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Durham e-Theses
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Explorations in sex role stereotypes

Ward, Colleen A. (1977) Explorations in sex role stereotypes. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



The investigation was undertaken to examine in a broad-based exploratory fashion four of the most salient factors in contemporary sex role research (differential evaluation of the sexes, the motive to avoid success, psychological androgyny, and attitudes toward women's roles in society) in an effort to achieve synthesis in a comprehensive theory of sex role ideology. The theory advanced here rests on the supposition that pervading sex role stereotypes are uncritically accepted by males and females and readily incorporated into emergent self concepts. While the assimilation of this artificial dichotomy of masculinity and femininity is restrictive to both sexes, the problem is more acute for the female due to the underlying notion of inferiority and adversely affects attitudinal, motivational and personality dispositions. The theory is corroborated by evidence which demonstrates he prevalence of stereotypic views in men and women varied in age, marital status, religion, educational and occupational history and its high correlation with unitarily stereotypic masculine or feminine self concepts, respectively. Dichotomized, sex appropriate self concepts are also associated with inflexible, conservative attitudes towards women's roles and behavioral potentials in society. Finally, the notion of feminine inferiority is illustrated by the devaluation of women in areas of professional expertise and motivational ambivalence and conflict concerning female achievement. In conclusion, sex role research is criticized on its neglect of critical synthesis of empirical data, and problems with theoretical validation are discussed in terms of phenomenology and methodological variation.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Date:1977
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:14 Mar 2014 17:09

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