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ERIC Number: ED246374
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-May
Reference Count: 0
Gender Stereotypes and Social Roles.
Eagly, Alice H.
The reason that people think women and men differ in their general qualities may be that the two sexes tend to be observed in different social roles. To explore the sources of stereotypes about men and women several experiments were conducted. Most of the studies involved randomly selected college students who were presented with a description of a male or female stimulus person and asked to rate that person. Each experiment varied the aspect of social role that might account for gender stereotypes, including job status or designation as employee or homemaker, dual role, freedom of role choice, and part-time employment. In general the studies provided strong support for the social structural analysis of gender stereotypes. Beliefs that women are especially communal and men are especially agentic reflect observations that women and men are differently distributed into homemaker and employee roles, which are thought to require different personal qualities. Perceivers formed their concept of women on the basis of observing a fairly high proportion of individuals committed to the domestic role, while men were observed primarily committed to the employee role. The fact that subjects judged personality attributes suggests that homemakers and employees differ not just in role behavior but also in their underlying dispositions. Efforts to remove gender stereotypes educationally may have relatively little impact compared with actual changes in the distribution of the sexes into social roles. (JAC)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Person Perception; Social Roles
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association (56th, Chicago, IL, May 3-5, 1984).