An Investigation into the Relationship between the Gender Binary and Occupational Discrimination Using the Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure
- 323 Downloads
The social construction of gender-as-binary plays an important role within many contemporary theories of gender inequality. However, to date, the field of psychology has struggled with the operationalization and assessment of binarist ideologies. The current article proposes a technical framework for the analysis of the gender binary and assesses the suitability of the Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure (IRAP) as a measure of binarist gender beliefs. Forty-seven undergraduate students (26 female; M age = 23.84) completed two IRAPs assessing the coordination of certain traits exclusively with women and others exclusively with men. Effects found on the IRAP were in the expected direction (i.e., relating men but not women with certain traits and women but not men with other traits). In addition, the traits ascribed to men within the IRAP were evaluated as more hirable by a large majority of participants (83%) on an explicit preference task. The results therefore support the arguments that, first, gender traits do seem to be framed oppositionally in language and, second, this binary may underpin existing gender hierarchies in certain contexts.
KeywordsGender binarism Relational Frame Theory gender discrimination Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure
This research was partly funded by a Maynooth University John and Pat Hume scholarship awarded to the first author for doctoral research conducted under the supervision of the third author.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
This research was funded by a Maynooth University John and Pat Hume research scholarship awarded to the first author.
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
- Adams, M. & Coltrane, S. (2004). Boys and men in families: The domestic production of gender, power, and privilege. In R. Connell, J. Hearn & M. Kimmel (Eds.), The handbook of studies of men and masculinity. Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
- Barnes-Holmes, D., Barnes-Holmes, Y., Stewart, I., & Boles, S. (2010). A sketch of the Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure (IRAP) and the Relational Elaboration and Coherence (REC) model. The Psychological Record, 60, 527–542.Google Scholar
- Bem, S. L. (1993). The lenses of gender: Transforming the debate on sexual inequality. Yale University Press.Google Scholar
- Butler, J. (1990). Gender trouble: feminism and the subversion of identity. Routledge.Google Scholar
- Butler, J., & Butler, M. E. (2002). Gender trouble: Tenth anniversary edition. Routledge.Google Scholar
- Coltrane, S. & Adams, M. (2008). Gender and families (2nd ed.). New York: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.Google Scholar
- De Houwer, J., & Moors, A. (2010). Implicit measures: Similarities and differences. In B. Gawronski & K. B. Payne (Eds.), Handbook of implicit social cognition: Measurement, theory, and applications (pp. 176–193). New York, NY: Guildford Press.Google Scholar
- Drake, C. E., Kellum, K. K., Wilson, K. G., Luoma, J. B., Weinstein, J. H., & Adams, C. H. (2010). Examining the Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure: Four preliminary studies. The Psychological Record, 60, 81–100.Google Scholar
- Eagly, A. H., & Carli, L. L. (2007). Through the labyrinth: The truth about how women become leaders. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.Google Scholar
- Gelman, S. A. (2005). The essential child: Origins of essentialism in everyday thought. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Grey, I. M., & Barnes, D. (1996). Stimulus equivalence and attitudes. The Psychological Record, 46, 243–271.Google Scholar
- Hayes, S. C., Barnes-Holmes, D., & Roche, B. (2001). Relational Frame Theory: A post-Skinnerian account of human language and cognition. New York, NY: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers.Google Scholar
- Hooks, B. (1981). Ain’t I a woman: Black women and feminism. Boston, MA: South End Press.Google Scholar
- Johnson, A. G. (2005). The gender knot: Unraveling our patriarchal legacy. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press.Google Scholar
- Kimmel, M. S. (2000). The gendered society. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Kimmel, M. S. (2007). The sexual self: The construction of sexual scripts. Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt University Press.Google Scholar
- Kimmel, M. S. & Messner M. A. (2009). Men’s Lives (7th Ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.Google Scholar
- Leaper, C. (2002). Parenting girls and boys. In M. H. Bornstein (Ed.), Handbook of parenting: Vol. 1. Children and parenting (2nd ed., pp. 189–225). Mahwah: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
- Leaper, C., & Friedman, C. K. (2007). The socialization of gender. In J. Grusec & P. Hastings (Eds.), Handbook of socialization: Theory and research (pp. 561–587). New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
- Moxon, P., Keenan, M., & Hine, L. (1993). Gender-role stereotyping and stimulus equivalence. The Psychological Record, 43, 381–394.Google Scholar
- Nicholson, E., & Barnes-Holmes, D. (2012). The Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure (IRAP) as a measure of spider fear. The Psychological Record, 62, 263–278.Google Scholar
- O’Reilly, A., Roche, B., Ruiz, M., Tyndall, I., & Gavin, A. (2012). The Function Acquisition Speed Test (FAST): A behavior analytic implicit test for assessing stimulus relations. The Psychological Record, 62, 507–528.Google Scholar
- O’Reilly, A., Roche, B., & Cartwright, A. (2014). Function over form: A modern behaviour-analytic approach to implicit attitudes. In J. Zin (Ed.), Exploring implicit cognition: Learning, memory, and social-cognitive processes. Philadelphia, PA: IGI Global.Google Scholar
- Orr, D., Taylor, D., Kahl, E., Earle, K., Rainwater, C., & McAlister, L. (Eds.). (2007). Feminist politics: Identity, difference, and agency. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.Google Scholar
- Roche, B., & Dymond, S. (2013). Advances in Relational Frame Theory: Research and application. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications.Google Scholar
- Serano, J. (2009). Whipping girl: A transsexual woman on sexism and the scapegoating of femininity. Berkeley, CA: Seal Press.Google Scholar
- Thorne, B. (1993). Gender play: Girls and boys in school. Buckingham: Open University Press.Google Scholar
- Watt, A., Keenan, M., Barnes, D., & Cairns, E. (1991). Social categorization and stimulus equivalence. The Psychological Record, 41, 33–50.Google Scholar
- Wood, L. A., & Kroger, D. R. O. (2000). Doing discourse analysis: Methods for studying action in talk and text. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar