared beliefs about attributes of females & males. Consists of beliefs about the psychological traits & characteristics of and activities appropriate to men & women
Beliefs and attitudes about masculinity and femininity. Leads people to expect different roles for men than women
Gender stereotypes persist throughout life---provide descriptions of how people think about men and women.
Provide prescriptions about what men and women should be like—places limits on what traits & behaviors are allowed.
Gender Biases in the Media: Stereotyped Representations
Women are relatively inaudible
Although most women are employed, they are seldom shown working outside the home
Women are shown doing housework.
Women and men are represented differently.
Women’s bodies are used differently from men’s bodies.
Women of color are underrepresented, and they are often shown in a particularly biased way.
Lower-social-class women are underrepresented, and they are often shown in a particularly biased way.
Content of Stereotypes: characteristics of Agency and Communion
Communion: sympathy, warmth; concern for other people. Personality characteristics linked with women
Gentle, understanding, devoted to others, helpful to others, aware of others’ feelings, and emotional
Agency: achievement orientation & ambitiousness; concern for accomplishing tasks. Linked with men
Independent, competitive, decisive, active, self-confident, stands up to pressure, and never gives up
Stereotypes About Women and Men From Different Ethnic Groups
Factors Influencing Stereotypes—complex influences
Ethnicity—southern black men strongest
Culture—share similar gender stereotypes
More consistency than differences found in gender stereotypes
The Effects of Stereotyped Representations
Reflecting and Influencing Reality
Gender Role Attitudes
Violence against Women
Judgments of abilities
Which gender’s attributes viewed in higher regard? Why?
Social Status Hypothesis: because male gender role is more highly valued than female, male seen as lowering his social status by engaging in female-stereotypic behaviors. Females raise own status when performing stereotypic male behavior.
Gender stereotypes 1st indication of power imbalance
Current stereotypes influenced by historical views of men and women---reflect beliefs that appeared during the 19th century—Victorian era
Linked with changes in society from industrial revolution
Doctrine of Two Spheres—interests diverse—have separate areas of influence
The Complexity of Contemporary Sexism
Attitudes Toward Women’s Competence
Beyer study: GPA estimations overestimated for males
Haley: college application—white males received more money by male subjects, slightly larger scholarship for females by females
Bias against women is most likely
when little information is available about a person’s qualifications
when experts are doing the evaluating
when males are doing the evaluating
Bias may be strongest when a woman is acting in a stereotypically masculine fashion. Example of Ann Hopkins, discrimination suit—firm: lacked interpersonal skills, hard driving manager—“macho”, while top producer in company, not promoted
Double bind—feminine traits, not productive/persuasive
Sexism—stereotypes and/or discriminatory behaviors that serve to restrict women’s roles and maintain male dominance
“women are dependent and passive”
Hostile sexism—obvious, women subservient, negative stereotypes
Benevolent sexism: more subtle; positive characterizations such as “women should be protected. Women different from and weaker than men
Changes in sexism over time modern sexism: less overt sexism. Decrease may be due to legislation or to less acceptance of obvious sexism
Studies from other countries: both types sexism found, larger hostile sexism. Gender equality in country related to scores on scale,
Discrimination in Interpersonal Interactions
traditional gender-stereotyped remarks
demeaning comments and behaviors
sexual comments and behaviors
Heterosexism--bias against lesbians, gay males, and bisexuals—or any group that is not exclusively heterosexual
Sexual prejudice—a negative attitude toward someone because of her or his sexual orientation
Examples of Heterosexism
Factors Correlated with Heterosexism
Bases for gender stereotypes:
Process of gender stereotyping: Social categorization: shortcut in making sense of new information. Simplify social perceptions by sorting ind. into categories.
Sort into groups based on shared characteristics—use easily identified characteristics ---ethnicity, gender, age. Usually first thing noticed
Why people associate specific traits with female vs male?
Social role theory: that people observe the types of behaviors typically performed in social roles.
Stereotypes of women and men come from associating women with domestic role, men with employee role.
Assume women are nurturing—see them more often in nurturing role.
The Social Cognitive Approach to Gender Stereotypes
Social Cognitive Approach—stereotypes are belief systems that guide the way we process information
Stereotypes help us simplify and organize the world
Exaggerating the Contrast Between Women and Men (Gender Polarization)
The Normative Male
Evolutionary Personality Theory and Mate Selection
The finding that men in this country tend to marry younger women and women tend to marry older men might be used to support the evolutionary personality theory. This theory suggests that men prefer physically attractive women because the attributes we call beautiful are associated with youth and fertility.
Evolutionary personality theory predicts that men and women look for different features when selecting a potential partner. men and women base their choice of romantic partners in part on concerns for "parental investment”-- means mates are selected who are likely to contribute to successful reproduction and child-raising. Parental investment is that males of many species are free to mate with as many females as they can.
According to the parental investment model, women prefer men who are capable of achieving financial security, and prefer to mate with men who will be able to provide for their offspring
Research shows that men are more likely to consider physical attractiveness when selecting a dating partner or spouse. In addition, men are more likely to prefer a younger partner. Cross-cultural studies find similar patterns of what men and women look for in their spouses across many different cultures. These findings support evolutionary personality theory because they suggest that mate preferences do not merely reflect differences in social learning patterns.