Psychology and Psychiatry

Gender stereotypes

Gender stereotypes are prevailing and widespread ideas about behavior, appearance, self-presentation and aspirations depending on gender. Stereotypes are associated with maintaining the functioning of gender roles, being generated by their features, but also affecting their reproduction in subsequent generations.

The study of gender stereotypes has shown their influence on the establishment of gender inequality, as well as the infringement of personality on the basis of gender, which has generated many rallies on gender and gender tolerance, as well as the feminist movement. The impact of such stereotypes depends on the historical period of the analysis and the cultural environment that was studied. More developed in research and cultural countries to a lesser extent use gender stereotypes to regulate social behavior. The realization that the presented facts about the observance of norms are more far-fetched and do not correspond to reality allow people to more objectively relate to reality and equip their lives in a comfortable way, realizing talents and meeting the needs that arise at that moment, and not in accordance with prescriptions.

Gender Roles and Stereotypes

In a less developed society, the correlation of self and the evaluation of others by stereotypes is quite strong, because when building a stereotypical relationship you don’t have to analyze your internal attitude, the situation and the identity of the other, you can simply take ready information from outside and follow its model. In this case, the characteristic is the manipulation of meanings and concepts, consisting in the selective perception of information and its personal free interpretation, which makes such attitudes at the expense of characteristic behavior the basis for manipulating others.

The emergence of a rigid structure of gender prejudices is inherent in the traditions of Western culture, where gender roles are clearly separated, correspond to the physiological gender with permanent consolidation, and in other cultural communities, as the social role determined by gender is completely absent, it can also be replaced with a change in conditions and needs. In such conditions, stereotypes and frames are not born, and the person feels freer in his own manifestations and can successfully carry out various activities.

Whether gender stereotypes are needed is a question that has many answers, because on the one hand, any stereotypes do not allow to see the situation real and show flexibility of adaptation, on the other they serve as a rather strong construct for maintaining appropriate behavior, being an unwritten body of laws that simplifies the choice of life strategy topics who for various reasons is not able to build an independent one.

Of course, differences between the feminine and the masculine exist, and gender psychology deals with these issues. And the more studies of the characteristics of this spectrum, the more evidence was obtained that between different genders is much more similar than different, and the psyche of any person contains manifestations of both sexes (own anima and animus). Differences are emphasized because they hurt the eyes, are an eternal stumbling block and deeply embedded in the archaic layers of the psyche, it is also convenient to explain and cover other concepts (for example, humiliation or subordination of another). If a person begins to act only within the framework of conformity with his physical sex, this entails personality disorders, a kind of rebellion of the opposite part, which has turned out to be unaccepted and sent into the shadows.

The concept of gender was introduced not as a synonym for biological sex, but to designate its social component. Physical sexual characteristics do not give predestination to social manifestations, because to be considered a male or female you only need to be born. And in order to be considered a woman or a man in a social sense, it is necessary to meet certain criteria and expectations imposed by culture regarding the presentation of one’s own sex. When a person does not play an appropriate social role, he is considered strange or sick, people who have a highly developed stereotypical thinking regarding gender can experience fear or hatred for those who act outside the framework defined by society.

Gender identity is also formed under social influence, because initially children do not distinguish gender, then they just know it formally when they are told through the same stereotypical expectations of their behavior ("we will not take a blue T-shirt, you are a girl, we will take you a pink dress "," you are strong and brave, you can fall asleep in a dark room, you are a boy "). Children try, play in the family, but the final understanding of their sex role and feeling of gender roles begins with puberty.

The gender role includes a set of representations of a particular culture at a particular time interval, about how to behaves. This is the kind of behavior that a society expects from a person, in the vein of which they are raising (remember the parents are explaining “you are a boy” - there is no logic, but there is a predestination of some behavior only on the basis of sexual characteristics). Such a strict attitude is present in the schools and courtyards of each house of Western civilization, in order to determine the corresponding emphasis on the manifestation of femininity or masculinity.

Gender roles are not sustainable education or designation, characteristic of gender, it is impossible to say that if a person is sensitive, then this means a woman. Such executable and manifest moments are fully regulated by culture, and the fact that on one continent will be considered a masculine manifestation, on the other may be a typical female duty. How a person will relate to role manifestations (the effect of stereotypical thinking) is determined by the people around them.

Changes in the perception of gender roles and, consequently, the power of stereotyping depends on the historical gap when studying gender stereotypes. If in more ancient times the activities and leisure of men and women were clearly separated, now everything is mixed up. The stereotypes that existed before are still strong, but an internal revolution of society is taking place and there is officially no separation of professions regarding gender, more freedoms of manifestation have appeared. Likewise, in leisure time - women go to boxing, and men paint pictures and more and more people are guided in their assessments by gender prerequisites - the pleasure of the man himself and the quality of the product he produces come first.

