Gender Stereotypes

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Abstract

There are many differences between men and women. To some extent, these are captured in the stereotypical images of these groups. Stereotypes about the way men and women think and behave are widely shared, suggesting a kernel of truth. However, stereotypical expectations not only reflect existing differences, but also impact the way men and women define themselves and are treated by others. This article reviews evidence on the nature and content of gender stereotypes and considers how these relate to gender differences in important life outcomes. Empirical studies show that gender stereotypes affect the way people attend to, interpret, and remember information about themselves and others. Considering the cognitive and motivational functions of gender stereotypes helps us understand their impact on implicit beliefs and communications about men and women. Knowledge of the literature on this subject can benefit the fair judgment of individuals in situations where gender stereotypes are likely to play a role.

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