Gender stereotyping is a socially shared understanding of the personal qualities and behavioral patterns of men and women, as well as the sexual specificity of social roles.
Those writing free sample research papers on the topic should know that the content of gender stereotypes (GS) make up a few groups of sex marked qualities:
- Qualities related to the activities and activity. Men are often attributed with entrepreneurship, determination, perseverance, the need to achieve the goal, non-conformism, a sense of adventure, courage, self-control, self-confidence, desire for originality, the ability to do business; women with passivity, indecision, careful attention to the rules, conformity.
- Characteristics that correlate with the positions of power and control. Masculine qualities include desire for leadership, ambition, authoritativeness, strength, objectivity, ability to make decisions, realism; female – humility, helplessness, dependency, irresponsibility, weakness, a belief in the superiority of the male bias, lack of objectivity.
- Qualities that characterize the cognitive sphere. Logic, rationality, tendency to thinking, objectivity and critical perception are attributed to men; intuition, irrationality, uncritical perception and even stupidity – to women.
- Characteristics of emotional sphere: the “male” composure, restraint, the ability to separate the rational from emotional arguments, against “feminine” emotion, susceptibility, suggestibility, sensitivity, capacity for compassion.
- Characteristics associated with the process of interpersonal interaction. Women are considered as having positive qualities (compassion, sacrifice, kindness, caring, friendliness, tact, gentleness, tenderness, and love for children) and negative (selfish ambition, cunning, deceit, and so on.). The male stereotype includes integrity, and correlating with it faux pas, sharpness, as well as self-control, balanced judgment, justice, and selfishness, insensitivity and even cruelty.
- Gender stereotyping influences the sphere of men and women social roles. Masculinity is traditionally associated with the public sphere, with the participation in active life of the society, femininity is associated with private (family, home, parenting, family life). Man is perceived primarily as a worker and citizen, and a woman – as a wife and mother.
As a kind of social stereotypes, GS has their main properties:
- Firstly, CS are stable. At the same time, they evolve, together with other social beliefs and norms (e.g., the left in the past idea of man as the sole breadwinner and protector of the family and of women as weak and helpless creature, largely due to the increasing role of women in the production of public goods and social life in modern times).
- Secondly, they are evaluative. Evaluative judgments are about feminine weakness or masculine courage, women’s or men’s self-control sensitivity. In this case, there is a perception of androcentrism: quality, defined as male, estimated to be more positive than those identified as female. At the same time, the image of a woman is ambivalent: it contains not only a negative, but also a positive evaluation. Thus, the differences between women’s cognitive abilities may be regarded as a drawback (female illogic), and as a virtue (women’s intuition).
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