Monday, August 4, 2014

Gender stereotypes

The survey discussed in my last post also included a question:  "suppose you could only have one child.  Would you prefer that it be a boy or a girl?"  Opinions about which sex is more courageous, intelligent, and creative help to predict preference.  Putting that together with the questions discussed in my last post, intelligence and courage seem to be the most generally valued qualities:  the predict preference in children, bosses, and views about women in politics.  What predicts opinion about which sex is more intelligence and courageous?  I tried a few standard variables.

Gender:  women tend to be more favorable about women (for example, 43% of women think women are more intelligent, and only 14% think men are more intelligent, with the rest saying no difference; among men,opinions are split 29%-29%).

Education:  no effect on opinions about which sex is more intelligent; more educated people less likely to think men are more courageous.

Age:  not much difference; people aged 18-29 are less likely to say "no difference"

Political views:  liberals have more favorable views of women.

I thought that there might be some tendency for younger people, more educated people, and liberals to say "no difference," whether because of egalitarianism or "political correctness."  But that wasn't the case--in fact, younger people were less likely to say that there was no difference.  As I discussed in a post a few years ago, people seem just as willing to offer generalizations about gender differences as they were 50+ years ago, although the content of those generalizations has changed.


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