Running head: Gender stereotypes: Discrimination against females
Table of Contents
TOC o “1-3” h z u HYPERLINK l “_Toc250765006” Gender stereotypes: Discrimination against females PAGEREF _Toc250765006 h 3
HYPERLINK l “_Toc250765007” Introduction PAGEREF _Toc250765007 h 3
HYPERLINK l “_Toc250765008” Background and statistics of women discrimination PAGEREF _Toc250765008 h 3
HYPERLINK l “_Toc250765009” Causes of female discrimination in the society PAGEREF _Toc250765009 h 5
HYPERLINK l “_Toc250765010” Culture PAGEREF _Toc250765010 h 5
HYPERLINK l “_Toc250765011” Development levels and trends in the society PAGEREF _Toc250765011 h 7
HYPERLINK l “_Toc250765012” Implications of female discriminations on the basis of gender stereotypes PAGEREF _Toc250765012 h 7
HYPERLINK l “_Toc250765013” Reduced maximal potential achievements PAGEREF _Toc250765013 h 8
HYPERLINK l “_Toc250765014” Automated gender associations PAGEREF _Toc250765014 h 9
HYPERLINK l “_Toc250765015” Encoding biases in the society PAGEREF _Toc250765015 h 10
HYPERLINK l “_Toc250765016” Implication on construal information and poor judgments PAGEREF _Toc250765016 h 10
HYPERLINK l “_Toc250765017” Laws and policies on discrimination PAGEREF _Toc250765017 h 11
HYPERLINK l “_Toc250765018” Equal Pay Act PAGEREF _Toc250765018 h 11
HYPERLINK l “_Toc250765019” Equality Act of 2006 PAGEREF _Toc250765019 h 12
HYPERLINK l “_Toc250765020” Sex discrimination act PAGEREF _Toc250765020 h 13
HYPERLINK l “_Toc250765021” Addressing the problem of female discrimination PAGEREF _Toc250765021 h 13
HYPERLINK l “_Toc250765022” Conclusion PAGEREF _Toc250765022 h 14
HYPERLINK l “_Toc250765023” References PAGEREF _Toc250765023 h 15
Gender stereotypes: Discrimination against femalesIntroductionDiscrimination against women through gender stereotyping undermines realization of their holistic potential, increases the challenges facing them and ultimately stalls societal growth and development. Over the years, researchers have indicated their discontent with the high levels of discrimination against women; a consideration based on the social roles that give greater preference to men. In his view, Phillip, Claude and Paul (2008) explains that though laws and policies have over the years been passed to address the problem, there is urgent need to re-evaluate their efficacy and therefore facilitate effective contribution by all in the community.
Though researchers are posting varied statistics on the extent of women discrimination, they agree on the high perilous nature of the problem implications. As a result, analysts and scholars are increasingly seeking key mechanisms that can be used to address the thorny issue. It is from this disturbing consideration that this paper explores gender stereotypes with special reference to female discrimination. Particularly, it evaluates the extent and nature of female discrimination causes and implications in the society and measures established to address in the society.
Background and statistics of women discriminationNotably, the problem of female discrimination is evident from all regions of the globe. However, its application has varied outlook with equally differing implications. According to William (2005), developing countries have great preferences for males from an early age as they are perceived to infer a greater sense of security and identity to a family and the community. As a result, the girl child is disadvantaged in accessing and developing key cognitive abilities. William (2005) adds that due to poor academic and other related professional qualifications, female discrimination in all the key societal managerial areas is legitimized. Females in developing countries generally receive less inform of healthcare, education, and their household work is rarely recognized. They are therefore very poor compared to their male counterparts and considered to be part of family wealth in some communities in Asia and Africa among others (Melissa, 2007).
In his study on gender issues, Todd (2009) found that female discrimination in developed countries is less pronounced compared to the developing countries. However, it is still evident and post key implications to the society. In the United States, the department of labor estimates that women working for about 41 hours every week earn an average of about 79% of their male counterparts working for the same period. Discrimination is perceived to be a major problem by about 40% of the population in the European Union (Max and Nalini, 2009). In the UK, Rochell, Thandi and Alan (2005) found out that in the major top leadership and managerial positions, women were highly discriminated and therefore poorly represented. They only constitute of 5.2% of the total population and 0.3% of the total parliamentarians in the country. Despite their increasing numbers from different universities, Todd (2009) laments that their input is lacking in key professions due to discrimination.
