Sex Roles

Pursuing Medicina [Medicine]: Latina Physicians and Parental Messages on Gendered Career Choices


Prior research underscores that college-educated Latinas are hyper-segregated into highly feminized occupations and that Latino parents socialize their daughters to seek out these careers. Despite this trend, a small and growing number of Latinas are steadily entering prestigious non-traditional careers in medicine. Drawing on in-depth interviews with 20 Latina physicians of various generational backgrounds in California, I examine how Latina doctors explain the role parental messages played in their occupational trajectories. I document the fluid and often contradicting gendered expectations Latina physicians received from parents and identify three primary patterns in these messages, including: (a) fathers’ contradictory gendered expectations for their wives versus their U.S. born/raised daughters, (b) fathers and mothers’ differing messages about procuring financial and social independence from men, and (c) parental messages about sexuality. The messages that young Latinas receive vary and reflect tensions between gendered expectations for women in the immigrant parents’ home country and those available in the United States. The messages of support and resistance that Latina physicians receive from their parents regarding the pursuit of a career in medicine show how changing structural contexts—such as access and entry into prestigious non-traditional fields—rearranges gendered dynamics within Latino families.

The Impact of Gendered Stereotypes on Perceptions of Violence: A Commentary


The present commentary explores the impact of gender role stereotypes on perceptions of both intimate partner violence (IPV) and sexual violence. Two papers published in this issue of Sex Roles explored the influence of gender stereotypes on both IPV (Bates et al. 2019) and rape myths (Klement et al. 2019). An overarching theme of these papers is how gender stereotypes may influence incorrect beliefs in how we view and approach interventions to these two types of violence. Reflecting on this convergence, we have come together as authors to consider how influential and damaging these stereotypes can be to victims of both partner violence and sexual violence. Our paper considers the nature of these stereotypes, who is harmed by them considering both gender and sexuality, and also the impact they have in societal and service responses to violence, as well as policy and practice development.

Reducing a Male Bias in Language? Establishing the Efficiency of Three Different Gender-Fair Language Strategies


Different strategies of gender-fair language have been applied to reduce a male bias, which means the implicit belief that a word describing an undefined person describes a man. This male bias might be caused by the words themselves in terms of generic masculine or masculine forms or by androcentrism (the conflation of men with humanity). In two experiments, we tested how different gender-fair strategies used as labels of an unknown social target (an applicant in a recruitment situation) could eliminate the male bias. The three types of gender-fair strategies tested were: (a) paired forms (he/she), (b) traditional neutral words (e.g., singular they, “the applicant”), or (c) gender-neutral third-person pronouns actively created to challenge the binary gender system (ze, Swedish hen). The two experiments were performed in Swedish with 417 undergraduates in Sweden and in English with 411 U.S. participants recruited online. In Swedish, the third-person gender-neutral pronoun singular (hen) was used. In English, several forms of such gender-neutral pronouns have been suggested (e.g., ze). In both experiments, results indicated that paired forms and actively created gender-neutral pronouns eliminated the male bias, whereas traditional neutral words contained a male bias. Thus, gender-fair language strategies should avoid using traditional words. Consequences of using paired forms and creating new gender-neutral words are discussed. We argue that an actively created gender-neutral pronoun is of highest value because it is more inclusive.

When Seeing Is Not Believing: An Examination of the Mechanisms Accounting for the Protective Effect of Media Literacy on Body Image


The present study aimed to explore the moderating role of three dimensions of media literacy on the relationship between media exposure and body dissatisfaction, mediated by thin-ideal internalization and appearance comparison among early female adolescents. A sample of 284 Australian female adolescents in single-sex schools (Mage = 13.15 years, range 11–16) reported on their media exposure, thin-ideal internalization, appearance comparison, body dissatisfaction, and three dimensions of media literacy: realism scepticism (scepticism regarding the extent to which media images portray reality, similarity scepticism (scepticism regarding the extent to which images portray a reality that is compatible with one’s personal experience), and critical thinking (with regard to the intention of the message, its meaning, and influence). Moderated mediation analyses were conducted. Findings revealed different patterns of relationships for the different dimensions of media literacy, with similarity scepticism moderating the mediated relationship between media exposure and body dissatisfaction via both thin-ideal internalization and appearance comparison. In contrast, reality scepticism and critical thinking revealed negative associations with body dissatisfaction but were not found to serve as moderators. Findings suggest that the mechanisms of action may vary for different dimensions of media literacy, and they highlight the importance of targeting media literacy in intervention and prevention efforts.

