Gender stereotyping reflects the perceived psychological traits and characteristics of males and females, and the related roles that are thought to be appropriate for each gender in family, work, school, and society as a whole. Gender stereotyping impacts individuals in terms of how they view themselves and their place in society, as well as how society views the respective gender and the appropriate behavior and roles for each. The implications can be far reaching.
It is evident by studying history that gender stereotypes have changed over time. One obvious example is in the history of women’s suffrage. It was believed in the U.S. that women were not sufficiently mentally astute to vote on the important issues impacting society. The belief was that a woman’s place was in the home raising children and taking care of the domestic needs of the family. With women’s suffrage in the early 20th century and the century that has followed, this stereotype has been changed. Not only do women vote but they hold every office at all levels including heads of state and presidencies across the globe. The 2016 presidential election even featured the first female nominee from a major political party.
As a foundation for the study of gender, this Application Assignment asks you to explore gender stereotypes in some depth, including a consideration of the numerous stereotypes for both men and women; how stereotypes differ by culture; and how stereotypes impact individuals of that gender, the opposite gender, and society as a whole.
To prepare for this assignment:
- Review Chapter 3 of the course text, Gender: Psychological Perspectives, focusing on the definition of gender stereotyping, the impact it may have on society and individuals, and cultural differences and similarities in gender stereotyping. Remember that culture includes age, religion, sexual orientation, etc., as well as race and ethnicity.
- Review the article, “Stereotypes as Dynamic Constructs: Women and Men of the Past, Present, and Future.”
- Review the article, “Bimbos and Rambos: The Cognitive Basis of Gender Stereotypes.” Focus specifically on how the media perpetuates gender stereotyping.
- Review the article, “Young and Older Adults’ Gender Stereotype in Multitasking.” Focus on how this recent research suggests gender stereotyping is alive and well today.
- Think about the following questions:
- What are common stereotypes for men?
- What are common stereotypes for women?
- How have these stereotypes changed over time? What stereotypes have not really changed? Be sure to take into consideration different types of media such as film, TV, and literature as you prepare for this assignment.
- What impact do these stereotypes have on individuals of that gender, the opposite gender, and society as a whole? Think in terms of the life of the individuals; the families; school life and the educational journey; work life and career options; health and wellness issues; sexual attitudes and behaviors; and so forth.
- Consider whether or not any of the stereotypes have impacted you personally and, if so, how.
- What impact has the media had on perpetuating gender stereotypes?
- The assignment is the following:
- Choose a gender stereotype that still exists. Again, it may be a stereotype in any culture or specific country.
- Briefly describe the stereotype and the culture in which it existed, including country of origin.
- Explain the effects that the stereotype has on the individuals of that gender.
- Explain the effects of the stereotype on society by choosing two of these to discuss: family, education, work, health, sexual attitudes and behaviors. Explain what difference there might be, for individuals of that gender and for society as a whole, if the stereotype disappeared today keeping in mind the social areas you discussed in the previous question.
- Explain what perpetuates the stereotype.
- Explain whether or not this stereotype has impacted a specific culture from the one or country in which it originated (such as, beliefs of immigrants influencing the views of neighbors in their new homeland).
- Explain how, if at all, this stereotype has impacted you personally.
- For each question, be sure to use the information from your readings and provide concrete examples.
Brannon, L. (2017). Gender: Psychological perspectives (7th ed.). New York, NY: Routledge.
- Preface (pp. xiv-xix)
- Chapter 1, “The Study of Gender” (pp. 1–3; 15-18 only)
- Chapter 2, “Researching Sex and Gender” (pp. 22-32, as needed; pp. 32-40)
- Chapter 3, “Gender Stereotypes: Masculinity and Femininity” (pp. 46–68)
- Chapter 16, “How Different?” (Table 16.1, p. 504; pp. 509-515 only)
Diekman, A. B., & Eagly, A. H. (2000). Stereotypes as dynamic constructs: Women and men of the past, present, and future. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 26(10), 1171–1188. doi:10.1177/0146167200262001
Matlin, M. W. (1999). Bimbos and Rambos: The cognitive basis of gender stereotypes. Eye on Psi Chi, 3(2), 13–14, 16. Retrieved from http://www.psichi.org/?page=032EyeWin99aMatlin