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What Do the Words Masculinity and Femininity Mean

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Pressure to conform: 'That's not funny!' Androgynous and masculine resist conformity ... Use of homophobic insults 'Is Tom waiting for John?' Bum boys! ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: What Do the Words Masculinity and Femininity Mean


1
What Do the Words Masculinity and Femininity
Mean?
  • PS204 Social Psychology
  • 10/03/2008
  • Peter Hegarty

2
Warm-Up Task1
  • Write down all the character traits, and
    behaviors that you can think of that are
    stereotypically masculine and feminine.
  • You dont have to believe these stereotypes, you
    just have to know that they are stereotypes.
  • Now split into two groups

3
Group 1
  • Think of a person that you know who is of the
    same gender as you. What makes that person
    masculine or feminine? Write down as many
    traits and behaviors as you can.

4
Group 2
  • Now think about yourself. What makes you
    masculine or feminine? Write down as many traits
    and behaviors as you can.

5
Groups 1 2
  • GROUP 1 Now think about yourself. What makes
    you masculine or feminine? Write down as many
    traits and behaviors as you can.
  • GROUP 2 Now think about yourself. What makes
    you masculine or feminine? Write down as many
    traits and behaviors as you can.
  • Which task seemed easier?

Spence Sawin (1984). In OLeary, Ungar
Wallston (Eds.) Sex, gender, and social
psychology.
6
Sex and Gender
  • Masculinity and femininity are understood as
    aspects of gender that is opposed to physical
    sex.
  • The line is not so clear as we think.

7
Gendering People and Things
  • Act like a man!
  • You make me feel like a natural woman
  • Shes a real girl
  • Boys will be boys
  • Its such a guy thing to do
  • That RomCom is a real chick flick

8
Cultural rules of gender
  • There are two and only two genders Gender
    membership is based on genitals All exceptions
  • are a joke or a performance
  • Harold Garfinkel (1968)

9
Cultural rules of gender
  • There are two and only two genders Gender
    membership is based on genitals All exceptions
  • are a joke or a performance
  • Harold Garfinkel (1968)
  • A person either has a penis or no genitals
  • Kessler McKenna (1978)

10
Cultural rules of gender
  • There are two and only two genders Gender
    membership is based on genitals All exceptions
  • are a joke or a performance
  • Harold Garfinkel (1968)
  • A person either has a penis or no genitals
  • Kessler McKenna (1978)
  • Biological theory cant sustain the idea of a
  • pre-cultural sex
  • Butler (1990) Fausto-Sterling (1990)

11
2005 Gender Recognition Act
  • Where a full gender recognition certificate is
    issued to a person, the persons gender becomes
    for all purposes the acquired gender (so that, if
    the acquired gender is the male gender, the
    persons sex is that of a man and, if it is the
    female gender, the persons sex is that of a
    woman). Section 9 (1)
  • Although same-sex marriage is illegal, trans
    women with penises can now legally marry men, and
    trans men with vaginas can legally marry women
  • (Stephen Whittle, OBE, 2007). Lesbian and gay
    psychology review, 8 (1), 36.

12
Gender Without Genitals
  • Which of the following is masculine and which
    feminine?
  • Pink and Blue
  • Sun and Moon
  • Cat and Dog
  • Knife and Spoon

13
Gender Without Genitals
  • Which of the following is masculine and which
    feminine?
  • Pink and Blue
  • Sun and Moon
  • Cat and Dog
  • Knife and Spoon

Things without genitals (and things with both
male and female genitals) are gendered
14
Psychologists measure MF
  • Termans M-F scale.
  • 1925 study of gifted children
  • 1936 book Sex and Personality (with Miles)
  • Items discriminate male and female undergraduates
  • Norm gender on one group, letting their
    differences set the standard of masculinity and
    femininity for all.

15
Highly arbitrary items
  • Have you read Gullivers Travels?
  • Have you read A Christmas Carol?
  • Is a marigold a stone or a flower
  • Does marriage make you think of children or
    divorce
  • How much do Bolsheviks disgust you?
  • Are you afraid of foreigners?
  • What about negroes?
  • Would you like to be a journalist?

16
Assumptions of M-F scales
  • M and F are opposites.

17
Assumptions of M-F scales
  • M and F are opposites.
  • M and F are coherent
  • Researchers struggle to find correlated items.

18
Assumptions of M-F scales
  • M and F are opposites.
  • M and F are coherent
  • Researchers struggle to find correlated items.
  • M and F are more than sex differences
  • Diagnosis of male homosexuality (MMPI)

19
Assumptions of M-F scales
  • M and F are opposites.
  • M and F are coherent
  • Researchers struggle to find correlated items.
  • M and F are more than sex differences
  • Diagnosis of male homosexuality (MMPI)
  • M and F can be measured

Constantinople (1973). Psychological Bulletin,
80, 398-407. See also Hegarty Coyle (2005).
Feminism Psychology, 15, 379-383
20
Feminist Measures BSRI/PAQ
  • Masculinity and Femininity are perpendicular to
    each other. People can be both (androgyny) or
    neither (undifferentiated)
  • They are social roles not personality traits
  • Its healthy to be androgynous and flexible
    rather than stuck in gender roles.

