Gender Bias: The Characteristics Of Gender Stereotypes

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Gender stereotypes are over-generalizations about the characteristics of an entire group based on gender. While gender stereotypes have been popularly perceived as having negative connotations, they can also have positive ones as well. Gender stereotypes are the results of social practices, habits, and traditions that have long been acceptable to a great number of people and societies. These traditional roles are attached to male-female relationships furthermore derived by the image of the male as breadwinners and head of the family. On the other hand, the female gender is traditionally bounded as a support to the male gender. An example of a male stereotype would be the usual saying that in order to be a “man” you must have a masculine social role, and as for women, they must have a feminine social role. Females are almost always underestimated and are more often than not portrayed as a housewives whose chores include, raising children, cooking, washing the dishes, and doing the laundry. Gender roles can be a social and behavioral norm that society considers appropriate for either sex in a social or impersonal setting. Since each person has individual desired, thoughts, and feelings, regardless of their gender, these stereotypes are simplistic and do not at all describe the attributes of every person of each gender. Baslow (1992) stated that “gender bias is prejudice or discrimination based on gender, or conditions or that support gender stereotypes of social roles.” Gender

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