It is worth noting that though female discrimination on the basis of their gender has generally decreased over the last decade, there is great unpronounced gender stereotyping where men are believed to be better positioned in tackling various problems more effectively. It is from this consideration that researchers are increasingly recommending cultural and personality changes if the problem of female discrimination on the basis of stereotypes is to be effectively reduced in the society.
Causes of female discrimination in the societyResearch on causes of female discrimination has provided highly diversified results for the developing and developed countries. However, the in-depth nature of the problem is evident as male prevalence continues to recur at all levels. Notably, trends that culminate to female discrimination in the society appear to be internalized at different levels and therefore making the impacts to be automatic.
Concerns on societal and corporate cultures have often been cited to be major causes of gender stereotypes in the society. In the society Melissa (2007) argues people have their defining trends that dictate the expected roles for the different genders. The study by Max and Nalini (2009) indicate that most females are disadvantaged in the society as they are expected to embrace home based roles alongside other professional work. Culturally, child bearing and early childhood care is considered to be feminist in most societies. In addition, most females have stereotypically been considered better in handling family chores such as cooking, home cleaning and general child caring. In an ordinary family setting, the females are expected to perform simpler jobs and then take up other household chores while the males assume more complex roles. Though this type of setting appears to be greatly pronounced in the developing countries, it is equally evident in the developed countries (Melissa, 2007).
From a religious point of view, the roles and position of females at the family and societal level are clearly outlined. While modern scientific researchers appear to be in agreement that both men and women can equally perform, the notion strongly contrasts with the religious teachings. Vivian et al (2009) note that biblical teachings are considered to give the needed example for a family and social setup. However, the teachings have equally been poorly interpreted to reflect on the superiority of males over the females. With most claims being anchored on the book of genesis, women are depicted to be helpers and therefore easily discriminated in positions and issues that have extended implications to the society. As Vivian et al (2009) further explains, this is reflected in the political setting where preference for men leaders is very high.
It is however the culture at the corporate level where discrimination appears to emanate more. Despite the changing trends at the corporate world, Michael, Paul and Dacher (2009) explain that most of the top positions such as those of the chief executive officers and presidents of various organizations are largely seen as reserve for men. On the other hand, women have over the years been stereotypically considered to be good for simpler jobs; a consideration that only reduces their allocation to ordinary work irrespective of their qualifications. Notably, these views do not appear in most of the corporate policies’ frameworks, however they are greatly emphasized. While this view remains highly oppressive, Felicia et al (1997) explain that its intrinsic acceptance and assimilation is evident in the lack of goodwill to confront it at the corporate level.
Development levels and trends in the society
As Todd (2009) explains, economic status acts as a major determinant of the societal orientation towards key issues. In developing countries, low economic development sets different social groups in conflict. Key stereotypes therefore take the center stage in sharing of key resources. The society has been made to believe that males unlike the females would benefit them more. As a result, both cognitive and personality development for the females are highly compromised; a consideration that renders efforts by human rights activists to be highly ineffective.
Over the years, development trends have assimilated key positions in determining the gender demands at the local and international level. Felicia et al (1997) indicate that social classes have remained a key facet in female discrimination for most of the developed countries. Though it appears spread out for both genders, females from the lower and middle classes are regarded to be less effective in professional duties. This discrimination is strongly employed but greatly unfounded as evidenced by successes achieved by people from all social classes.
Implications of female discriminations on the basis of gender stereotypesTo address the problem of gender stereotypes in the society, researchers have sought to establish the implications of female discrimination. By establishing the implications related to the problem, it is brought out as a reality to the society. Therefore, it becomes much easier to shape the policies and curve new trends of addressing personality and cognitive developments for the communities.
