The Good, the Bad, and the Male: Men, But Not Women, Avoid Own-Gender Stereotypical Judgments of Affective Valence
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We examine gender differences in the endorsement of gender-stereotypical judgments of the affective valence of social concepts. Sociological as well as social psychological theories indicate that individuals are inclined to behave in ways concordant with prevailing roles and corresponding stereotypes. Recent debates suggest gender biases in the social desirability of gender-stereotype endorsement. We use words with apparent gender differences in perceived affective valence and ask participants to (a) individually rate the valence of each word, (b) estimate how, in general, same-sex individuals would rate the word, and (c) estimate how, in general, opposite-sex individuals would rate the word. Results show that female participants’ self-ratings align with their estimated ratings of the majority of women, whereas male participants’ self-ratings notably deviate from their estimated male majority ratings. We interpret these results as a consequence of a declining esteem of stereotypically male attributes in society.
KeywordsEmotion Valence Gender Stereotype Social roles
This research was supported by two Grants (201; 410) of the Cluster “Languages of Emotion” at Freie Universität Berlin to M.C. and C.v.S; M.C. was also supported by Grant JCI-2011-10828 from the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness and a Grant of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, #JA823/3-2).
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