Body Surveillance Predicts Men’s and Women’s Perceived Loneliness: A Serial Mediation Model


Previous research on self-objectification mainly focuses on its influences on intrapersonal psychological distress whereas our study examined whether self-objectification would influence interpersonal distress (i.e., loneliness) and its corresponding mechanisms in a sample of American women and men recruited with MTurk. Participants’ self-objectification was indexed by their level of body surveillance, and we proposed that body surveillance would increase women’s and men’s tendency to experience shame about their body and decrease their general self-esteem, which would in turn predict their level of loneliness. A total of 373 Americans (235 women; Mdnage = 33 years-old, range = 18–77) participated in the present study, and the results provided support for the proposed theoretical model. Specifically, we found that body surveillance positively predicted people’s body shame, and body shame negatively predicted self-esteem, which in turn predicted people’s loneliness. Moreover, this mediational model was not different between men and women. These results expand the scope of investigation by incorporating male samples, and they suggest that in addition to intrapersonal consequences, self-objectification can also influence people’s interpersonal well-being. Implications were discussed.

Accusers Lie and Other Myths: Rape Myth Acceptance Predicts Judgments Made About Accusers and Accused Perpetrators in a Rape Case


Previous research results have yielded a consistent link between rape myth acceptance and sexual assault victim blaming: Individuals reporting higher levels of rape myth acceptance also report higher levels of victim blaming. In four studies we explored whether the presentation of rape-myth confirming information or rape-myth debunking information might moderate these tendencies. In these studies, U.S. undergraduates (97 in Study 1, 84 in Study 2, 98 in Study 3, and 116 in Study 4) read scenarios of a heterosexual sexual assault case and were randomly assigned to a control condition, a rape myth confirmation condition, or a rape myth debunking condition; they also reported the extent to which they endorsed or accepted rape myths. Rape myth acceptance robustly correlated with judgments made about accusers and accused rapists regardless whether the accuser/accused pairing was female/male (Studies 1 and 2) or male/female (Studies 3 and 4). For example, those who most strongly endorsed rape myths were also likely to disbelieve accusers. There were few instances indicating that the presentation of rape myth confirming information or rape myth debunking information moderated these effects. This lack of moderation occurred regardless of whether the information came from trial lawyers or from expert witnesses in the case. The relative impotence of the information presentations could be due to several factors (e.g., entrenched nature of rape myth acceptance, psychological reactance, timing and strength of manipulation), and we suggest ideas for how to overcome this relative impotence in future research.

Do Women in the Newsroom Make a Difference? Coverage Sentiment toward Women and Men as a Function of Newsroom Composition


Positive or negative media coverage may have important consequences for individuals’ lives and ability to succeed. One potential factor that may affect the tone of coverage, in particular for women, is the gender of newsroom managers. Some scholars have suggested that women in key editorial and managerial roles should have a positive effect on the overall coverage of issues in the news, and specifically on the coverage of women. We used fixed effects regression to analyze panel data on the coverage sentiment of 212 U.S. newspapers from various cities and states between 2004 and 2009 to examine the effects of the gendered composition of newsrooms on coverage tone for both men and women. Our results showed that individuals with female names receive more positive coverage than those with male names do in every section of the newspaper. We also found that increases in female representation on newspapers’ editorial boards resulted in coverage for women that is moderately more positive. However, there is no evidence that under female executive editorship coverage sentiment favors women. Our findings are consistent with the work of gender sociologists and media scholars who have highlighted the media’s rigid gender structures and their resistance to change.

