Gender Roles And Stereotypes

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Gender Roles And Stereotypes

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Gender Roles and Stereotypes

These peers had never met the male dancer and did not know his personality or that his passion was strictly about dance. My friends and I spent hours daily at the dance studio, a lot of the time with our male dancer friend. The time spent there created a lot of tension with our male friends at school. Looking back at it now, I wish my friend group had stood up before the tension built and before we felt we were in a conflict between the two sides, but we were young. In the end, we decided that our male dance friend is just as important as our male friends at school, and we no longer wanted to deal with the drama between choosing a side; so we created a plan.

Many of our friends came. The boys from school enjoyed the dance night and participated more than we had expected. The boys met our male dance friend and immediately they were able to see that he was passionate about dance and that he was there because of his love for the sport. Interviews with children and their guardians revealed that the onset of puberty triggers increased reinforcement of pressure to conform to hegemonic sex-typed identities and roles. While boys, men described having the freedom to come and go as they pleased to pursue education and other opportunities, girls found their mobility and access to education restricted, the study notes. As they enter adolescence, silence and modesty are instilled as desirable values, as girls are pressed to behave in a "modest fashion.

This phenomenon leads to numerous cascading cultural perceptions. Once puberty hits, it's all about preventing sex. Puberty deepens the divide, especially when it comes to sexuality, turning boys into predators and girls into potential targets, the study found. Messages such as "don't sit like that," "don't wear that" and "boys will ruin your future" reinforce the gender division of power and promote sex segregation with the aim of preserving a girl's sexuality, the study says. Girls feel less 'smart' than boys by age 6, research says. In Delhi, once a girl reaches puberty, "her family is concerned with protecting her chastity, preventing elopement and fears stigma from losing family honor," the researchers said.

Girls there are not supposed to look at or talk to boys, "as this might raise suspicion that they were initiating romantic relationships. The researchers also found that, despite efforts to normalize menstruation and breast development, negative societal attitudes further contribute to girls' sense of self-objectification, body shame and lack of agency in sexual decision-making. As a consequence of adult perceptions of girls' sexual vulnerability, respondents in nearly every location reported that girls' mobility is far more restricted than it is for boys.

In Ghent, Belgium, respondents spoke of how girls had to take care in selecting their clothing or risk being seen as "too easy" or "prostitutes," making them potential victims of violence. An year-old in Delhi expressed a similar sentiment: "Parents also tell girls not to go out alone. She will not be allowed to do a job. I really don't understand why girls are not allowed to go out of the house. Respondents were asked to estimate how many questions they answered correctly on tests, and to guess the performance of a random partner whose gender was revealed. Both men and women exaggerated the actual gender performance gaps on average, overstating the male advantage in male-typed domains as well as overstating the female advantage in female-typed questions.

And in predicting their own abilities, women had much less confidence in their scores on the tests they believed men had an advantage in. They were asked to guess their total number of correct answers, as well as how their performance compared to others. A woman who actually had the same score as a man estimated her score to be 0. Even more surprising, even after participants were provided with feedback about how they performed, this gender gap in how well they perceived they did continued.

In a second study participants were asked to guess how they performed on a test in a randomly assigned subject matter and to predict their own rank relative to others completing the same test. The researchers then provided participants with feedback about their performance. They found that both men and women discounted good news about their scores in subjects that their gender was perceived to have more trouble with. Stereotypes play on our minds so strongly that it becomes tougher to convince people of their talent in fields where they believe their gender is weak, Coffman says.

You got a really good score on this math test,'" she says. It's important to note, Coffman says, that these studies also show that men have less confidence than women in their ability to shine in fields dominated by women.

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