Cultural Influences on Gender Role

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Cultural Influences on Gender Role


Cultural similarities: division of labour

> Cross-cultural studies of gender show that every society has some division of labour and behaviour by gender (Munroe & Munroe).

> Food prep & childcare id predominantly carried out by women in all societies (it's sometimes shared but in no society is it predominantly a male role).

> Girls are socialised more towards compliance (nurturance & obedience) & boys are raised more for assertiveness (independence & achievement).

> MEAD studied social groups in Papua New Guinea. Tchambuli women = dominant & impersonal - Tchambuli men = emotionally dependent.

> FREEMAN criticised Mead's study & said they just told her what she wanted to hear.

> WILLIAMS AND BEST studied 2,800 uni students from 30 countries with a 300-item adjective checklist. Men = dominant/aggressive & women = nurturing. Only M/F option, no equal only cannot say - same backgrounds (well educated) explains high consensus level.

> BUSS conducted a study on 37 cultures & found men look for young, attractive women & women look for men who can provide resources.

Cultural variations: magnitude of sex differences

> BERRY ET AL. looked at male superiority on spatial perceptual tasks in 17 societies & found that this superiority is only found in tightly knit (sedentary) societies, but absent or even reversed in looser (nomadic) societies.

> BERRY ET AL. found that women conformity is highest in tightly knit (sedentary) societies.

> Historical changes - in the UK women continue to perform more domestic duties than men & to occupy less powerful positions - but the gender gap has been decreasing which supports the role of changing social influences.


Cultural similarities

> Labour divisions being the same…


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