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Failure of Female Role Models Affects Beliefs about Women More Generally

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Role models are not superhuman, and they sometimes fail. Although we might accept their imperfections, we do not expect that other people will treat them the same.

Psychology News Roundup: ICYMI August 16, 2019

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Cabbage rolls, water bottles, and disappointment: See what you may have missed in the world of personality and social psychology in this week's ICYMI roundup.

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When Women Thrive in Male-Dominated Workplaces

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Women who work in traditional male fields can thrive when they are fully valued and respected by their organization and their male colleagues.

Masculinity: Toxic or Tenuous?

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Research on gender roles reveals a curious sense in which men are the “weaker sex.” Many men seem to live in a chronic state of insecurity about whether they are “real men.”

Michelle Obama is Taller than Barack Obama

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Why might a woman be told she did a “great job” at work yet be passed over for raises or a promotion? She may have been the victim of shifting standards.

Misperceptions of Masculinity & Femininity Drive Biased Estimates of Preferences for Household Distribution of Labor

A man dusts a high cabinet

In 1980, the wealthiest 10% of households owned 68% of the total US wealth. In 2007, the wealthiest 10% controlled 73% of the wealth. Similarly, in the 1970s, the average woman earned about 60% of what the average man would typically earn. Fortunately, the gender income gap has decreased since the 1970s, with women earning about 80% of that typically earned by men. Unfortunately, the gender income gap has hit a plateau that started in 2005 (Stanford Center On Poverty & Inequality, 2011).

Gender Diversity Alone Is Not Enough

Image of a business man and business woman interviewing a woman at a table

Today, women are more likely to hold positions of power than they were decades ago. However, female leaders tend to be put under a microscope, facing more scrutiny than their male counterparts.

For example, Marissa Mayer, the CEO of Yahoo, was blamed for the many missteps in the company. As a young woman and a CEO, her social role as a woman and as a CEO may have been in conflict.

This conflict is not unique to Mayer, or even CEOs. Women in positions of power are assumed to immediately help other women come to power—but is that assumption true?

Alice Eagly: An Impressive Legacy

Image of Alice Eagly visiting at her Legacy Award lunch

“Okay, so that’s our world,” said Alice Eagly, The Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP) 2018 Annual Convention Legacy honoree, as she explained the broad differences in the division of labor across men and women that persist to this day. Eagly is perhaps best known for her work on how gender stereotypes emerge from the social roles men and women adopt. As Eagly explained, we learn about men and women from how labor is divided.

In The Blink of an Eye: People Perceive Sex Ratio and Threat of Group in Less Than a Second

In almost as quickly as it takes to blink an eye, we make assumptions about a group of people. New research from UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles) shows people perceive the sex ratio of a group, and decide if the group is threatening or not, in half a second. The perceptions of the number of men in the group are accurate, according to the research.

Nicholas Alt (UCLA), Brianna Mae Goodale (UCLA), David J Lick (New York University) and Kerri Johnson (UCLA) conducted the research. The results appear in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.

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