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Patriarchy paradox: how equality reinforces stereotypes

От alexander koryagin (2:5020/2140.2) к All

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Hi, all!

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Patriarchy paradox: how equality reinforces stereotypes

We all know what is meant to happen when the genders become more equal.
As women smash glass ceilings and open up education, other differences
should disappear too.

Without the psychological shackles of being the second sex, women are
free to think and behave as they want; to become physicists or chief
executives, unfettered by outdated stereotypes.

Yet to the confusion of psychologists, we are seeing the reverse. The
more gender equality in a country, the greater the difference in the way
men and women think. It could be called the patriarchy paradox.

Two new studies have again demonstrated this counterintuitive result,
meaning it is now one of the best-established findings in psychology,
even if no one can properly explain it.

In a survey of about 130,000 people from a total of 22 countries,
scientists from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden have shown that
countries with more women in the workforce, parliament and education are
also those in which men and women diverge more on psychological traits.

Separately, a research paper published by the online journal Plos One
found that in countries ranked as less gender equal by the World
Economic Forum, women were more likely to choose traditionally male
courses such as the sciences or online study.

Erik Mac Giolla, the lead researcher in the first study, said that, if
anything, the results found a bigger difference than in previous work.
Personality is typically measured using the "big five" traits. These are
openness, extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness and
neuroticism. Women typically score higher on all of them but there is
always overlap.

In China, which still scores low on gender parity, the personality
overlap between men and women was found to be about 84 per cent. In the
Netherlands, which is among the most gender equal societies, it turned
out to be just 61 per cent.

"It seems that as gender equality increases, as countries become more
progressive, men and women gravitate towards traditional gender norms,"
Dr Mac Giolla said. "Why is this happening? I really don't know."

Steve Stewart-Williams, from the University of Nottingham, said that
there was now too much evidence of this effect to consider it a fluke.
"It's not just personality," he said. "The same counterintuitive pattern
has been found in many other areas, including attachment styles, choice
of academic speciality, choice of occupation, crying frequency,
depression, happiness and interest in casual sex.

"It's definitely a challenge to one prominent stream of feminist theory,
according to which almost all the differences between the sexes come
from cultural training and social roles."

Dr Stewart-Williams, author of The Ape That Understood the Universe,
said an explanation could be that those living in wealthier and more
gender-equal societies had greater freedom to pursue their own interests
and behave more individually, so magnifying natural differences.

Whatever the reason for the findings, he argued that they meant we
should stop thinking of sex differences in society as being
automatically a product of oppression. "These differences may be
indicators of the opposite: a relatively free and fair society," he
said. If this contradicted some feminist analyses, he said it was also a
surprise to pretty much everyone else too. "It seems completely
reasonable to think that, in cultures where men and women are treated
very differently and have very different opportunities, they'll end up a
lot more different than they would in cultures where they're treated
more similarly and have a similar range of opportunities.

"But it turns out that this has it exactly backwards. Treating men and
women the same makes them different, and treating them differently makes
then the same. I don't think anyone predicted that. It's bizarre."

https://www.thetimes.co.uk
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Bye, all!
Alexander Koryagin



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