How Societal Changes Have Influenced German Children’s Gender Representations as Expressed in Human Figure Drawings in 1977 and 2015


We investigated German first graders’ gender representations in human figure drawings done in 1977 and 2015. We hypothesized that increasing gender-status equality in society as well as growing gender differentiation in childcare and marketing are reflected in depictions of the human figure. Drawings were collected from a total of 376 children between 5 years 10 months and 8 years of age. Overall, the results are in accordance with the hypotheses: In contrast to 1977, the proportion of male and female figures was more balanced in 2015. In 2015, more girls drew a figure of their own gender and the femininity of female figures was higher than in 1977. Unexpectedly, the masculinity of male figures did not increase over this time. These results provide some insight into dynamic changes of children’s view of gender roles reflecting societal conditions. Drawings as a nonverbal approach to children’s gender representations proved sensitive in research but may also serve as a starting point in social and pedagogical work addressing gender issues. Considering gender status equality and gender specification as independent aspects of gender representations contributes to a better understanding by researchers as well as by practice professionals.

What about the Male Victims? Exploring the Impact of Gender Stereotyping on Implicit Attitudes and Behavioural Intentions Associated with Intimate Partner Violence


Although intimate partner violence (IPV) is considered stereotypically as a gendered phenomenon, empirical evidence contradicts such gender asymmetry in reported rates of victimisation and perpetration. The current research explored the impact of stereotype priming on implicit attitudes associated with IPV victimisation (Study 1) and perpetration (Study 2), and further examined behavioural intentions associated with hypothetical gendered scenarios of IPV. Participants recruited in the United Kingdom were primed with either stereotype congruent, incongruent or no information about IPV victimisation (Study 1, n = 122) or perpetration rates (Study 2, n = 101). They then completed an Implicit Association Test and reported their subjective norms, self-efficacy, behavioural intentions, and outcome expectancies pertaining to different scenarios depicting gendered IPV. Findings indicate that priming an incongruent stereotype did not impact significantly on implicit or explicit attitudes toward IPV. Gendered scenarios were found to be influential on explicit attitudes, with IPV less likely to be identified toward male victims and considered more acceptable compared to when the victim was female. Moreover, individuals reported feeling more capable and likely to intervene in an act of IPV when the victim was female compared to male, were more likely to report such an incident, and anticipated greater outcomes. These findings highlight the need for an inclusive research approach that recognises men’s victimisation.

Does Traditional Stereotyping of Career as Male Affect College Women’s, but Not College Men’s, Career Decision Self-Efficacy and Ultimately Their Career Adaptability?


In South Korea, strong beliefs about traditional gender roles in accordance with Confucian and patriarchic atmosphere still strongly influence daily life and the career development process. Cultural and contextual factors impact the development of gender role socialization, which influences an individual’s career decision self-efficacy (CDSE) and adaptability to manage the challenging career decision-making process. In our study, we recruited 291 South Korean undergraduate students (138 women, 153 men) and investigated how an implicit gender-career stereotyping impacts career adaptability via CDSE and whether there is a gender difference on the direct and indirect effects of implicit gender-career stereotyping on career adaptability. The Implicit Association Test (IAT) was implemented to measure implicit gender-career stereotyping. By testing a moderated mediation model, we found a mediated effect of CDSE in the link between implicit gender-career stereotyping and career adaptability in the female students. Moreover, the direct relationship between implicit gender-career stereotyping and CDSE was significant only for female students. Given the findings, practitioners and educators who work with South Korean women need to explore the degree of clients’ traditional gender role stereotyping and provide tailored interventions to increase their level of career adaptability by minimizing the negative impacts of gender role stereotyping and by increasing CDSE.

Alexandros Sfakianakis
Anapafseos 5 . Agios Nikolaos


Sex Roles


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