Rus Articles Journal

What is gender stereotypes ?

in psychology understand As a stereotype simplified, schematized, often distorted or even false, characteristic of the sphere of ordinary consciousness, idea of any social object (the person, group of people, a social community, etc.) . Sometimes understand the steady, regularly repeating behavior forms as stereotypes.

There is a huge set of the most different stereotypes including gender stereotypes - culturally and socially caused ideas of qualities and standards of behavior of men and women.

The American psychologists Kaye Do and Tim Emsveyler made experiment. Students and students were acquainted with very successful results which their colleague (the man or the woman) when performing a difficult task achieved. After that examinees asked to express own opinion on what, from their point of view, served as the success reason. It appeared, as students, and students attributed achievements of the man almost to only his abilities while progress of the woman, by estimates of both groups, was affected by good luck more.

It is possible to call also a set of other stereotypes such. So, for example, stereotypic idea of the man as the leader is equally characteristic both of men, and of women.

The stereotypic description of characteristic male and female features received in the research of the American students conducted at the end of 70 - x is given below years.

Characteristic features of the man : strong, is inclined to sports activities; worries about the appearance less and is almost not afraid of an old age; carries out a role of the supporter of a family; has experience of sexual life; it is not emotional, resistant; it is logical, rational, objective, has the developed intelligence; aspires to the power and leadership; it is independent, free; it is active; strives for success, it is ambitious.

Characteristic features of the woman : weak, is not inclined to sports activities; worries about the appearance and is afraid of an old age; shows attachment to a family; it is virtuous; it is emotional, gentle; it is thoughtless, inconsistent, possesses a keen intuition; it is compliant, obliging; it is dependent, to a great extent needs protection; it is passive; shy, timid.

Now the tendency to weakening of similar stereotypes is noted. And psychological researches showed what does not exist purely man`s or female personality; more and more the idea that stereotypes are not something natural gets both in scientific, and into ordinary consciousness, and are created by society.

There is a considerable coherence of gender stereotypes in many cultures. Men are perceived as aggressive, autocratic, impudent, dominating, inventive, strong, independent, rough, clever; women - as emotional, pensive, sensitive, obedient and superstitious.

Gender stereotypes can change depending on social, economic or political changes, but this process happens rather slowly. Stereotypes are acquired very much early, and used by children long before emergence of own opinions on those groups which they treat. As a rule, the person does not realize or does not want to realize that he predubezhden, and considers the attitude towards object of prejudice as a result of an objective and independent assessment of some facts. Prejudices develop on the basis of the distorted or incomplete information.

We will give the example illustrating a prejudice in the gender sphere. Girls - students asked to get acquainted with scientific articles and to estimate them from the point of view of professionalism, competence, style, etc. Some students received articles signed by authors - women, others - the same articles, but signed by authors - men. It turned out that students estimate articles signed by men, than women much above. I.e. prejudices concerning representatives of own gender group led to a low intellectual estimate of work of other women.

Now, on the one hand, many prejudices concerning women weaken, with another - new appear. Speaking about sources of prejudices, first of all, call the unequal status: prejudices help to justify economic and social superiority of those who have in hands a wealth and the power. Prejudices and discrimination are in the relations of mutual support: discrimination supports a prejudice, and the prejudice legalizes discrimination.

Thus, gender stereotypes are very strong and are accepted even by those groups concerning which they are created. The existing stereotypic ideas of feminity and courage are rather close in different cultures. Stereotypes tend to be acquired early and they change with great difficulty.