Bem (1974). Journal of Clinical and Consulting
Psychology, 42, 155-162
21
Masculine
Androgynous
Masculinity
Feminine
Undifferentiated
Femininity
22
BSRI Sample Items
23
BSRI Findings
  • Pressure to conform Thats not funny!
  • Androgynous and masculine resist conformity
  • Good listener study
  • Androgynous and feminine most empathic
  • Self-esteem
  • AndrogynousgtMasculinegtFemininegtUndifferentiated

See Sandra Bem (1993).The lenses of gender for a
review.
24
Rise and Fall of BSRI
25
Problems with BSRI
  • Still normalizing
  • (its good to be androgynous)
  • Women normalized more than men
  • Theory remains androcentric
  • Much of the literature privileges masculinity
    over femininity
  • Androgyny non-conformity masculinity
  • Can these traits ever be measured?
  • Constantinople (1973)

26
Real Wages
  • Pressure on Women Workers

1950
1974
1990
See David Harvey (1989). The condition of
postmodernity
27
Reinterpreting BSRI
Masculine
Androgynous
AGENCY
Feminine
Undifferentiated
COMMUNION
28
Think of a same-sex couple
29
Gender Role Theory
Stereotypes Women are communal Men are agentic
Behavioral Differences Communality Agency
Roles Enforced By Society Homemaker Breadwinner
Eagly (1987). Sex differences in social
behavior A social role interpretation
30
Gender Role Theory
Stereotypes reify social roles Its only natural!
Stereotypes Women are communal Men are agentic
Behavioral Differences Communality Agency
Roles Enforced By Society Homemaker Breadwinner
Eagly (1987). Sex differences in social
behavior A social role interpretation
31
Projecting Gender Roles
  • Two aliens (Ackmians and orinthians)
  • City workers or child carers
  • No gender on this planet
  • Participants attribute agentic () and
    communal (-) traits
  • Independent variables
  • Cross-group or within-group matings
  • Participants explain differences or not

32
Results
33
Results
34
Results
Hoffman Hurst (1990). Journal of Personality
and Social Psychology, 58, 197-208
35
Results
Hoffman Hurst (1990). Journal of Personality
and Social Psychology, 58, 197-208
36
Do you need sex to stereotype?
  • Hoffman and Hurst (1990)
  • Knife/spoon
  • Appearantly individuating information
  • Pratto Bargh (1991), JESP, 27, 26-47.
  • Same-sex couples
  • Lets see.

37
Why are gender stereotypes harmful?
  • They are insulting to women?

38
Why are gender stereotypes harmful?
  • They are insulting to women?
  • NO! See Eagly et al. (1991).Psychology of Women
    Quarterly, 15, 203-216.
  • They are inaccurate?

39
Why are gender stereotypes harmful?
  • They are insulting to women?
  • NO! See Eagly et al. (1991).Psychology of Women
    Quarterly, 15, 203-216.
  • They are inaccurate?
  • Kind of. The means are not but the variance
    probably is. See Swim (1994). Journal of
    Personality and Social Psychology, 66, 21-36.
  • They subtly affect attributions (why?)

40
Why are gender stereotypes harmful?
  • They are insulting to women?
  • NO! See Eagly et al. (1991).Psychology of Women
    Quarterly, 15, 203-216.
  • They are inaccurate?
  • Kind of. The means are not but the variance
    probably is. See Swim (1994). Journal of
    Personality and Social Psychology, 66, 21-36.
  • They subtly affect attributions (why?)
  • Yes!! Jacquelynne Eccles expectancy-value model
  • They create self-fulfilling prophecies

41
Why are gender stereotypes harmful?
  • They are insulting to women?
  • NO! See Eagly et al. (1991).Psychology of Women
    Quarterly, 15, 203-216.
  • They are inaccurate?
  • Kind of. The means are not but the variance
    probably is. See Swim (1994). Journal of
    Personality and Social Psychology, 66, 21-36.
  • They subtly affect attributions (why?)
  • Yes!! Jacquelynne Eccles expectancy-value model
  • They create self-fulfilling prophecies
  • Yes!! Stereotype threat. Spencer, Steele Quinn
    (1999). Effects of knowing that a test shows
    gender differences.

42
How are gender roles enforced?
  • Stereotyping of deviants
  • Gender-inversion stereotypes of lesbians and gay
    men.
  • E.g., Deaux Lewis (1984), JPSP, 46, 991-1004.
  • Diagnosis of gender identity disorder in
    childhood
  • Burke (1995). Gender shock
  • Use of homophobic insults
  • Is Tom waiting for John? Bum boys!

43
Masculinity and Homophobia
Self-Conscious Discomfort
  • Self-conscious discomfort (Bosson,et al., (2005).
    JPSP, 552-565).

44
What are masculinity and femininity
  • I want to suggest that femininity and masculinity
    are ideological practices that are all the more
    effective because they appear as natural and
    inevitable results of biology or experience. The
    appearance of something coherent which could be
    explained as a property of the individual is
    precisely the effect of this ideological
    movement.
  • Wetherell (1997). Critique of Bem and
    androgyny scales. In Gergen Davis Toward a
    new psychology of gender.

45
What Keeps M-F Going
Attacks on Non Conformers (homophobia)
People with penises who identify as men, who
form relationships with women, earn more, care
for children less, do less housework, do less
elder care, get objectified less (but this may be
changing), do more of the fighting and dying.
People with vaginas and clitorises who identify
as women form relationships with men, earn
less, care for children more, do more housework,
do more elder care, get objectified more, do less
of the fighting and dying less.
Ideas About Whats Normal (Psychiatry)
Ideas About Whats Natural (Evolution,
Stereotypes)
Self-Fulfilling Prophecies
46
Key references
  • Bem (1993). The lenses of gender.
  • A great review of early work, the androgyny
    paradigm, etc.
  • Hoffman Hurst (1990). JPSP.
  • Bosson et al. (2005).JPSP.
  • Eagly et al. (1991).PWQ.
  • Swim (1994). JPSP.
  • Spencer et al. (1999). Journal of Experimental
    Social Psychology
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