Tag Archive | 2010

Our Prisons, Ourselves: Race, Gender and the Rule of Law

Title: Our Prisons, Ourselves: Race, Gender and the Rule of Law

Link: pdf

Summary: 

Prison rape is a canard of popular culture. Comedians from Jay Leno to street-corner wiseguys recycle the tired joke: “Don’t drop the soap,” or some big, scary criminal will make you his “bitch.” This jocular fear is often racialized: “A running joke throughout movies concerns the theme in which a very large Black male prisoner threatens a boy . . . [who may be] raped or ‘punked’  by a Mike Tyson-esque character.” These jokes reveal one of men’s starkest fears about prison: that they will be unmanned or “made gay” by being sexually assaulted by a big black man.

From Agents to Objects: Sexist Attitudes and Neural Responses to Sexualized Targets

Title: From Agents to Objects: Sexist Attitudes and Neural Responses to Sexualized Targets

Link: pdf

Summary: (abstract)

Agency attribution is a hallmark of mind perception; thus, diminished attributions of agency may disrupt social–cognition processes typically elicited by human targets. The current studies examine the effect of perceiversʼ sexist attitudes on associations of agency with, and neural responses to, images of sexualized and clothed men and women. In Study 1, male ( but not female) participants with higher hostile sexism scores more quickly associated sexualized women with first-person action verbs (“handle”) and clothed women with third-person action verbs (“handles”) than the inverse, as compared to their less sexist peers. In Study 2, hostile sexism correlated negatively with activation of regions associated with mental state attribution—medial prefrontal cortex, posterior cingulate, temporal poles—but only when viewing sexualized women. Heterosexual men best recognized images of sexualized female bodies ( but not faces), as compared with other targetsʼ bodies; however, neither face nor body recognition was related to hostile sexism, suggesting that the fMRI findings are not explained by more or less attention to sexualized female targets. Diminished mental state attribution is not unique to targets that people prefer to avoid, as in dehumanization of stigmatized people. The current studies demonstrate that appetitive social targets may elicit a similar response depending on perceiversʼ attitudes toward them.

Mentoring and Promotions with Men and Women

Title:  Why Men Still Get More Promotions Than Women

Link: http://hbr.org/2010/09/why-men-still-get-more-promotions-than-women/ar/1

Summary:

Are women as likely as men to get mentoring? Yes.

They’re actually more so: In the 2008 Catalyst survey, 83% of women and 76% of men say they’ve had at least one mentor at some point in their careers. Indeed, 21% of women say they’ve had four or more mentors, compared with 15% of men.

Does mentoring provide the same career benefits to men and women? No.

Among survey participants who had active mentoring relationships in 2008, fully 72% of the men had received one or more promotions by 2010, compared with 65% of the women.

Do men and women have the same kinds of mentors? No.

In 2008, 78% of men were actively mentored by a CEO or another senior executive, compared with 69% of women.

More women than men had junior-level mentors: 7% of women were mentored by a nonmanager or a first-level manager, compared with 4% of men.

Though both groups had more male than female mentors on balance, 36% of women had female mentors, whereas only 11% of men did.

Women in Management: Delusions of Progress

Title: Women in Management: Delusions of Progress

Link: http://hbr.org/2010/03/women-in-management-delusions-of-progress/ar/1

Summary:

The accepted message on gender disparity in the workplace has for the past 10 to 15 years been one of acknowledgment and reassurance: Yes, women represent just 3% of Fortune500 CEOs and less than 15% of corporate executives at top companies worldwide, but give it time. It’ll change. After all, women also make up 40% of the global workforce, with double-digit growth in certain countries. They’re earning advanced professional degrees in record numbers and in some areas surpassing men. Companies have implemented programs to fix structural biases against women and support their full participation in leadership. Women are finally poised to make it to the top, the argument goes. Not yet, but soon.

If only that were true. New research by our firm, Catalyst, shows that among graduates of elite MBA programs around the world—the high potentials on whom companies are counting to navigate the turbulent global economy over the next decade—women continue to lag men at every single career stage, right from their first professional jobs. Reports of progress in advancement, compensation, and career satisfaction are at best overstated, at worst just plain wrong.