Impact of gender stereotypes

With gender roles, everyone chooses a certain position - you can play and change these roles depending on what is happening in reality and thereby show adaptability and creative adaptation, and you can act rigidly, strictly fulfilling the role prescriptions, and then it looks like an adaptation of the situation to fit your abilities.

Whether gender stereotypes are necessary in order to better adapt to society, with logical reasoning leads to a negative answer, but, nevertheless, many people prefer to break through reality, demanding from themselves and loved ones sometimes unprofitable and heavy compliance with the invented rules.

Actions in the rules of gender stereotypes can help a person achieve their goals (when a woman adheres to a similar concept, then the man deciding all her questions, often without her participation, seems ideal to her), but can also greatly interfere (with the same situation, but if focuses on his own maturity and the ability to responsibility, the unceremonious intervention of a man, even with good intentions may end any relationship).

The rules prescribed by stereotypes dictate goals and ways to achieve them. Positive moments brought about by stereotyping - since childhood it is known what to do, whom to work and how to behave, i.e. a person avoids emotional distress and receives a huge dose of social approval with successful compliance. Problems begin when people try to achieve a similar match (women find it difficult to combine work and household duties, and men rarely can reach the pattern of masculinity and success). Any role and stereotype is an ideal that is a priori far from real life and a living person, so attempts to conform to it give rise to a feeling of inferiority, anxiety and fatigue.

The action within the prescribed framework limits the development of the individual, negates the potential of the mortgaged potential, and the theory of social androgyny opens the door to its own improvement and achievements. Many scientific discoveries were made by women after they were given access to education and science, and most of the most talented chefs, designers and perfumers are men.

When researching the psyche features of people who adhere to gender stereotyping, a greater number of psyche defense mechanisms, an increased level of depressive and disturbing manifestations, rigidity of mental and social processes, stuck in a traumatic experience were revealed. While a person freely switching between roles, had a more stable emotional background, fewer defenses and a higher level of awareness, there were also higher indicators of adaptability, flexibility and realization, the overall level of feeling of fullness of life.

In general, it can be said that the more behaviors a person has, the more successful he becomes in his work and is more stable emotionally to various incidents.

Examples of gender stereotypes

Before being born, a person already falls under the effect of gender stereotypes, when, having recognized the gender of the child, the parents choose a stroller and a bed of blue or pink color. Further, the entire advertising and social infrastructure is aimed at separation - caps and bottles, ryushechki and dinosaurs on T-shirts differ.

An example of the same gender stereotype is the choice of toys and games for children — doll girls and dishware, and boys and cars and robots. If you look at the games of the junior groups of the kindergarten, you will notice that the children play the ones that caught their attention, the girls roll the cars there, and the boys put the dolls to sleep, but then they will tell them all with what toys they need to play, everyone will see at home a certain set and gradually begin to play his own. Thus, primary stereotypes about appearance and activity are beginning to form, few of the parents think that their daughter will be a truck driver.

Further more and the typical woman should be clean and tidy, as well as all the space around her, her profession should be helpful and connected with people (teachers, doctors, secretaries), while the woman’s income level does not exceed the male one. For women, education is not important, and she may not receive it, just as they do not play sports and politics. In relationships, the female role is always auxiliary, silent and in the shadows, obeying what the man will say. And the main directions of women's activities are concluded on the home territory in cooking, cleaning and taking care of children; it is possible to work and go somewhere else only when priority is fulfilled and is considered a whim (if not foolishness). Women love to sing, dance and art, and do not like online games, cars and fishing; while they always look good and smell and never get angry.

The stereotype of a man can be built on the antonyms of the female, as they deal with serious external issues, but not domestic duties. Men can repair the broken and are addicted to games, but can not long and sincerely communicate or clean up after themselves. Men in stereotypical perception earn a lot, conduct their activities in politics, are actively involved in sports and manage women.

The list can be infinite, but no one fully corresponds to this list, and does not require from its partner. There are stereotypes prevailing in society and there are those elected from them that are relevant for a particular person, his family. Stereotypes can relate to the makings (men - mathematics, women - humanities), desires (women want to get married, men - freedom) and temperament (men - aggressive, women - calm).

The whole construction of stereotypes is built on the binary principle, and if a woman is intuitive, then the man is logical. This is followed by jokes about women's logic, but no one considers that intuition is the same logical system operating according to other laws. Structuredness and subordination also reflect the dichotomy of stereotypes, but do not reflect the essence. And besides the general trends, everyone in his own family can find personal stereotypes (for example, a man must be a soldier, and a woman should be able to cook sturgeon - and nothing else).