• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Outline and evaluate cross-cultural studies of gender role.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

´╗┐Cross cultural studies of gender role There have been various studies that have observed elements of gender roles in other countries, one such study was conducted by Williams and Best, the study explored gender stereotypes in 30 different nations involving 2800 university students as participants. They were given a 300 item adjective checklist and asked to decide whether an item was most associated with men or women. What they found out was that there was a broad consensus across countries with men being seen as more dominant and aggressive and women being seen as nurturing and defendant. This supports the common stereotype of both genders, that males are ?dominant and aggressive? and that females are ?nurturing and defendant?. The findings from this study do have strengths, due to the sample used. The studies sample firstly was large and also very diverse in terms of culture, religion and ethnicity (expected of universities) and because of this the population validity of the findings increases and makes the results more generalizable and representative of the wider population, this means the conclusion of gender roles being consistent throughout cultures is applicable to the general population. ...read more.

Middle

This study suggests that there are universal stereotypes about male-female characteristics therefore indicating that gender roles are influenced more by our biology and evolution rather than socially constructed. However its arguable that the findings lack validity and that empirical evidence of cross-cultural studies on gender roles is less useful than initially believed. Another study is one conducted by Margaret Mead, she studied social groups in Papua New Guinea. Initially, she argued that the ?Arapesh? men and women were gentle, the ?Mundugumor? men and women were violent and the ?Tchambuli?exhibited gender role differences with women being more dominant and men dependable. She concluded that this date demonstrated cultural determinism and that gender differences are determined by social factors. However Mead later changed her view to one of culture relativism. When she re-analysed her data she realised that although both sexes of the Arapesh were non-aggressive and both sexes of the Mundugamor were aggressive, in all three societies the men were more aggressive than the women. ...read more.

Conclusion

However, there is further evidence to support the assumption that gender roles are not consistent worldwide, Antonia Young carried out a study on the unusual gender roles in Albania. She found a group called the Albania virgins who were born into families which lacked a male presence and thus adopted the male role, committed to being a virgin and dressed and acted as men. The society accepted them as male and they were admitted to all male clubs and social groups. This suggests that societies create gender roles based on the needs of their society/culture and therefore shows that genders do vary across cultures. In conclusion, cross cultural studies help us to establish whether nature or nurture has the greater influence over gender roles. Both Mead and Young's studies imply that nurture and social influences have a greater influence on gender roles, however evidence from William and Best lies on the nature side of the debate by indicating that our biology is more dominant. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate Anthropology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate Anthropology essays

  1. My Own Culture - growing up in Malay culture.

    There are also fire crackers show, the fire cracker was made in the bamboo. The next day, we had 'majlis bersanding'. During that day, we had 'menepung tawar' ceremony. Where, all the relatives give bless to the broom and bride.

  2. Evaluate social identity theory, making reference to relevant studies.

    in general wearing a jersey regardless of team more than a person without any jersey (the control people). This would be attributed to the in-group of "football fans" and the out-group of "non-football fans." What is so significant of this study is that it shows that people are more likely

  1. Anthropology: Study Notes (Trobrianders)

    Example - Canada's diversity and many cities (Haviland). * Ethnocentrism: the tendency to look at the world from the views of one's own culture * Global Apartheid: system of segregation or discrimination on racial grounds, based on the ideas of ethnocentrism. Example - the separation of whites from blacks in South Africa (Haviland).

  2. In his movie Guns, Germs, and Steel, Jared Diamond argues that geography gives certain ...

    there were no guns or steel in Indochina, another aspect of geography kept Europeans from conquering the area. The jungles and tropical climate that were so prevalent in Indochina, which was a result of their geographical placement, kept many Western Powers from penetrating the landscape.

  1. Discuss cultural differences in gender. The cultural determinism view (that gender is solely ...

    must be a key influencing factor in the development of gender, supporting the view that nature is the dominant force behind gender role development. However, if this were the only factor involved, then we should not expect to see cultural differences in the gender role behaviour of men and women.

  2. Indian Society Essays - Corruption, Linguistic Rights and a review of "The Palace of ...

    UN Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities. Theoretical discussion Language rights + human rights = linguistic human rights (LHR) Some make a distinction between language rights and linguistic human rights because the former concept covers a much wider scope.

  1. I will argue that Canada should continue to develop some regulations to protect its ...

    Therefore because we share a continent with such an influential neighbor, the government should continue to regulate and protect its cultural industries. The belief that we are dependent on the United States to survive in the world?s economy it is not completely correct.

  2. Investigating the Folklore of the Oregon Country Fair

    There is a joke everyone plays on each other called ?hippy fishing? in which a person ties a glow stick to a piece of fishing wire, sets it in the middle of the trail, and waits for someone to attempt to pick it up.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work