A new study finds that gender stereotypes are as strong today as they were 30 years ago, and that people are even more likely now to believe that men avoid “traditional” female roles. This research is out in Psychology of Women Quarterly (PWQ), a journal from SAGE Publishing.
“Changes in the activities and representation of women and men in society have unquestionably occurred since the early 1980s; however, those changes apparently have not been sufficient to alter strongly held and seemingly functional beliefs about the basic social category of gender,” commented researchers Elizabeth L. Haines, Kay Deaux and Nicole Lofaro.
The study authors compared data from 195 college students in 1983 to data from 191 adults in 2014.The study participants from each time period rated the likelihood that a typical man or woman has a set of gendered characteristics. The researchers found that despite greater diversity in the 2014 sample, people continue to strongly stereotype men and women on personality traits (e.g. kindness, competitiveness), gender role behaviors (e.g. tending the house, upholding moral and religious values), occupations (e.g. registered nurse, engineer) and physical characteristics (e.g., delicate, deep voice).