Presenter Information

Emily MurphyFollow

Presentation Title

You'll be Happier as a Caretaker Anyway: Encouraging Stereotype-Consistent Life Choices

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Abstract

Despite their flattering tone, positive stereotypes of benevolent sexism (i.e., women are warm/nurturing) have negative consequences for women. These positive stereotypes are deeply rooted in traditional gender roles (i.e.: men as providers, women as caretakers). According to Role Congruity Theory, when women's behavior doesn't fit their gender roles (role-incongruence), this evokes a negative evaluation from others (Diekman, 2007). Agentic women can be viewed as competent but compromise likability, wages and hirability (Rudman & Glick, 1999). Also consistent with Role Congruity Theory, when women's behavior fits their gender roles (role-congruence), this evokes positive evaluation from others. The prescriptiveness of positive gender stereotypes may contribute to the marginalization of women. In the context of race, Black students were encouraged to pursue athletics at the expense of academic opportunities based on positive stereotypes (Czopp, 2010). The combinations of positive stereotypes and perceived fit of role-congruent goals may similarly lead to encouraging women to maintain low-status positions that align with gender roles. The current study examines the extent to which women may be encouraged to pursue role-restrictive life choices. Participants read about a male or female target dealing with a family crisis who must choose between taking care of younger siblings or going away to college. The target was either leaning toward staying home or going to college. Participants recommended that the male target should go to college regardless of which way he was leaning but recommended that the female target to stay home more than the male target when she was leaning toward stay home. Furthermore, when the female target was leaning toward staying home, participants predicted that she would be happier with her decision than the male target. The leaning condition may have provided justification for prejudiced responding to emerge. In alignment with Aversive Racism theory, people may have discriminated more because another aspect of the situation (i.e., the female target’s personal choice) served as a justifier for discriminatory behavior. Thus, positive stereotypes can lead to well-intentioned behaviors that undermine women's growth and potential.

Start Date

10-5-2018 2:45 PM

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May 10th, 2:45 PM

You'll be Happier as a Caretaker Anyway: Encouraging Stereotype-Consistent Life Choices

Despite their flattering tone, positive stereotypes of benevolent sexism (i.e., women are warm/nurturing) have negative consequences for women. These positive stereotypes are deeply rooted in traditional gender roles (i.e.: men as providers, women as caretakers). According to Role Congruity Theory, when women's behavior doesn't fit their gender roles (role-incongruence), this evokes a negative evaluation from others (Diekman, 2007). Agentic women can be viewed as competent but compromise likability, wages and hirability (Rudman & Glick, 1999). Also consistent with Role Congruity Theory, when women's behavior fits their gender roles (role-congruence), this evokes positive evaluation from others. The prescriptiveness of positive gender stereotypes may contribute to the marginalization of women. In the context of race, Black students were encouraged to pursue athletics at the expense of academic opportunities based on positive stereotypes (Czopp, 2010). The combinations of positive stereotypes and perceived fit of role-congruent goals may similarly lead to encouraging women to maintain low-status positions that align with gender roles. The current study examines the extent to which women may be encouraged to pursue role-restrictive life choices. Participants read about a male or female target dealing with a family crisis who must choose between taking care of younger siblings or going away to college. The target was either leaning toward staying home or going to college. Participants recommended that the male target should go to college regardless of which way he was leaning but recommended that the female target to stay home more than the male target when she was leaning toward stay home. Furthermore, when the female target was leaning toward staying home, participants predicted that she would be happier with her decision than the male target. The leaning condition may have provided justification for prejudiced responding to emerge. In alignment with Aversive Racism theory, people may have discriminated more because another aspect of the situation (i.e., the female target’s personal choice) served as a justifier for discriminatory behavior. Thus, positive stereotypes can lead to well-intentioned behaviors that undermine women's growth and potential.