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Gender Stereotypes and other Gender Biases

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Gender Stereotypes and other Gender Biases

  1. 1. Gender Stereotypesand other Gender Biases  Stereotypes– beliefs and assumptions that we associatewith particular groups  Gender stereotypes – beliefs that we associatewith males and females  Prejudice – an emotional reaction or attitude toward a particulargroup of people  Discrimination – biased treatment of a of particulargroup of people Other Gender Biases Gender bias throughout the history the invisibility of women in historical accounts. Philosopher’s representation of women Women are depicted as inferior to men. Gender biases in Religion and Mythology Women are typically lessvisiblethan men and are frequently portrayed with negative characteristics(women are evil,sorceress,ignorant) although every religion includes somepositive characteristicslikewomen are virtues. Gender biases in Language Masculineor androcentric generic (the use of masculinenouns and pronouns to refer to all human beings.) The Complexity of Contemporary Sexism The consider women to be higher in communion (emphasizes a concern for your relationship with other people like gentle and warm) and men to be higher in agency (describes a concern for your own self-interests like self- confident, competitive. (Rudman & Glick,2008).But for the past20 years,women arerated to have an increasingscorewhen in agency. Attitude towards women’s Competence Men are significantly morelikely to be associated with status and power. Attitude towards women’s Pleasantness People don’t think than women are especially competent, but they do think than women aregenerally pleasantand nice. Personal Consequences of Gender Stereotypes  We make errors in our cognitiveprocesses.  Accordingto Social CognitiveApproach in stereotyping, people tend to: o Exaggerate the contrastbetween women and men o Consider the male experience to be normative o Make bias judgmentabout male and female o Remember gender consistent information more accurately  Stereotypes can influencebehavior through self-fulfillmentprophecy. How Biology Affects Gender Genetics Genotype- the genetic blueprintfor potential traits,characteristicsand behavior.It is the information actually encoded in your genes. Phenotype- is the outward expression of this genetic blueprint, Observable characteristicsin an individual thatresultfrom an interaction of genes and environment. Genetic factors do not solely determine traits.All traits and behaviors area combination of genes actingin a particular environmental context. Genetic Complication Sex-linked inheritance – pattern of inheritancein which genes on the sex chromosomes, usually alwaysthe X, influencetraits. Gender Categories  Genetic or chromosomal sex (XX or XY )  Gonadal sex (ovaries or testes)  Hormonal sex (estrogen & progesterone or testosterone)  Sex of internal reproductiveanatomy (uterus and ovaries or epididymis, vas deferens, and seminal vesicles)  Sex of external genitals (clitoris & labia or penis & scrotum)  Gender of rearing (labeled and raised as a girl or a boy)  Gender identity (internal sense of being female or male) Brain Differences between Genders Hormonal Influence  Gonads secrete their hormones directly into the bloodstream,which means that they circulatethroughout the body.  Activation effect – occurs when hormones temporarily activatea
  2. 2. particularbehavior,butdo not permanently alter or create a structure.  Organizational effect – means that prenatal hormones sensitizecells in some parts of the brain so thatthe structure later responds to the hormone.  Hormones permanently change an anatomical structure.  Hypothalamus – is sensitized by the bath of prenatal hormones, triggeringdifferent hormonal patterns in males and females at puberty. Males Female  Tend to have verbal centers on only the left hemisphere.  Not only have fewer verbal centers in general but also,often, have less connectivity between their word centers and their memories or feelings.  Tend to have verbal centers on both sides of the brain  Tend to use more words when discussingor describing incidence,story, person, object, feeling, or place.  When itcomes to discussingfeelings and emotions and senses together, girls tend to have an advantage, and they tend to have more interest in talking about these things. Hemispheric Lateralization  Lateralization – tendency for the left and righthemispheres of the brain to specialize in different functions.  Lateralization is less strongin females; parts of both hemispheres are activefor both verbal and nonverbal tasks.  In males, these abilities aremorelikely to be carried outby activity in one hemisphere. Processing  Male brains utilizenearly seven times more gray matter for activity whilefemale brains utilizenearly ten times more white matter. o Gray Matter (areas of the brain are localized. They are information- and action-processing centers in specific splotches in a specific area of the brain. Once they are deeply engaged in a task or game, they may not demonstrate much sensitivity to other people or their surroundings.) o White Matter (the networking grid that connects the brain’s gray matter and other processing centers with one another. This profound brain-processing difference is probably one reason you may have noticed that girls tend to more quickly transition between tasks than boys do.) Chemistry  Some dominant neurochemicals : ◦ Serotonin helps us sitstill ◦ Testosterone is our sex and aggression chemical ◦ estrogen is a female growth and reproductive chemical ◦ Oxytocin is a bonding-relationship chemical. Structural Differences  Females often have a larger hippocampus, our human memory center. Females also often have a higher density of neural connections into the hippocampus.As a result,girls and women tend to inputor absorb more sensorial and emotive information than males do. By “sensorial”we mean information to and from all fivesenses.  Splenium – a portion of the corpus callosum towards the back of the brain. Is larger and more rounded in women than men.The function of this part of the corpus callosum seems to be tyingparts of the left and right brain hemispheres that control speech and spatial perception.
  3. 3. Blood Flow and Brain Activity  The female brain,in part has far more natural blood flowthroughout the brain at any given moment (more white matter processing),and becauseof a higher degree of blood flow in a concentration partof the brain called the cingulate gyrus, will often ruminate on and revisitemotional memories more than the malebrain.  Males tend, after reflecting more briefly on an emotive memory, to analyzeit somewhat, then move onto the next task. Duringthis process,they may also choose to changecourse and do something active and unrelated to feelings rather than analyzetheir feelings at all.Thus,observers may mistakenly believe that boys avoid feelings in comparison to girls or move to problem-solvingtoo quickly.

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