Topic 2: Gender Stereotypes & Differences {by 9/11}

Chapter 3 – “Gender Stereotypes & Differences” is due this week.  Address the following  discussion points:  Of all the noted gender differences, which one did you find most surprising?  Explain.  Your original post should be posted by the beginning of class 9/11.  Have your two replies no later than 9/14.  *Please remember to click the “reply” button when posting a reply.  This makes it easier for the reader to follow the blog postings.

40 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kathy Wilbur
    Sep 08, 2012 @ 21:36:17

    I was shocked by the gender difference in helping behavior: d= 0.34, meaning that men, on average, helped than females. Earlier in the chapter, when listing stereotyped personality traits, “helpful” was listed as a feminine trait. While I thing that men can often be helpful, as well, I can see why most people feel it’s primarily a characteristic of women. When the meta-analysis came back on it, however, this was clearly not the case. Later in this section, though, it was explained that “helping that is heroic or chivalrous falls within the male role, whereas nurturance and care taking fall within the female role.” The statistic made a little more sense once I read this, but I also found myself wondering how “heroic” is being defined.

    Reply

    • Gina Holick
      Sep 10, 2012 @ 20:35:38

      I see what you are saying in that how is heroic actually being defined? Is it being defined as helping out someone in a particular situation… or a tragic event? It can have many different meanings. In the text it says how men are usually more helpful in particular situations where danger is involved with strangers and how if a crowd of onlookers is involved it has a great potential for heroism… this is interesting to me and reminds me of the bystander effect. When I learned about the bystander effect in my social psychology class a couple semesters ago, we talked about how if a woman dropped something while walking in an airport (among being around other people) most people will not stop to help… unless the person who has fell says, “help I have fallen” and yells it. It’s pretty interesting to me! I found that I was thinking about this particular situation while reading the text.

      Reply

    • Chris Bozarjian
      Sep 10, 2012 @ 21:01:25

      The gender difference that shocked me the most would probably be the helping behavior one. I guess I was shocked by this one because it seems that women are nicer and more helpful than men and men are more ignorant. Yes I’m stereotyping myself but like the book states it is surprising that the gender difference is small to moderate range because nurturing and helping is a huge role in females lives. But I can also see how it isn’t a notable difference. Men usually are expected to help out females and do chores like fixing cars and mowing the lawn and so on. It can go either way but I was surprised at the outcome of the helping behavior.

      Reply

    • Alyssa DelMonaco
      Sep 10, 2012 @ 21:55:58

      I agree with you that it was surprising that men were defined as being more helpful than women. I think everyone tends to think that women are more caring and wanting to help more than men, however, I do believe that men like to help just as much as women. Maybe men want to help for different reasons than women though. I think that maybe they like being defined as “heroic,” whereas women do not really help for the label of it.

      Reply

      • Gianna Paolini
        Sep 11, 2012 @ 00:51:17

        Kathy I agree with the whole heroic aspect that men want to help and I feel it helps them be noticed more however I also feel that men can also have a sensitive and genuine side and want to help because it is nice to do.

        Reply

    • Taylor Foley
      Sep 11, 2012 @ 15:11:54

      I agree Kathy. I was extremely shocked finding out that men on average helped woman

      Reply

    • Morgan Long
      Sep 11, 2012 @ 21:02:22

      I also think its intersting that they used the word heroic. I don’t think that being helpful to others shouldn’t be considered an act of heroism. It’s simply doing the right thing. It makes me think that men only help others to boost their own egos and then it’s not really sincere.

      Reply

  2. anna
    Sep 09, 2012 @ 14:11:32

    Kathy, I agree with you. These gender stereotypes are definitely a huge part of our culture but I feel like that is changing slightly in our society. Women are taking on more independent roles. Nurturing and caring is becoming roles that fathers are also expected to fulfill now. I think it is very difficult to change the “heroic” stereotype since it is something that males are expected to be and exposed to at a young age.

