The influence of culture and media on gender roles Flashcards Preview

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What are gender roles?

A set of behaviours and attitudes that are considered appropriate for one gender and inappropriate for the other.


What is culture?

The ideas, customs and social behaviour of a particular group of people or society.


Why is cross-cultural research useful to the nature-nurture debate in gender?

Because if a particular gender role behaviour appears to be consistent across cultures we may conclude it is an innate biological difference between males and females, if we find they are culturally specific we may find social norms etc. just as influential as biology


What was the main study into cultural differences?

Mead (1935) - tribal groups in New Guinea - Arapesh, gentle & responsive (femininity) - Mundugmor, aggressive & hostile (masculine) - Tchambuli women were dominant, men were passive (opposite to Western Sterotypes)
Suggested gender roles were culturally determined - Mead later conceded she underestimated the universal nature of gender-typical behaviour


What was a study into cultural similarities?

Buss (1995) consistent patterns in mate preference in 37 countries across all continents - women always seeked attractive, healthy men with resources


What are the evaluation points for the cultural influences on gender roles?

Criticisms of Mead's research (-)
Imposed Etic (-)
Nature-nurture debate (+/-)


What were the criticisms of Mead's research?

Mead was influenced by observer bias and made sweeping generalisations based on a short study. Freeman claimed she had been influenced by her preconceptions


What is imposed etic and how does it challenge Mead's work?

Imposed etic occurs when researchers from one culture try to impose their culture-specific theories and understanding on another culture - to counterbalance this you need a local person on the research team - Mead didn't do this


How do cultural influences relate to the nature-nurture debate?

(-) they don't solve the nature nurture debate as it's impossible to separate biological and social influences however (+) they do contribute to the debate


What is media?

Communication channels such as TV, film and books, through which news, entertainment, education and data are made available


What does the media provide to children?

Role models with whom they may try to identify and imitate - more likely if they are the same sex and take part in gender-appropriate behaviour


What did Bussey & Bandura (1999) find that media did?

Media provided rigid stereotypes - men are independent, ambitious 'advice-givers' whereas women are the opposite - this reinforced widespread social stereotypes


What did McGhee & Frueh find in there study in 1980?

That children that were exposed more to popular forms of media tend to display more gender-stereotypical views and behaviours.


What did Bandura mean by his term 'self efficacy'?

He was referring to the way the media gave children an indication of whether certain behaviours would be successful or not. If a child saw someone a gender-appropriate behaviour this increases their belief they can do the same in the future.


What are the evaluation points for the influence of media on gender roles?

Correlation not causation (-)
Counter-stereoypes (+/-)


How does correlation is not causation challenge the influence of media on gender roles?

It may be that media output reflects the trending social norms rather than dictating the social stereotypes - also as almost all children are exposed to media there is no control group to compare to


How do counter-stereotypes influence the role of the media in dictating gender-roles?

(+) Recently media has changed its output to challenge the status quo and reduce the rigidity of stereotypes - e.g. Disney Film Brave
(-) However, in the case of teenage boys this has caused them to stick to there position as they want to challenge/rebel against the adult viewpoint