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Stereotypes Powered By Docstoc
Descriptive and Prescriptive
        One minutes paper
• What is a stereotype?
• Are stereotypes always bad?
• Are stereotypes ever useful?
      Prejudice, Stereotypes,
• Prejudice : a negative attitude toward a
  group based on their group membership
  – Attitudes based on thoughts and emotions
• Stereotypes: generalizations about groups
• Discrimination: a negative or harmful
  behavior toward a group
Stereotypes help us categorize the
           social world

• Stereotypes are schemas or mental short
  • Dinner party example
    Stereotypes are relatively
• Stereotypes serve as expectations
  – Related to confirmation bias
    • Direct attention to certain aspects of available
    • Color the interpretation of that information
    • Influence the way the information is retained in
    • Serve as hypotheses that are favored in the
      interpretation of new information (confirmation
• Stereotypes are a type of cultural
• Cultural vs. personal stereotypes
  – Personal stereotypes are idiosyncratic
    personal beliefs
  – Cultural stereotypes are those we have
    knowledge about
• Cultural stereotypes
  – Consensus lends to their validity
• Probabilistic associations
  – Flexible—not all men or all women
  – Resistant to disconfirmation via exceptions to
    the rule
       Stereotyped subtypes
• Used to deal with within group variability.
  – Subtypes go beyond trait descriptions to
    encompass socially acceptable roles and
               The ASI
What is ambivalent sexism?
         Ambivalent sexism theory

• Details the content of socially shared
  ideologies that legitimize or justify
  traditional gender relations
• Explores the mixed emotions and attitudes
  that are associated with these ideologies
             ASI and AMI
• The ASI (ambivalent sexism inventory)
  and AMI (ambivalence toward men)
  targets hostile and benevolent attitudes
  toward men and women
• Covers: power relations, gender roles and
  stereotypes, and intimate heterosexual
Hostile Sexism
Hostile Sexism
Hostile Sexism
Hostile Sexism
            Hostile Sexism
– An overt justification of or attempt to preserve
  male dominance
   • Negative reactions to women’s increasing power in
   • Adversarial toward women seeking to gain power,
     or women who take on nontraditional roles or
     women who seek to use sexual prowess to
     ‘control’ men
                  Hostile Items
• Women seek to gain power by getting control over men.
• When women lose to men in a fair competition, they
  typically complain about being discriminated against.
• There are actually very few women who get a kick out of
  teasing men by seeming sexually available and then
  refusing male advances.
• Men should be willing to sacrifice their own well being in
  order to provide financially for the women in their lives
• Women fail to appreciate all that men do for them.
Benevolent Sexism
Benevolent Sexism
Benevolent Sexism
         Benevolent Sexism
• Benevolent Sexism
  – Celebrate intimate interdependence in a
    subjectively positive, even adoring, way
  – Characterize women as wonderful but
    vulnerable creatures who need men’s
    protection, extol the virtues of women who
    embrace traditional roles
  – Claim that every man requires a woman’s
    love to be complete.
            Benevolent Items
• A good woman should be set on a pedestal by her man.
• People are often truly happy in life without being
  romantically involved with a member of the other sex.
• Women, compared to men, tend to have a superior
  moral sensibility.
• Women, as compared to men, tend to have a more
  refined sense of culture and good taste.
             In summary
• Hostile sexism justifies men’s power by
  derogating women, whereas benevolent
  sexist attitudes recognize men’s
  dependence on women by idealizing them
  as “pure” creatures who ought to be
  protected by men
            ASI Predictions
• With your team, come up with 3-6
  predictions based on Ambivalent Sexism
  – E.g., people who score high on the
    benevolent scale…….
     Ambivalence toward Men
• What might this look like?
  – Hostility toward men
  – Benevolence toward men
        Hostility toward men