    Reply

  3. Avnee Patel
    Sep 10, 2012 @ 13:58:46

    Out of all the noted gender differences, the one I found to be most surprising was helping behavior. I feel that the word “heroic” tends to be stereotyped with men. Society portrays a vision that when women are in danger, the male should come and save the day by helping them out. I feel like women can also be “heroic” in certain situations but society never seems to acknowledge their heroic behavior or they will regarded their behavior as being “helpful” rather than “heroic”. I also agree it is hard to change the “heroic” stereotype because society has envisioned it in a particularly way.

    Reply

    • Morgan McCallum
      Sep 11, 2012 @ 14:47:35

      Hey, Avnee, I really liked what you had to say! I agree that when most people hear the word “heroic,” or “hero” and we involve gender, most people would associate males with “hero.” Just think about Hollywood films (See Romcom), most are females that feel they need a male, or need to be “saved.” I can see what you’re saying; I feel like words can change between genders, for similar behavior, or even the same behavior. Like you said, a female could be seen as “helpful,” even if she really could be displaying “heroic qualities.”

      Reply

  4. Anna
    Sep 10, 2012 @ 15:11:59

    I thought the chart of gender and ethnicity and the stereotypes involved was pretty fascinating as well. I feel as if many people automatically believe all of these stereotypes when they think of someone of a certain gender and race. I know I certainly do, which I’m not proud of, but it is also something that is constantly reinforced in our culture and society.It is scary because these stereotypes can be very harmful, thus touching on the subject of stereotype threats.
    Touching again on the helpful notion, I think that men and women may fall into these gender roles because it is what our culture forces upon us our entire lives. Children are read fairy tales in which there is a kind and benevolent princess who is also saved by the heroic man. This is something that we are taught from a very young age, so it is not surprising that men and women act this way.
    The concept of androgyny is also very interesting. While reading about it, it sounds as if it is a solution to gender stereotypes, but I can see why it is not. Society does not like when people do not conform to gender roles and break free from those stereotypes.

    Reply

    • Chris Bozarjian
      Sep 10, 2012 @ 21:04:28

      I agree with the first part of this, I also was shocked at the stereotypes because of how true it seemed. People really do automatically think of all those stereotypes. I even tested my friends and they gave me very similar to answers to the ones in the textbook.

      Reply

    • Alyssa DelMonaco
      Sep 10, 2012 @ 22:03:09

      I agree with you about the chart of gender and ethnicity, and the stereotypes that were involved. I definitely think a lot of these stereotypes have a lot to do with society as well. Movies, tv shows, and books are always portraying men being the hero and saving the women. This is how the media portrays the relationships between men and women. Therefore, it makes sense that men and women act this way in today’s world, where the man is the hero to the woman.

      Reply

    • Kathy Wilbur
      Sep 11, 2012 @ 08:14:29

      Anna, I agree with every point you make here. I, too, was sure I wouldn’t hold any of the stereotypes regarding gender and race but surprisingly, or unsurprisingly, I did. I think it’s interesting that you mention fairy tales setting women up to expect a heroic, life-changing man to sweep in; it reminds me a lot of Disney movies and how, though I love them, they’ve left me with pretty unrealistic ideals.

      Reply

    • Morgan McCallum
      Sep 11, 2012 @ 15:06:49

      Hey, Anna, I really liked what you had to say!
      The “gender and ethnicity” chart, and the stereotypes is interesting. I (unfortunately) associate some qualities with gender, and race; especially race.
      I definitely agree that most children are welcomed to neat, cookie-cutter gender roles when young. Most parents would see the bedtime story of the female Princess being saved harmless, but it really is just the beginning to gender stereotypes we meet when we get older, esp. that females need to be “saved” by males.
      I also have some reservations about “androgyny.” I don’t like this term’s definition from the book since it is the combination of masculine and feminine qualities, that means that we must describe what is masculine, and what is feminine, and I think that further contributes to gender stereotypes, and gender expectations. I think society doesn’t like when people disembark from expected gender roles, and also, when parents try to raise their child as “gender-neutral,” because it is not convenient for society. For a basic example, have you ever seen someone approach a baby and not know whether it is a male or female, and you can tell they feel awkward? Society is nosy, and likes to know, so if there is a gender-neutral child society gets confused:P

