Gender stereotypes: competence is masculinity?
We are used to estimate the other by external data. And of skills as judged by the characteristic image. When asked to imagine a woman - the head of a large company, it emerges before your eyes the image of a strict boss, sort of the guy in a skirt. Why do we associate masculinity with competence?
If we decide to judge the abilities of man in his appearance, he would have found that the competence and courage go hand in hand. This confirms the study by researchers from Princeton University, published in the journal Psychological Science.
The image of competence
Scientists first experiment presented participants pictures of different people and were asked to rate how much they seem to be able depicted people. Based on these results, they developed a model that allows you to manipulate photos on your computer so that people seemed more or less competent. So it was possible to create the image of competence.
A group of researchers went further and proposed to evaluate the courage of people in the photos. The researchers found that the features for which the assessed competence, have been named as a sign of masculinity.
At the last stage of the experiment the researchers changed the computer male and female faces, so that they become more courageous. The result was revealed a pattern: the more masculine facial features were, the more competent people seemed viewer. But, what is interesting? female faces which became maximum after computer processing manly, participants in the experiment appeared less competent.
Women are attracted to leadership positions in times of crisis or when the affairs of the company deteriorate
"The study shows the devastating gender bias related to our perception of others - commented the author Dongvon experiment A. - We believe that people with a male gaze, facial features are more competent, and this may affect our decisions and the leader of choice."
Conclusions of scientists have become part of a large-scale studies that show that leadership is still considered "masculine". In our stereotypes of competence and masculinity are closely related, and confirmed that the experiment. But unfortunately, the perception of competence on external data or that person is not always indicative of the real skills, says Dongvon O. Therefore, the next step researchers will attempt to mitigate this effect of perception.
By the way, women really have to overcome more obstacles in the way of career and leadership than men. Women leaders are still in the minority. Only one in twenty of the largest board of directors at least one woman present German companies.
One of the important reasons - gender stereotypes: they persist and change very slowly. On the career ladder women face the risk of "glass ceiling" or get a managerial position, when the company in a difficult position.
Michelle Ryan and Alex Haslam of Eksterskogo University found that women are attracted to leadership positions in times of crisis or when the company's business deteriorated. Two business psychologist called his discovery "glass cliff": when the company is struggling for survival, the chair under the head reeling, and the risk of failure is particularly high. But why the hotter it gets, the women leaders are more in demand? Are they able to take on the challenging leadership role? Or men to protect themselves from a losing position, endangering women? The answer to this question is no, but the researchers learned that the men in critical situations tend to downplay the issue or even put its existence into question.
Not only politicians and economists, but psychologists are dealing with a well-known phenomenon, where well-educated women often face insurmountable obstacles in the way of his career. A woman rests her head in the so-called "glass ceiling" and can not go further, despite high professional quality. But the reason for this?
According to psychologists, it is mainly responsible for that gender stereotypes: men and women are not immune to them. Studies have shown that both sexes are increasingly give socially acceptable for women, thoughtful features. Women are recognized by society as a benefiting, compassionate, friendly, they are focused on cooperation. Men are focused on action, independent, ambitious and assertive.
When asked what should be a successful leader, the majority of respondents referred to these features characteristic of "a man of action." Thus, the concept of leadership in our minds is closely associated with "male" personality traits. In the English-speaking world there was the phrase "think manager, think male", which means "Thinking about the manager, I think about men."
The women take on about 70, and men - 30 per cent of parenting
"The idea of a typical male, typical female is preserved", - says social psychologist Melanie Steffens of Koblenz-Landau University. But sexism, which is often mentioned in the context of a career, becoming less and less popular.
Sexism today works more subtly and openly denying the discrimination against women. But with women themselves support the "hidden" benefits. For "chivalrous" attitude hides a paternalistic view, saying that a man should take care of women and protect them.
Discrimination faced by men beyond the social "norm". Participants tested in 2013 regarded the man, asking for a 12-week maternity leave, the more insecure and less ambitious.
But stereotypes are not static, they are subject to change. "It's a slow process," - explains Steffens. On the one hand, the patterns vary. On the other - full-time, women still do most of the housework. Women take on about 70, and men - 30 per cent of parenting. And the "second shift" after work makes women experience a lack of time for communication and career growth. And it could make them refuse to carry out the usual functions.