Reduced maximal potential achievements
Phillip et al (2008) explain that female discrimination greatly reduces the potential of women and the society they are derived from. At an early age, most of the girls are encouraged to take feministic approaches that are perceived by the society to be much better. For instance, they may be encouraged to take subjects related to simpler sciences as opposed to various ‘hard sciences’. In his theory of personality development, Eric Erickson indicated that people at the early ages have reduced ability to make the correct choices. Guidance away from some subjects fails to acknowledge their later cognitive growth abilities and therefore strongly limits their latter achievements. Phillip et al (2008) further explain that all people have differing abilities and should be given the necessary freedom and further supported to realize their maximal potential.
Though most employers and managers do not admit presence of stereo based female discrimination in their institutions, researchers over the years have recorded great discontentment of the female employees. Notably, there is lack of appreciation of the need for diversified contributions towards organizations growth and development. As the modern theory of management indicates, organizations’ realization of their maximum potential is a conglomeration of its individual managers and staff efficiency. Melissa (2007) explains that stereotypes are indeed intrinsic and elastic depending on the leaders, managers or policies that guide an organization. Holding and extending female discrimination in the modern society is therefore not only a major recipe for increased stagnation, but possible cause for failure.
Automated gender associationsWhile many people in the society appear to be incognizant of implications created by female discriminations, it forms a basis for automatic gender associations. Leanne (2008) explains that unlike men in the society, women have often been associated with stereotypes such as poor leaders, poor decision makers, and poor performers in science subjects. With time, these viewpoints have been taken by the society and then internalized to define their community roles and demands for the different groups. As Albert Bandura theory of social learning indicates, human beings develop through reciprocal determinism where the immediate environment plays a critical role for personality and cognitive growth. Mitja, Stefan and Boris (2009) explain that discrimination of females has two key implications to both genders. For the male gender, the discrimination is justified while long-term inferiority is assimilated by the females.
One danger that scholars have associated with automating gender associations is strong resistance to change for the different people. As indicated earlier, the elastic nature of discrimination and gender stereotypes related to females may indeed take much longer as it is further internalized by the new managers, leaders and scholars in the society. Nicolas et al (2009) reports that most female employees often give up their search for higher positions as they are constantly declined irrespective of their qualifications. Lisa et al (2004) that any efforts to effectively address the problem must be able to address the assimilated negative attitudes in the society.
Encoding biases in the society
One key agreement that scholars have cited to result from female discrimination is increased encoding biases. Michael et al (2009) records that with strong internalization of different gender stereotypes, people only see what they expect to see from the females. The connectionist model as indicated by Brenda, Cheryl, Laurie and Shannon (2007), links females to various inferiorities that make them and their contribution to be considered secondary. The connectionist model indicates that stereotypes are not static but are dependent on the judgmental ability of people in the society. Taking into consideration that discrimination is illegal; people at the community and management level see what they want to see; a consideration that culminates to major errors in various decisions making levels. In addition to that, Lisa et al (2004) found out that people in the society further take more time to see what they do not want to see which further increases the error levels.
Implication on construal information and poor judgments
While the need to address discrimination issues has taken the frontline among the different stakeholders in the society, its realization has remained a key mirage. Discrimination of females based on stereotypes is vaguely founded but with time considered to be the norm and fair for the different communities. Nicolas et al (2009) point out that it further reduces the ability of the women to work amongst their men counterpart s as they are wrongly depicted and therefore fully misunderstood. Though women contribution is critical in the society, its ambiguous consideration has been strongly misguiding. Giving the example of students in school, Felicia et al (1997) indicate that it is taken to be the norm for girls to fail in mathematics and therefore justify their inability to perform some managerial and other core tasks. Most people according to Geoffrey and Julio (2005) believe that the position of the Unite States President and the Chief of Staff can only be more effective if they are held by males.
Mitja (2009) explains that women discrimination anchors poor judgment to legitimize the decisions. Performance is poorly judged and not based on the correct merits definition. Most of the leadership positions are considered to be masculine and a female performance is indeed very hard to construct. The relationship between males and females in the society is reflected to be complementary; a consideration that indirectly defines peoples’ judgments towards them. While the male indeed have their major roles cut out, performance of the females ‘complements’ is based on the former as opposed to their full potential analysis.