      Reply

    • Avnee Patel
      Sep 11, 2012 @ 17:07:19

      I also agree with the first part of what you said about stereotypes. I feel that everyone has stereotypes about certain races and gender. I also think media has a lot to do with portraying stereotypes; certain TV shows emphasize the typical nerdy white boy who has no girl friend or a crazy African American family who pokes fun at their own stereotypes.

      Reply

  5. Nicole Boris
    Sep 10, 2012 @ 17:35:00

    The gender difference that I found most surprising was helping behavior. This gender difference stated that when it came to “heroic” helping that was mostly dominated by males rather than females. This gender difference makes it seem like women are not capable to be “heroic” at all. Women are mostly seen as helping in the nuturing way rather than is a life saving ‘heroic” way. Men may have the higher tendency to be more “heroic” than women but that does not mean a women is incapable of being heroic. There have been many stories of women being heroic in certain situations that typically would be stereotyped for a man to be heroic.

    Reply

    • Gina Holick
      Sep 10, 2012 @ 20:12:00

      I agree! Women do not take much of the credit of being heroic, like men do. Though, I’m having a hard time thinking of women being heroic… (must mean that men DO take the credit most of the time) … But the text mentions men and not women as being heroic and I am sure feminists would completely agree with your statement.

      Reply

  6. Gina Holick
    Sep 10, 2012 @ 20:03:03

    I know everyone is saying they found helping behavior to be most surprising, but I tend to agree with that as well. It is definitely most surprising because most of us would agree that females have tend to have the helping characteristic more than males do. Though, the text book says that research has proved that males who are more chivalrous tend to help more as do females who have the nurturing behavior. I can see where that is a fact for men because I have a couple friends from home (guys) who display the chivalrous type behavior.

    Reply

    • Chris Bozarjian
      Sep 10, 2012 @ 21:02:42

      I kind of felt the same way about the helping behavior because some men to take a lot of pride in helping out but then again they do not have that nurturing side that women have, usually.

      Reply

      • Anna
        Sep 10, 2012 @ 22:23:05

        I disagree with this, I think that most men do have a nurturing side, but it is ourthe gender roles that our society pushes on us that discourages men from being sensitive and emotional and construes it as weak.

        Reply

        • Meghan Surette
          Sep 12, 2012 @ 22:34:19

          Anna,
          I completely agree with your statement about nutruing men, but the unacceptance of men being able to exhibit that behavior. Men and women are equally human. It does not make sense to say that one feels more than another. Gender stereotypes are present everywhere we go.

          Reply

  7. Alyssa DelMonaco
    Sep 10, 2012 @ 21:45:08

    Although everyone is saying that the most surprising gender difference is helping behavior, I found the self-esteem one to be surprising as well. I know that it is more common for women to have less self-esteem than men, however, this was not the part that was surprising to me. What I found most surprising was the gender and ethnicity results of the self-esteem. The book said that the White samples effect size was .20, and the Black samples was -.04. I found this to be very surprising and interesting. The female deficit in self-esteem was true for Whites, but not for Blacks. It shows that ethnicity plays a huge role in gender differences. I would not have thought it would have been a big part, but now I realize why it is. I also found the part about males tending to overestimate their self-esteem to be interesting. The book says that “males do tend to overestimate their performance by about as much as females underestimate theirs, although some studies find females’ estimates to be accurate and males’ to be inflated.” This makes me wonder why we have to define women as having less self-esteem than men, rather than saying men have too much self-esteem.

    Reply

    • Kathy Wilbur
      Sep 11, 2012 @ 09:22:46

      Alyssa, I think you make an important point about us examining the relationship between gender and ethnicity. I had never thought about a connection between the two, either, but now that the text has brought it up I’d like to learn more about the differences such as the deficit in self-esteem being true for white women but not black women.

