Outline and evaluate cross-cultural studies of gender role.

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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.

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However there is a flaw within the study, you could say that although the sample was drawn from a large geographical pool, which should indicate representativeness, they were all students who share common attributes and viewpoints and so they may not being necessarily representative of the population of their country and all social groups within. Also the construction of the checklist did not include an equal category alongside the male and female category, so this means that the division between the male and female categories may be exaggerated, thus prompting the students to believe that there is a gap ...

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