Topic 3 Gender biases

Gender bias

  • Unequal treatment as a result of gender (men and women and other genders in the LGBTQIA+ community)

  • Assumption that one gender is of higher power or status than another gender

It occurs when one individual unconsciously attributes certain attitudes and stereotypes to another person or group of people. These ascribed behaviours affect how the individual understands and engages with others.

In today’s society, gender bias is often used to refer to the preferential treatment men receive — specifically white, heterosexual males. It’s often labelled as “sexism” and describes the prejudice against women solely on the basis of their sex. Gender bias is most prominently visible within professional settings.

According to the US National Judicial Education Program, the most prominent forms of gender bias are:

  • Stereotyped thinking about the nature and roles of different genders

  • Devaluing what is perceived as “woman’s work”

  • Lack of knowledge of the social and economic realities of women’s and men’s lives

Gender biases, as all biases in general, can be more or less implicit, more or less based on prejudices and negative attitudes.

We concentrate on the implicit biases that are at work in many “neutral” contexts and affect both men and women (women show the same implicit gender biases as men).

Specific gender implicit biases affect many dimensions of the differences between men and women:

  1. Psychological features: men are more action-prone, women are more prudent; men are more risk-prone, women are more risk averse; men are more rational, women are more emotional, men are more systematic, women are more empathic, men are better in spatial tasks than women, Men are more selfish, women are more generous

  2. Social role features: Men are suited to technical jobs, women to jobs related to “care”; men are better in scientific studies, women are better in liberal arts studies; men are more suited to leadership, women are better for human resource issues

  3. Physical features: men are stronger, taller, faster than women, etc.

Reasons for gender bias:

  •  Customs & traditions

  • Governmental apathy

  • Social evils: dowry, child marriage etc.

  • Narrow mindset

  • Lack of awareness

  • Psychological mindset

  • Faulty educational system

Source: Photo by Jonathan Andrew from Pexels