Laws and policies on discriminationNotably, attempts to address the problem of discrimination have been made by different countries to facilitate higher levels of equality and therefore facilitate maximum potential realization in the community. However, researchers appear discontented with their execution by indicating the high resilience levels of the problem.
Equal Pay ActThe problem of stereotypes that largely culminated to not only their discrimination in the work place prompted the establishment of this Act in the United Kingdom. Most women in various labor considerations received less pay for performing similar types of jobs with men. As a result, Rochelle et al (2005) indicate that most women suffered greatly in the hands of men as they were less regarded and even denied key leadership and managerial positions in the country. The act therefore sought to establish a more level operating platform for both genders in the country. Therefore, it outlined the requirements to be considered for equal pay in employments. It particularly established the pay structures and regulation orders for various wages determination. Leanne (2008) indicates that though the act has strongly been employed to address key issues relating to female discrimination, intrinsic attitudes derived from stereotypes have been persistent and therefore often recur.
Equality Act of 2006This legislation was established to promote realization of maxima potential by all the stakeholders in the society. Brenda et al (2007) point out that the act seeks to eliminate discrimination of any kind and therefore giving all the people equal opportunities to utilize their potentials while raising their innovative and creativity capacities. Passing of this legislation was seen as the key fulcrum towards addressing the problem of women discrimination as it sought to increase their involvement in at all levels of development and management in the community. Mitja (2009) argues that to women who are highly vulnerable or have been subjected to discrimination due to stereotypes, the act seeks to restore the needed dignity and respect for them in the society. To address the negative image created by discrimination against women, the legislation emphasizes the need for good relations amongst all the social groups in the United Kingdom (Rochelle et al, 2005).
Sex discrimination act
The problem of female discrimination as Tim, Chester and Lowel (2002) indicate appears to have been evident for a long time; a consideration that led to establishment of the discrimination Act of 1975 in the UK. Notably, this legislation provides the description of discrimination against women and therefore seeks to generate their continued inclusion and representation in all areas of social economic developments. Outlining various sectors such as education and employment, non-discriminatory approach is seen as the key for the country’s success. Though the act has impacted greatly on the problem of women discrimination, analysts indicate that there is need to lay more emphasis on the people’s attitude changes in order to address female discrimination related problems.
Addressing the problem of female discriminationThe problem of gender stereo types that result to female discrimination is one of the trickiest issues to address in the society due to its internal nature that makes it hard to identify until it has taken place. Analysts indicate that gender discrimination due to its widespread nature in the society has seen strong internalization and therefore its application have long term implications. People’s attitudes must be effectively changed to reflect on the need for all people’s contribution towards their growth and development. Tim et al (2002) argue that institutions that emphasize on equality as part of the societal cultural development must be developed at all levels.
Philip et al (2008) emphasize on specific intervention methods for females in the society with a major aim of creating the needed awareness on the existence of gender discrimination and the need to eradicate it. This strategy has however been criticized for being biased and therefore predicted to lack the holistic outlook for addressing the problem. It is important that the strategy incorporate mechanism of facilitating attitude change in the community as the main platform for influencing personality changes.
Though policies over the years appear to have failed in generating the need for equality at all levels in the society, their strengthening as William et al (20056) indicate would create strong support for other mechanisms to be more effective. William et al (2005) further suggests that with effective policies in the society, elimination of the stereotypically derived gender discrimination would be easily guided. The legislation should particularly seek to facilitate strong cooperation between institutions and organizations both at the local, regional and international levels to create more emphasis and urgency.
ConclusionFrom the above discussion, this paper concludes by supporting the thesis statement, ‘discrimination against females through gender stereotyping undermines realization of their holistic potential, increases the challenges facing them and ultimately stalls societal growth and development’. Causes of this discrimination came out to be highly diversified and internalized while the effects have far reaching social and economic implications. Addressing the problem was further brought out as a key facet if holistic development for all communities is to be achieved. This paper therefore emphasizes on the need for further studies to establish the extent, compare it with other regions, and device creative modes of enhancing equality and respect for all. ReferencesBrenda, M., Cheryl, R., Laurie, T. & Shannon, K. (2007). Perceived Discrimination as Worldview Threat or Worldview Confirmation: Implications for Self-Esteem. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, (92)6: 1068-1086
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