Psychological and social functions of sex-role stereotypes

In recent years, foreign psychology sharply increased interest in social stereotypes in general and stereotypes polorole-tion in particular.An increasing number of studies and publications, organizes special conferences and symposia.Meanwhile, the vast majority of foreign studies on the nature and functions of sex-role stereotyping, remains virtually unknown to the Soviet reader.Available as reviews on related issues, do not provide (and do not make it your aim) holistic impressions of this very important area of ​​psychological research.After studying a wide range of issues related to the various aspects of sex-role stereotyping has undoubtedly not only theoretical, but also of great practical importance: call enough in this regard, only two areas - family relationships and education of the younger generation at school.This review attempts to summarize the main directions in the study of social and psychological functions of sex-role stereotypes abroad and at the same time possible to recreate the logic

of the development of research and to outline the main trends in the theoretical analysis of the problem.

first studies of sex-role stereotyping were associated with attempts to isolate the typical differences relating to the representation of women and men about each other and about themselves.. Summarizing these studies, J. and A. McKee Sherrifs concluded in 1957, firstly, that the typical male image - a set of features associated with a socially restrictive style of behavior, competence and rational faculties, potency and efficacy.Typically female image, on the other hand, involves social and communication skills, warmth and emotional support.In this over-accentuation as typically masculine or typically feminine traits acquires a negative evaluation color: typical negative qualities of men admit rudeness, authoritarianism, excessive rationalism, etc., women - formalism, passivity, excessive emotionality, etc. In the....second is John. A. McKee and Sherrifs came to the conclusion that on the whole men is attributed to more positive qualities than women.Finally, these authors found that men show a much greater consistency in relation to typical male qualities than women - women.

Since the 60-ies.increasingly popular study of stereotypes about the abilities of men and women, their expertise in various fields of activity and the reasons for their professional success.Thus, P. Goldberg found a certain share of prejudice against women themselves in the field of scientific activity;college students appreciate more articles written by men than women.Approximately the same results were obtained in the experiment where the subjects of both sexes were to evaluate the proposed them on display paintings, some of which were allegedly written by men, and the other female.Another independent variable in this study was the status of artists: in one case, the authors of the pictures - both men and women - the subjects were presented as the young artists, and the other - as the winners of the competitions.Here too there was a re-evaluation of pictures, written by men, but this was true only in relation to the first set of conditions, when artists were represented by beginners.The authors believe that the fact of winning the competition, as it were equated in the eyes of the subjects professional skills of artists, regardless of their gender, and it acted as opposed to the stereotype of the lesser known women's abilities in the field of painting.

receiving similar to previous results, K. Doe tried to interpret them with the help of the theory of causal attribution, according to which the success or failure in any of the activities are explained in different ways depending on whether they are unexpected, or, on the contrary, it is expectedlikely.The expected behavior is usually attributed to the so-called stable causes, and unexpected - volatile.Therefore, in accordance with the sex-role stereotyping good task, a good result in anything made by man, mostly due to its ability (an example of a stable cause), and exactly the same result achieved by a woman, due to its efforts, the random luck or otherunstable factors.Moreover, the typology of stable and unstable reasons is unequal, depending on whose behavior is explained - women or men.In particular, S. Kiesler found that "ability" and "force" can have different connotations in explaining the evaluation behavior of women and men.For example, in explaining the success of female stress factor is considered most often as an unstable and generally have some negative estimated color, and with regard to professional success men this factor is interpreted as stable and having a positive evaluation valence, as a prerequisite for the "natural man's need to achieve"as a means of overcoming barriers and difficulties encountered on the way to the goal.

In the real interpersonal interaction in a purely personal sense competence is women rather negative than positive factor: highly competent women do not enjoy the location neither men nor women.This conclusion follows logically from the pilot study, which showed that, in general, men and women tend to be excluded from their group of competent women, and this trend can be observed in the conditions and the cooperative and competitive interactions.The authors interpret their findings as follows: highly competent women refutes stereotypes.Thus there are several ways to respond to this contradiction: 1) change the stereotype;2) to deny the fact of competence;3) at all eliminate the contradiction by the actual removal, exclusion of competent women in the group.The last two are most frequently used, not only in the experimental situation, but also in real life.Losing the woman in the competition, according to R. Hagen, and A. Kahn, especially for men with conservative, traditional attitudes on gender relations, almost always means lower self-esteem, because in accordance with the unwritten rules that exist in the traditional Western culture, "a real man is superior to womanand must always beat her. "Last

from these studies - an example of attempts to explain the existing sex-role stereotypes, appealing to a wider social context.Studies of this kind have as their objective is not simply to describe the content of sex-role stereotypes, but also figure out their functions.The most important of these functions, most researchers believe the justification and defense of the status quo, including the de facto inequality between the sexes.For example, O. Leary writes directly about the existence of norms in American society prejudice against women who have a priority over men of the same age and social status.She explored the link between sex-role stereotypes and justification for the delay the advancement of women through the ranks in the industry.According to the author, without any objective justification has been attributed to women ^ following installation work: they work only for the sake of "pin-money";in them are more interested in purely communicative and emotional moments;women prefer work that requires no intellectual effort;they value self-actualization and promotion less than men.The basis of all these, in my opinion, absolutely unfounded opinions - rashozhie sex-role stereotypes according to which women are no features associated with the competence, independence and competition, logic, claims, etc., and that, on the contrary, postulate them..underlined the severity of emotional communication characteristics.

often to justify the justificatory function polo-role stereotypes are turning to the distant past, trying to understand existing asymmetries based on cultural and historical experience.For example, by analyzing the image of women in history, John. Hunter came to the conclusion that, in general, is the image of inferiority, and the process of women's emancipation with deep antiquity clearly and directly contacted the destructive social consequences, with the collapse of morality and the destruction of the family.For example, one of the main reasons for the fall of the Roman Empire it was associated with advanced process of women's emancipation.. J. Hunter also believes that a great influence on the content of today's sex-role stereotyping had a Christian tradition, treat women as the source of evil: not by chance that the woman and made the bulk of victims of the Inquisition.These and other factors are cultural and historical order, according to some researchers, influenced by the fact that C and D. Bemy called "unconscious ideology" of the natural place of women in society, as well as linked to the ideology of thin, camouflaged forms of inequality anddiscrimination in the West.Sex-role stereotypes are intended to justify this ideology, and this practice, which determines their semantic and evaluative content.

