What are Stereotypes? “Stereotype” is actually a Greek word which literally means “solid kind” as it was used in the Printing Industry back in 1798. Metaphorically it refers to a kind of “social belief” fabricated by the diverse cultural codes of recognition and adversely predisposed by the fairly intricate human psychology.
In 1922, Walter Lippmann, a renowned American Journalist referred to the concept “stereotype” simply as the “Pictures in our heads”. He argued that our imaginations are molded by the things we virtually see from the outside world which subsequently lead to our strong believes in them. That was according to Walter Lippmann (Lippmann, 1922).
What are gender Stereotypes?
Gender stereotypes may be defined as cultural and social beliefs that tend to distinguish the behaviors that are expected of men and those associated with women in the families, communities and the society at large. As Anselmi and Law defined it, gender stereotypes are socio-cultural doctrines that define the behaviors and norms of men and women in the society (Anselmi & Law 1998, p. 195).A number of theories (such as the object-relations theory, the gender-schema theory, social role theory et cetera) and scholarly studies have however attempted to associate gender stereotypes with gender roles in the society (Buss 1995; Shields 1975).
According to Deaux and Lewis, gender stereotypes tend to vary based on four dimensions, these to them include, the physical features, the role behaviors, individual traits and occupational dimensions (Deaux and Lewis 1983).The cases where women are perceived as weak characters, passive and cooperative, while men are viewed as competitive, strong and aggressive. In their very roles, occupations and physical characteristics, literatures have highlighted that there are indeed a consistent disparities between men and women, boys and girls (Buss, 1995, p.175-234).