Differences between prescriptive and proscriptive gender stereotypes andgendered self-evaluations in Sweden

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Abstract

This study investigates prescriptive (how women and men should be) and proscriptive (how women and men should not be) gender stereotypes in Sweden and how these stereotypes relate to self-ascribed gendered traits. In an online survey with students at three major universities (N = 679) it was found that participants believed that the societal view was that women should be more communal than men, but less dominant and men should be more agentic than women, but less weak. In comparison, self-ratings only differed for communion, such that women rated themselves as more communal than men (there were no differences in self-ratings of agency, dominance, or weakness). Thus, prescriptive and proscriptive stereotypes and self-views differed. Women mainly perceived differences between self-ratings and prescriptions of communion, whereas men mainly perceived differences between self-ratings and prescriptions of agency. Moreover, women mainly perceived differences between self-ratings and proscriptions of dominance, and men mainly perceived differences between self-ratings and proscriptions of weakness. Hence, both women and men perceive larger gaps between self-evaluations and societally desired and undesired gender stereotypical traits. Future studies should investigate the consequences of such mismatches.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
JournalScandinavian Journal of Psychology
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023-Dec-29

Swedish Standard Keywords

  • Psychology (501)

Keywords

  • prescriptive
  • proscriptive
  • gender stereotypes
  • Sweden

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