Special research area where, in the opinion of experts, with particular demonstrates protective and justificatory function of sex-role stereotypes, - a study of rape.Extensive study of this problem began in the mid 70-ies., In a very short time, hundreds of studies have been three, expanded spectrum of the studied aspects.For example, G. Field found that in general, men compared to women is credited with much greater responsibility for the incident the victim.In this case a man with conservative views tend to interpret rape as primarily a "miss" the victim and it is considered that a raped woman is losing its appeal.Men with more liberal views attributed to the victim about the same degree of responsibility, but does not deny it a certain appeal.It is interesting that the views of the public and police about the responsibility for rape were more similar to the views of the rapists themselves than lawyers.According to the author, the essence of the data is reduced to the fact that in general, men show a more lenient attitude to sexual violence than women, and the police, of course, share the stereotypes prevalent in the "masculine culture".However, in a number of other studies have shown that women are credited with the victim greater responsibility than men, although to a greater extent than men, tend to believe the victim deserves respect, mercy and compassion.Factor victims of appeal has also been far from straightforward.Contradictory data Kanekar S. et al.It explains the different modalities of the concept of responsibility, which often refers to two different aspects: the probability of the fact of violence (causal aspect), and the blame for what happened (the moral aspect).The results showed the following: 1) the seduction of the victim (in dress and demeanor) increases attributed to her guilt and the perceived probability of rape (ie, moral and causal responsibility of the victim);..2) married women compared to unmarried attributed much wine, but not a high probability of being raped;3) the attractiveness of the victims increases the likelihood of rape, but did not blame him;4) In general, women recommend a long prison terms for rapists than men.

author's interpretation of the data is reduced to the statement of legitimate and natural asymmetry in the positions of women and men in relation to the situation of rape: women are forced to identify with the victim, and men - with the abuser.Therefore, with respect to this situation, gender stereotypes operate at the same time a protective function for women and voucher - for men.The protective function representations, typical for the female contingent subjects as compared to men, is not only in reducing the moral responsibility (guilt) and exaggeration causal liability (probability), attributed to the victim, but also in an effort as much as possible different from the victim on the criteria used in the experimentattractive, provocative behavior and clothing;social status.Accordingly, the justificatory function representations inherent in the male contingent of the test, on the contrary, manifested not only in exaggerating when compared with women causal and moral responsibility attributed to the victim, but also in a more indulgent attitude towards the criminal.

Recently, the analysis is subject to a number of other functions of sex-role stereotypes, such as regulatory, explanatory translational and others. Let us briefly illustrate some of the most interesting ones.

Some authors believe that the concept of sex-role stereotypes can be applied not only to describe the cognitive-emotional sphere of a person, but also to directly observe the behavior of people.As an important task in this study extends the typical differences between men and women in the manner of behavior, "playing the" gender roles and rituals.For example, the method of natural experiment studied the differences in the way women and men to cross the street at a red light, in violation of traffic rules.It was found that women are less likely than men to cross the street at a red light first, but often violate the rules followed by more determined intruder.The main conclusion of the author is to ensure that, apparently, women are more susceptible to the requirements prohibiting violation of the rules, but at the same time, and more conformable to the group pressure in this situation.Another example is the study of the regulatory function of sex-role stereotypes is to study the impact of ethnic and position

howling man's belonging to helping behavior.Four white British (two men and two women) and four British citizen - Hispanics (two men and two women) were asked to white British coin change for a pay phone.Results showed that both women and men show racial discrimination, but only in relation to the same sex, but not the opposite.

"are becoming increasingly popular as research relay function sex role stereotipiza-tion. In particular, it discusses the very important questions about how the various social institutions, literature, art, media, and so on. D. Contribute to (or impede) the formation ofand dissemination of sex-role stereotypes. for example, to determine whether the differences in the picture of consumers and potrebitelnits exist, and if so, what are they, studied images of men and women in British television advertising programs. The whole essence of the detected differences coincide with. traditional lines of sex-role stereotyping Men often portrayed as reasoning and evaluating the product understand the objective reasons for its purchase, holding autonomous role and related to the practical use of the purchased items, and women, on the other hand - not as discuss and evaluate the merits of the purchased goods, as well as a movable subjectivereasons for its acquisition (the emotions and desires), which occupy more and dependent roles (wife, lover, friend), and associated with social prestige and the symbolic value of the purchased items.Unfortunately, this kind of work is not enough heuristic answers to the main question: what is ultimately the cause and what - the result?Authors' conclusions often boil down to a finding that, on the one hand, the media get their images from the existing stereotypes, and on the other - the latter supported by and distributed by the media.

Another very important area in the study of sex-role stereotyping relay function associated with genetic, age-related aspects of the problem.The role of sex-role stereotypes in the formation and gender identity development in childhood and adolescence.