What is a study on culture differences and gender roles?
Margaret Mead, carried out on tribal groups on the island of New Guinea
What were the three main tribes Margaret Mead studied?
What were the norms of gender roles in the Arapesh tribe?
They were gentle and responsive (similar to the Western ideas of femininity).
What were the norms of gender roles in the Mundugumor tribe?
They were aggressive and hostile (similar to the Western ideas of masculinity).
What were the norms of gender roles in the Tchambuli tribe?
The women were dominant and they organised the village life; men were passive and considered to be ‘decorative’ (the reverse of Western stereotypes).
What does Margaret Mead’s experiment suggest?
That there may not be a direct biological relationship between sex and gender, and that gender roles may be culturally determined.
What is a study on cultural similarities and gender roles?
David Buss, he found consistent patterns in mate preference in 37 countries across all continents. In all cultures women sought men who could offer wealth and resources, whilst men looked for youth and physical attractiveness.
What is the evaluation for the influence of culture on gender roles?
Criticisms of Mead’s research
Nature of nurture
Evaluation point for the influence of culture on gender roles: Criticisms of Mead’s research
Mead had been criticised for observer bias and for making generalisations based on a short period of study.
Freeman conducted a follow up study and argued that Mead’s findings were flawed as she had been misled by some of her participants, and her preconceptions her influenced her reading of events.
Evaluation point for the influence of culture on gender roles: Imposed etic
The issue of imposed etic has been suggested by John Berry. He says that the Western ways of doing research are assumed to be universal and may be largely meaningless when transferred to other cultures. He says they should include on member of the local population in the research team as a way guarding against the possibility (which Buss did).
Evaluation point for the influence of culture on gender roles: Nature of nurture
As soon as children are born, their socialisation into a particular society begins, along with all the gender-role expectations that come with it.
It becomes very difficult to determine where nature stops and nurture begins. It is likely that there is a complex and constant interaction between the influences in the development of gender roles.
What is the link between rigid stereotypes, the media and gender roles?
There is evidence that the media provide very clear gender stereotypes that are quite rigid:
- men are independent, ambitious ‘advice givers’
- women are dependent, unambitious and ‘advice-seekers’ (Bandura and Bussey)
Also in Tv adverts, Furnham and Farragher found that men were more likely to be shown in autonomous roles in professional contexts and women were often seen occupying familial roles.
What is the evaluation for the influence of media on gender roles?
Correlation not causation
Evaluation point for the influence of media on gender roles: Correlation not causation
It may be that media output reflects prevailing social norms about males and females. It may also be the case that media is the cause of such norms by depicting men and women in particular ways.
Evaluation point for the influence of media on gender roles: Counter-stereotypes
In recent years there have been many examples of counter-stereotypes in the media, such as the movie Brave, which challenge traditional notions of masculinity and femininity.