• Resentment of male power and
  – Men will always fight for more power
• Compensatory gender differentiation
  – Men are like babies, they are lost without
• Heterosexual hostility
  – Men are sexually aggressive
    Benevolence toward men
• Maternalism
  – Women should take care of men and home
  – Men should provide financial security
• Compensatory gender differentiation
  – Men are will to take more risks, are more able
    to keep it together, and are better in
    emergencies than women
• Heterosexual intimacy
  – Every women needs a good man
    Ambivalence toward Men
• True or false? Those with high hostile
  sexism toward men might….
  a. Are more likely to hold radical feminists
  b. More likely to likely to hold stereotypic
     beliefs about men
  c. Less likely to blame the victim of sexual
  d. Be more likely to admire men for their
     greater status
    Ambivalence toward Men
• True or false? Those with high
  benevolent sexism toward men might
  a. Be less likely to cherish men for their
     financial independence
  b. Be more likely to promote a man who fulfills
     his traditional masculine gender role
  c. Be more likely to hire a man than woman for
     emergency medical transporter position.
    Old Fashioned vs. Modern
• Covert forms of prejudice are largely
• Modern prejudice is subtle and overt
  – Focus shifts from biology to unfair demands
    (underserved gains)
• One cause of stereotypes
  – Mental categorization minimizes cognitive
    effort and frees up limited mental resources
     • Automatically and effortlessly categorize people
     • Beliefs about category members serve as
• Two functions or types of stereotypes
  – Descriptive
  – Prescriptive
Functions of Descriptive Stereotype

• Expectancies
  – Most men…or most women
• Serves a cognitive simplification function
  – Violations of descriptive stereotypes generate
    surprise but not anger or punishment
  – All stereotypes are descriptive
          Function of Prescriptive
• Rigid expectancies
   – Men ought…..Women should!
• Justify or rationalize the status quo
   – Legitimizes a system in which people need to perform
     different roles and status positions
   – Enables perceivers to justify their own and their
     groups beliefs about the conduct of others
      • Legitimizes long standing social practices and status
• Ensures that people gravitate toward roles and
  levels of status considered appropriate for their
  gender (or race).
   – Prescriptive stereotypes for Blacks: uncle tom; to
     keep the system running, whites encouraged
     prescriptive ideals for blacks that matched the roles
     they depended on blacks to play
• Men depend on women to perform primary
  domestic and child care responsibilities
   – Gender role and status distinctions create
   – The prescription that men should be strong and bold
     reinforces their higher status gender role
     Prescriptive Stereotypes
• Violations of prescriptive stereotypes
  generate anger and social punishment as
  well as surprise
  – Hostility toward men and women
• Only some stereotypes are prescriptive
Descriptive:                Prescriptive:
• Cognitive                 • Beliefs about what group
  simplification;             members “ought” to be
                            • Justify social system in
• Generate surprise           which people hold
• Minorities are not very     different status and roles
  smart                     • Anger and social
                              punishment possible
• Women are polite,
  submissive                • Justification examples:
                              voting rights, crappy jobs,
                              lack of power
Prescriptive Stereotypes Activity
• Brainstorm a few prescriptive stereotypic
  – What types of behaviors are encouraged for men
    (separate from women) and women (separate from
  – What are some types of behaviors that violate gender
    role prescriptions?
  – What are the consequences of gender role violation?
Prentice and Carranza (2002) asked a large group of
  students “how desirable is it in American society for a
  (man/woman/person) to possess this characteristic (a
  total of 100 characteristics).
Prescriptions (W)                  Proscriptions (W)
Warm and kind                      Rebellious
Interest in children               Stubborn
Loyal                              Controlling
Sensitive                          Cynical
Friendly                           Promiscuous
Clean                              Arrogant
Attentive to appearance
Prescriptions (M)    Proscriptions (M)
Business sense       Emotional
Athletic             Approval seeking
Leadership ability   Impressionable
Self reliant         Yielding
Dependable           Superstitious
Ambitious            Child-like
High self esteem     Shy
Assertive            Moody
Decisive             Melodramatic
Strong personality   Naïve
Prescriptive stereotypes are in line
           with AS theory
• Men and women are given rewards for fulfilling
  their roles
  – Benevolent sexism:
  – Hostile sexism:

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