Everyculture or society has set a role for each of the genders. Theseroles are in some cases inaccurate as they restrict some people asthey use generalizations and not specifics based on individualattributes. Every person is unique in feelings, desires and thinking(Hasset, 2008). Stereotypes are simplistic and do not take intoconsideration personal attributes. This paper discusses how genderstereotyping affects women in various ways.
“Gender”refers to differences in socially-derived expectations of interests,roles, traits and behaviors between males and females:e.g.,“Social context” concept used to explain potential differences indevelopmental outcomes”
Whena child is born the stereotypes the society has already defined getsinto motion. The parents already with their stereotyped minds see thechild as what the society says she is and not what the child is.Gender stereotypes are biased against women (Hasset, 2008). From theearly days of their lives, women are expected to walk a path that thesociety has defined for them. Any talents or special gifts in themare not recognized. If any woman is brave enough to challenge theestablishment, she is regarded an outcast. As a result, the womanwill restrict her behavior and see herself being weaker or inferiorto others add especially the men.
“Perceivedgender and associated gender identity is an important part of “self” identity for women across the life span:
Aspectsof a woman’s “self” identity:
Asshe grows, any woman with aspirations would have to seek approvalfrom the men. Getting approval to do something out of the ordinarywas out of the question. Therefore, many women ended up with role ofchildbearing and looking after their husband’s properties. Thisstereotyping is to blame for the condition of women in many parts ofthe world. Most of them are unable to do more than domestic choreseven when they have the capacity to do more (Hasset, 2008). Althougha lot has changed over the years, the path of women development hasbeen full of challenges. For many years, there were no women inpositions of political power. In the corporate sector, it is the menwho have dominated everything. The only place where a woman wasallowed to operate is within the confines of her home.
“Itis important to recall Reigl’s Model of Human Development (seelecture from Module #2) when understanding the impact of the“biological” force on women’s development, as it dynamicallyinteracts with the psychological, sociological and environmental(physical, geographical)”.
Thewoman of today has evolved into a totally different creature. She hasfought for her space with her tears, sweat and blood (Hasset, 2008).While the woman is fighting for recognition in the political andcorporate spheres of life, she does not neglect her traditional roleof a mother and wife. She is able to perform all these roles togetherwithout neglecting any of them. The modern woman may have evolved outof the harsh treatment she has received from the stereotyping in herlife.
Thewoman can now do things she was not allowed to do previously. In pastcultures, there were roles designated for men alone. In somesocieties, there were some types of food that women would cook butnever taste. Even in colleges, there were courses that were moresuited for men than women. This is no longer the case. Women are nowempowered, have access to finances and information that they werepreviously denied. There are now more women leaders in various partsof the world than before (Hasset, 2008). Some have led their nationsto great heights of achievement. In Israel, Golda Meir was PrimeMinister at one point in time. Indira Gandhi and Margaret Thatcheralso successfully led their countries through very challenging times.There are many other women today who have risen above thestereotyping and shown the world it was wrong to ignore her personalattributes for that long.
“Ifgender stereotyping is not the optimal process for social learningand “self” identity, what are better approaches?
A. Betterto be “gender aschematic,” ct’d:
2. “Individualdifference” schema– processing social information about women (or other groups)with considerations toward specific details of the uniqueindividual (capabilities, limitations, motivations, background characteristics, life experiences, etc.).”
Inconclusion, gender stereotyping has done a lot to withhold theadvancement of women. Many of them have been living in terribleconditions just because the society does not allow them to do morethan what it expects of them (Hasset, 2008). A lot has changed andwomen are now able to do more. This has led to the emergence of thesuperwoman who is able to a lot of things with total commitment toeach of them. The authorities have recognized the need to supportwomen in their endeavors to grow and become better. There are manyprograms being spearheaded by various governments in support ofwomen.
Hassett,Janice M. (2008). "Malemonkeys prefer boys` toys". Hormonesand Behavior, 54 (3).New Scientist. pp. 359–364.