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Discuss issues of gender bias in psychology.

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1; what is meant by the term 'gender bias.' Bias, be it in the reporting, conducting of use of research which favours one gender over the other; or makes one gender look inferior to the other. Usually in Psychology it is women who are biased against, perhaps due to the overrepresentation and over-expectance of men in research and the lack of balanced samples (too few women.) 2; discuss issues of gender bias in psychology.' The majority of gender bias' in psychology suggests that women are biased against and men are the dominant and superior force in the conducting, sampling and reporting of research. Women are often stereotyped due to male research being generalised to apply to them and samples often lack women, perhaps due to the male researcher or the male researcher's interpretation of his research. Either way, evidence suggests that women are often marginalised in psychological research which is predominantly male orientated. Issues of 'beta bias' often occur in psychology. This means that differences, if they do exist, are underestimated and downplayed. ...read more.


Alternately, 'alpha bias' exaggerated the differences between the genders. Freud was the most prominent exponent of 'alpha bias,' clearly marginalising and derogating women as inferior citizens. He stated that "in no way should men and women be seen as equals" and punctuated this remark by suggesting that a woman's morality is stifled by her lack of experiencing and resolving the Oedipus complex (simply because she has no penis. Freud made it clear, perhaps because of cultural reasons - men were certainly seen as superior to women in the early 20th century - that women were not as morally developed as men. This has undoubtedly led to prejudices in modern research (i.e. Kohlberg) and influenced, especially due to the importance of Freud in psychology, the way we perceive women, leading to gender bias even now. Women are generally underrepresented in psychology (in terms of research) as most predominant psychologists have been male. When females do undertake well-regarded research, questions are asked as to the motives behind it. For example, Langer and Rodin's research on giving control has been noted on choosing a care home for its participants. ...read more.


This is biased and possibly untrue. Milgram, in his original 'obedience' study used a male-only sample; perhaps this was because he thought that women, due to their 'emotional' stereotyping, would be more emotionally unstable than men and not be able to cope with the pressures the study dictated. Actually, seen as though three of the men collapsed - coupled with Sheridan and King's subsequent research which suggested that women were actually more ruthless than men - Milgram's original prediction (if indeed he had one) was untrue. Undoubtedly, the female status outside of psychology (often as a housewife) influences researches when selecting their sample, as they take into account what the media / society dictates the roles of women are. Whilst in recent years the imbalance has equalled out more (i.e. the prominence of Elizabeth Loftus) there is still an underlying expectation of women which may be wholly inaccurate. To conclude, the dominance of males in textbooks and course specifications, as well as the definite expectation that when we come across a new psychologist we presume they are a 'him' leads to the realisation that there is, hitherto, still an imbalance in the representation of women in psychology (albeit a smaller one than previously,) with biases manifesting themselves both theoretically and methodologically. ...read more.

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