Why do we need gender stereotypes

Why do we need gender stereotypes

Are there "real" men and women? What are useful and harmful behavioral models? About how the ideas about gender roles change, we talked with a clinical psychologist Yakov Kochetkov.

Psychologies: How gender stereotypes work, why are they needed?

Yakov Kochetkov: I recently saw an article in which the results of a set of research on gender stereotypes were collected, and the conclusions surprised me. For example, boys to adolescent age on average more emotional than girls. In the study of mathematics in boys and girls there are no significant differences. Men are no worse than women read emotions in a conversation, but at the same time they take rational solutions when shopping. These are amazing things.

Now, when gender stereotypes change, it’s time to think: why do they need them at all? In my opinion, this is one of the ways of self-identification. And until recently, stereotypes were very helpful because they allowed to correctly distribute resources between men and women.

What does "allocate resources" mean?

In traditional society, no one spends time to physically develop a woman. For example, a man on average holds significantly better, although a woman can be taught. On the other hand, there is a paradox: what expectations we are presented – those we become. And all these stereotypes have long been picked up by advertising companies, politicians … Very often we behave like that we are inspired. This is an easier way of development.

But at the same time, a man is now much more difficult to prove its masculinity than a thousand years ago: direct aggression in most cases is unacceptable. Competition has become uncertain because it is now possible to succeed in many different ways. There are many studies that show that we all in some sense remain animals.

If you look at the level of stress hormones in men in the corporation, it is different from those who are just starting to work, those who work for a long time, and those who occupy a high post. This is not much different from the situation in the animal community. There alpha-male has the highest level of cortisol and a fairly high level of testosterone, male sex hormone, while his closest subordinates ("top managers") have a high level of testosterone and less – cortisol, because they are less thanks for them less Responsibility.

But now has the time when simple hierarchy is destroyed. You can be a small screw in a large car, but at the same time – a popular blogger, getting recognition and increase your testosterone level. That is why now gender stereotypes are under a strong blow to such a blurred competition.

It turns out that our society gradually departs from biological reactions and stereotypes inherited from previous eras.

Absolutely. If you connect such a tool like social networks, you can completely get confused. Imagine with whom a man or woman could compare itself a hundred or fifty years ago? With 10-20 familiar people. Now anyone, living in the most distant village, can compare himself with hundreds of people. And of them all, he more or less knows. It makes a very strong tension.

Studies confirm that comparisons on social networks are caused by depression and disturbing disorders, both in men and women.

Because everyone sees there some seductive images and can not reach them?

Of course! A man sits in the office, comes on Facebook and sees that every second of his friends is resting somewhere, rides good cars. We do not think that it costs every specific case. If each of your hundred acquaintances takes a vacation once a year, you will seem to feel that everyone is resting without the end.

Psychotherapist Ekaterina Mikhailova somehow very passionately stated that there are no real women that it is a very harmful model. What do you think about real men? Do they exist?

Why do we need gender stereotypes

It’s a difficult question. On the one hand, this concept seems to me very harmful as any other stereotype with the definition of "real": "This Intelligent", "Real our" … Often, unrealistic standards imposed in this stereotype, advertising.

In clinical practice, we are constantly faced with the fact that men are very difficult to express emotions. Not because they do not know how, but because they prohibit it to do it. From this point of view, the desire to become an "ideal man" can be harmful.

Here you need to find the golden middle, because it is also wrong to give up some norms. After all, most people do not tend to think deeply over their lives. It is much easier to use ready-made stereotypes to develop. When we bring up boys, we still need to give them some examples, behaviors. And at the same time expand their borders.

For example, it is important for boys to tell that there is no trouble to cry or get frightened, but then you can also act, despite the fright.

I notice that the idea of ​​the model of masculinity is often different in men and women. That alone is called "courageous behavior", "courageous act", others do not consider. It turns out that women are waiting for a man that they themselves expect from themselves?

Here we are again in power stereotypes. And I would divide our men and Europeans. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the inhabitants of our country had to re-look for their identity, including gender. Much has changed: appeared, for example, sex issues that can be discussed.

our men have a specific feature that rushes into the eyes to all psychologists – a deep sense of humiliation, often hidden and hidden. It is largely due to the period of restructuring. Young men, young men, lived with their parents who then lost their identity. Successful in the past engineer became a practical man and was forced to go to work as a security guard. And this humiliation is often compensated by hypertrophic courage. This we see in people who take huge loans to buy an expensive car, although they don’t always have enough money for food.

By the way, interesting observation. If we compare advertising machines with us and, for example, in Germany, only in Russia advertising emphasizes the victory over humiliation: "You are the king of the road!"," Only you can afford it ". In the West, advertising is directed, rather, on the economic and environmental characteristics of the machine. And in this, it seems to me, a very big problem. On the one hand, men themselves behave in such a way as to constantly emphasize their masculinity. And this concerns not only cars.

Why do we need gender stereotypes

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