Women's Studies - Gender and Society Notice Thesis

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Women's Studies - Gender & Society

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Identify behaviors you think might be interpreted differently when displayed by male vs. female. For each one, explain why.

Virtually any behavior that is generally associated primarily (or exclusively) with one gender is susceptible to completely different interpretation when displayed by the other. For example, outward displays of assertiveness or authority in many "traditional" business environments are much more associated with male attributes than with female attributes. Therefore, an assertive style and the exercise of authority are both consistent with expectations of male behavior.

Conversely, those attributes are still less often associated with females in the same environment, despite considerable progress in the relaxation of certain gender-based stereotypes in the last several decades. Assertive women and those fulfilling their responsibilities in positions of authority are more likely to be labeled pejoratively as being "overbearing" or "cold."

2. Describe the greatest difficulty you believe researchers face when studying gender. What is the best precaution to take again this difficulty?

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The greatest difficulty faced by researchers studying gender is the fact that so much gender-based behavior is attributable to both biological and environmental influences. By the time many observable behaviors possibly determined by gender manifest themselves in ways that can be studied, it may be difficult if not impossible to determine whether and to what degree each respective influence shaped the behavior.

TOPIC: Thesis on Women's Studies - Gender & Society Notice: Assignment

Furthermore, researchers are, themselves, the product of their social environments as much as their subjects and, therefore, susceptible to some of the same learned social biases as the general public.

Certainly, there are evolutionary components to human development that resulted in biological differences between the genders. Likewise, the socialization process profoundly influences many types of behavior, including many of those associated with gender identification. The best precaution against this inherent difficulty is for researchers to maintain an objective perspective devoid of any a-priori expectations or differential characterizations of behavior in interpreting observed behavior.

3. What are some of the weaknesses and strengths of the instruments that have been used to measure masculinity and femininity?

The Bem Sex Role Inventory (BSRI) and the Personal Attributes Questionnaire

PAQ) and the are both widespread instruments used to measure masculinity and femininity in adults. The BSRI consists of various adjectives considered desirable either for males, for females, or considered gender-neutral from which subjects… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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