Volume 2, Issue 3 (1973)
Techniques for Confronting Sex-Role Stereotypes
D.F. Roberts, G. Roberts
Soap operas most often depict women on the verge of falling apart. Women often get mixed messages that come through that they must fail at certain things (Horner, 1969). Clever women are cute about their incompetence. In a fascinating study by Broverman, Broverman, Clarkson, Rosenkrantz, and Vogel (1970)) seventy-nine clinically-trained psychologists, psychiatrists, and social workers (46 men, 33 women) were used to rate the behaviors and attributes which characterize a healthy man, a healthy woman, or a healthy adult. They strongly agreed in their assessment of healthy women differing from healthy men by being more submissive, less independent, less adventurous, more easily influenced, less aggressive, less competitive, more excitable in minor crises, having their feelings more easily hurt, being more emotional, more conceited about their appearance, less objective, and disliking math and science. Interestingly, the clinicians’ concept of a healthy mature man does not differ significantly from their concept of a healthy adult. And clinicians are significantly less likely to attribute traits which characterize healthy adults to women. It is no wonder women are often considered neurotic, just trying to be healthy people.
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