      Reply

    • Avnee Patel
      Sep 11, 2012 @ 17:30:14

      I think certain males do tend to be over confident in their performance while in certain situations women tend to underestimate themselves. I feel that males want to dominate in their performances so they can brag about how good they did while women don’t do that. I don’t think its right to say that women have less self esteem just because they underestimate themselves.

      Reply

    • Morgan Long
      Sep 11, 2012 @ 21:07:17

      I really like what you said about men having to much self-esteem. Maybe women are just more realistic about things. I also find it interesting that self-esteem is different for different ethnicitites. I wonder why that is. In the movie we watched, white women were mostly portrayed and targeted in the media. Maybe all of the pressure put on them from advertisements adds to their lack of self esteem.

      Reply

  8. Meghan Surette
    Sep 10, 2012 @ 22:07:06

    What struck me as most interesting in this chapter were table 3.3 and the discussion of implicit stereotypes. “Females from all ethnic groups are stereotyped as pleasant and friendly; however, Anglo-American and Asian American females are stereotyped as intelligent, whereas African American and Mexican American females are not”. Where do stereotypes come from? If this statement were indeed true it would not be a “stereotype” but a “fact”. Because of this we know these claims cannot be true. So then where and when did they start becoming a common belief? I think that stereotypes are so interesting in that some aspect had to of been true at one point or another for this thought to develop. Another point that can be made, however, is that because these groups discussed are minorities, prejudice views come into play. Potentially these stereotypes are the result of already skewed intolerance to those unlike oneself. The variation of stereotypes between different ethnic groups, age, and gender continue to fascinate me.

    Reply

    • Gianna Paolini
      Sep 11, 2012 @ 00:46:38

      I completly agree with this and love how you pointed out that certain statements would not be stereotypes but facts. This is also what I thought and is so true. This is also an interesting question to pose….where did they come from and how did they start? Was it just fro gossip or people’s judgements.

      Reply

  9. Gianna Paolini
    Sep 11, 2012 @ 01:02:49

    I find it interesting that the word heroic should be attached to a male identity because I know plenty of women that I consider heroes as well. However it is true that in every aspect of life men always seem the strong courageous hero that saves the day. We see this in movies, books everywhere. It is then assumed that women are not strong enough to fit this role but instead are the stay at home mom nuturing person. I find this to be true but only sometimes. This is similar to what Avnee said but I do think that this stereotype can be false. I feel that in order to be a “hero” one must have the confidence to act in dangerous or hectic situations. Well women are just as smart as men and have great instincts just as men do so I feel that they can look out for themselves and act in any situation needed. I am not saying a man cannot be a hero because they are strong and usually fill that role if needed but I am saying that a woman has the potential to be as strong, smart and heroic as a man. I also think that a man can possibly be as nurturing as a women. I admit I have not met one yet but I am sure there is one that is(not trying to be harsh) .

    Reply

    • Taylor Foley
      Sep 11, 2012 @ 15:16:47

      I completely agree with this. I too believe woman can be heros just as much as men can be. Throughout the whole “helping behavior” men were seen as the heroic figures when i believe 100% it can go both ways.

      Reply

  10. Nichole Ronan
    Sep 11, 2012 @ 12:01:34

    The gender difference that surprised me the most was helping behavior. It basically states that being heroic is just not something woman can do and that overall men tend to be more helpful than woman. I don’t really agree with this because not only do women have a nurturing nature that men typically don’t have, but who’s to say women can’t be heroes? I’d be interested to see what the book defines as a heroic act. I just think the whole theory is stereotypical and kind of out dated in a way.

    Reply

  11. Nicole Gaviola
    Sep 11, 2012 @ 12:15:40

    The gender difference I found most startling was helping behavior. Helping behavior has been studied between the genders extensively and found that d=0.34, which means males, on average, helped more than females. I find this kind of hard to believe because women are always thought to be the more nurturing, helpful gender, however, I know that this is my own personal stereotypes talking. Some helping is performed more by females and some helping is performed more by males-helping which involves more heroics and chivalry falls within the male role. That definitely sounds about right.

