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Gender Stereotype Psychology Theoretical Paper

1069 words - 5 pages

Gender differences and gender stereotypes are fascinating in that one must sift through the theories, expectations and predictable confusion to differentiate the reality from the theory. Men and women are obviously different, especially characteristically, but how? And why? And which differences are more individualized than generalized? Even more interesting is to observe how the differences between men and women have evolved, especially over the past 30 years- since the sexual revolution. A generous amount of research has been done since then, and this research is continually updated as men and women evolve themselves. Our understanding of the innate gender differences as opposed to the acquired one is still growing, yet it still seems tainted by such misunderstanding.
There is a lot of research regarding stereotypical views of men and women, and psychological testing has helped integrate and differentiate the documented "real" behavior. Even through the sexual revolution, there still exists gender-role stereotypes, although the stereotyping has decreased in recent years. Surprisingly, stereotypes are adhered to by people of every status, educated or not. Americans generally believe that men are aggressive, independent, unemotional, dominant, active, and overly self-confident. On the other hand, women are thought of to be gentle, religious, neat and dependent. Americans in general seem to believe that males and females have differentiating opposing characteristics.
Aggressiveness is one behavior which is consistently noted in psychological gender differences. The majority of people seem to believe that males are more aggressive than females. Aggression, is defined as "behavior intended to harm another person." Aggression can be found in physical behavior and verbal behavior. The difference in the degree of aggression between the two genders seems much more obvious in people's youth. Young boys are known to fight a lot, but their aggression seems to fade as they mature. There have been many studies involving gender differences in aggressive behavior. What causes this behavior? Is it environmental or inborn?
Some believe that aggression is caused by "nature," while others believe that it is caused by "nurture." Those who argue that aggression is caused by the "nature" theory argue that the level of aggressiveness differs in the two sexes because of the difference in the level of sex hormone, testosterone. In rebuttal, the "nurture" side argues that aggressiveness is largely caused by the social structure in which we live. This team believes that as soon as a child recognizes his/her gender, he/she becomes either passive or aggressive, thinking that that is what they are expected to be. Such behavior is encouraged by the media, the parents whom they follow, and other important factors in their lives. In an effort to prove whether the aggressiveness of gender is caused by nature or nurture, some information has been collected. However, even with...

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