Karen J. Prager, Ph.D., A.B.P.P.

Professor of Psychology and  Program Head for Gender Studies

Diplomate in Family Psychology

The University of Texas at Dallas

More Information About Dr. Prager's work

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Summary: Stereotypes

**Gender stereotypes are shared beliefs that are descriptive & prescriptive.

**One stereotypic judgment leads to another in a "cascade" effect

The study of gender & personality began with the assumption of M & F as one bipolar dimension of personality.

New measures & research showed there were 2 independent or positively correlated dimensions to our gender stereotypes: agency & communion.

No firm conclusions about whether masculinity or androgyny predict the best outcomes for individuals.

Stereotypes seem to reflect how people describe themselves, supporting the "kernel of truth" theory.

Stereotypes are more exaggerated in cultures where roles are more clearly separated, supporting the "social role" theory.

Stereotypes about male & female personality characteristics will shift & change depending upon the context (sex, race, ethnicity, age, etc.)

Stereotypes have contradictions, and can prescribe unhealthy behaviors, creating gender role strain in some people.

Our gender ideology (what we think women & men should do) can be sexist, and either hostile or benevolent.

Gender ideology can either expand or restrict womenís choices about how they will live.

Stereotypes havenít changed much in the last 20 years.