Thursday, July 18, 2019

Gender Stereotypes Have Changed

This news report suggests that the general public now consider women as equally or more competent than men. This is based on a study of opinion polls from 1946-2018. An excerpt from the news item:

Women have come a long way in the United States over the last 70 years, to the point where they are now seen as being as competent as men, if not more so, according to research published by the American Psychological Association....

As women entered paid employment in large numbers, their jobs remained concentrated in occupations that reward social skills or offer contribution to society. Women also spend approximately twice as much time on domestic work and child care as men on average, according to Eagly. In contrast, men are concentrated in leadership roles and in occupations that require physical strength, competition, interaction with things, and analytical, mathematical and technical skills.

And the abstract from the study:

This meta-analysis integrated 16 nationally representative U.S. public opinion polls on gender stereotypes (N 30,093 adults), extending from 1946 to 2018, a span of seven decades that brought considerable change in gender relations, especially in women’s roles. In polls inquiring about communion (e.g., affectionate, emotional), agency (e.g., ambitious, courageous), and competence (e.g., intelligent, creative), respondents indicated whether each trait is more true of women or men, or equally true of both. Women’s relative advantage in communion increased over time, but men’s relative advantage in agency showed no change. Belief in competence equality increased over time, along with belief in female superiority among those who indicated a sex difference in competence. Contemporary gender stereotypes thus convey substantial female advantage in communion and a smaller male advantage in agency but also gender equality in competence along with some female advantage. Interpretation emphasizes the origins of gender stereotypes in the social roles of women and men.