    Reply

  12. Mallory Ozycz
    Sep 11, 2012 @ 12:38:24

    The gender difference that I found the most surprising would have to be the helping behavior. The most surprising part to me is that researchers separated these roles into two types of helping for each gender. They stated that helping that is heroic or chivalrous falls within the male roll, whereas nurturance and caretaking falls in the female role. I know I was surprised by this statement because I myself would like to think that women would fall under the category as heroic as often as men would. Similar to what Gianna said that a woman is EXPECTED to be a stay at home mother when some would find it odd if a father were to take that role. There are so many women out there today doing “heroic” acts. It is also surprising to me that being a nurturing caretaker is not defined as heroic as well.

    Reply

    • Meghan Surette
      Sep 12, 2012 @ 22:39:27

      Mallory,
      I love your last few sentences here. I agree that a women is simply expected to pick up those feminine roles of caring and nurturing for children. I wonder, however, if this could be part of an eveolutionary theory that has evovled into our modern society. Conversely, I see these expected roles, how ever slow, decreasing. There are more and more stay at home dads emerging.

      Reply

  13. Morgan McCallum
    Sep 11, 2012 @ 14:35:47

    Of all the noted gender differences, I find the “helping behavior” most surprising. I find this most surprising just based off of personal experience. I agree that males seem to be more helpful with physical aspects (carrying bags, fixing things), where as females are more emotionally helpful (give advice, listen). I disagree, however, that just because men are helpful, in more “dangerous” situations shouldn’t automatically label them as omitting “heroic qualities,” but of course this depends on a situational basis. I feel like mothers are heros, for various reasons, including that their “help” is consistent, and long-lasting.

    Reply

  14. Taylor Foley
    Sep 11, 2012 @ 15:15:19

    I would also have to say that the “helping behavior” was most surprising. I found this so surprising because in my experience with different situations I personally find that woman are more helpful then men. I can see in some situations that men would be more helpful such as doing the handy work around the house but for life situations and emotional problems woman are the more caring and are easier to talk to about things such as advice and having someone there for you.

    Reply

    • Emily Stewart
      Sep 27, 2012 @ 21:01:19

      I agree with you Taylor because men are very good at certain “helping behaviors” and women are as well. When you said that men are good at handy work, I totally thought that is so true. While women are not usually known for handy work, they are definitely known for caring and nurturing. I just think that is something women are made to do eventually in their life.

      Reply

  15. Morgan Long
    Sep 11, 2012 @ 20:54:30

    While I agree with the majority of the class saying that the helping behavior is a surprising gender difference, I was also surprised by the activity gender difference. In my experience, I have always found that females are more active than males. I think that having down time and relaxing is more important to males than it is to females. I also found it intersesting when they mentioned females having a lower activity level because they are further ahead than males in development and are therefore more mature. The book states that female maturity represents a greater ability to control activity.

    Reply

    • Emily Stewart
      Sep 27, 2012 @ 21:30:10

      I agree and disagree with your comment Morgan. I agree because women are always on the go, however, I believe that relates more to adult women. Adult males are less active than young adult males. While young adult women still are active, I think young adult males exercise more.

      Reply

  16. Emily Stewart
    Sep 27, 2012 @ 20:54:17

    The gender difference that I found the most surprising was “helping behavior.” I believe this is very stereotypical because women help out just as much as men. If anything, I would think that women help more than males. There are many women in the world that are considered “heroic.” Women help out in different ways than men, such as being nurturing and care taking. These two qualities are more useful when someone actually needs to be cared for. Men and women both have the ability to be heroic and courageous, but it is more likely for a women to be nurturing and care taking, which is why I feel it’s more important.

    Reply

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Adam M. Volungis, PhD, LMHC

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