Self-Subjugation Among Women: Exposure to Sexist Ideology, Self-Objectification, and the Protective Function of the Need to Avoid Closure

Title: Self-Subjugation Among Women: Exposure to Sexist Ideology, Self-Objectification, and the Protective Function of the Need to Avoid Closure

Link: pdf

Summary: (abstract)

Despite extensive evidence confirming the negative consequences of self-objectification, direct experimental evidence concerning its environmental antecedents is scarce. Incidental exposure to sexist cues was employed in 3 experiments to investigate its effect on self-objectification variables. Consistent with system justification theory, exposure to benevolent and complementary forms of sexism, but not hostile or no sexism, increased state self-objectification, self-surveillance, and body shame among women but not men in Experiment 1. In Experiment 2, we replicated these effects and demonstrated that they are specific to self-objectification and not due to a more general self-focus. In addition, following exposure to benevolent sexism only, women planned more future behaviors pertaining to appearance management than did men; this effect was mediated by self-surveillance and body shame. Experiment 3 revealed that the need to avoid closure might afford women some protection against self-objectification in the context of sexist ideology.

Minding the Gap Between Feminist Identity and Attitudes: The Behavioral and Ideological Divide Between Feminists and Non-Labelers

Title: Minding the Gap Between Feminist Identity and Attitudes: The Behavioral and Ideological Divide Between Feminists and Non-Labelers

Links: abstract

Summary: (abstract)

Sexism persists in the contemporary United States and has deleterious effects on women and girls. This suggests that feminism—as a movement, a set of attitudes, or an explicit identity—is still warranted. Although feminist attitudes may buffer against the effects of sexism, notably in health domains, we suggest that there may be an ideological divide between those who hold such attitudes while rejecting the identity (non-labelers) and self-identified feminists. Non-labelers engage in less collective action on behalf of women’s rights. On the basis of survey responses of 276 college students, non-labelers appear to be self-interested. We argue that disentangling attitudes from identity is crucial for sharpening predictions about the relation of feminism to other psychological and behavioral variables, and for engaging in broader social change. Furthermore, understanding whether non-labelers’ rejection of feminist identity is rooted in fear of stigma associated with the label, neoliberal beliefs, or other explanations is important to those organizing for reform.

No evidence of short-term exchange of meat for sex among chimpanzees.

Title: No evidence of short-term exchange of meat for sex among chimpanzees

Link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20493515

Summary: (abstract)

The meat-for-sex hypothesis posits that male chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) trade meat with estrous females in exchange for short-term mating access. This notion is widely cited in the anthropological literature and has been used to construct scenarios about human evolution. Here we review the theoretical and empirical basis for the meat-for-sex hypothesis. We argue that chimpanzee behavioral ecology does not favor the evolution of such exchanges because 1) female chimpanzees show low mate selectivity and require little or no material incentive to mate, violating existing models of commodity exchange; and 2) meat-for-sex exchanges are unlikely to provide reproductive benefits to either partner. We also present new analyses of 28 years of data from two East African chimpanzee study sites (Gombe National Park, Tanzania; Kanyawara, Kibale National Park, Uganda) and discuss the results of previously published studies. In at least three chimpanzee communities, 1) the presence of sexually receptive females did not increase hunting probability, 2) males did not share preferentially with sexually receptive females, and 3) sharing with females did not increase a male’s short-term mating success. We acknowledge that systematic meat sharing by male chimpanzees in expectation of, or in return for, immediate copulations might be discovered in future studies. However, current data indicate that such exchanges are so rare, and so different in nature from exchanges among humans, that with respect to chimpanzees, sexual bartering in humans should be regarded as a derived trait with no known antecedents in the behavior of wild chimpanzees.

Cross-national patterns of gender differences in mathematics: A meta-analysis.

Title: Cross-national patterns of gender differences in mathematics: A meta-analysis

Link: http://psycnet.apa.org/?&fa=main.doiLanding&doi=10.1037/a0018053

Summary: (abstract)

A gender gap in mathematics achievement persists in some nations but not in others. In light of the underrepresentation of women in careers in science, technology, mathematics, and engineering, increasing research attention is being devoted to understanding gender differences in mathematics achievement, attitudes, and affect. The gender stratification hypothesis maintains that such gender differences are closely related to cultural variations in opportunity structures for girls and women. We meta-analyzed 2 major international data sets, the 2003 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study and the Programme for International Student Assessment, representing 493,495 students 14–16 years of age, to estimate the magnitude of gender differences in mathematics achievement, attitudes, and affect across 69 nations throughout the world. Consistent with the gender similarities hypothesis, all of the mean effect sizes in mathematics achievement were very small (d < 0.15); however, national effect sizes showed considerable variability (ds = −0.42 to 0.40). Despite gender similarities in achievement, boys reported more positive math attitudes and affect (ds = 0.10 to 0.33); national effect sizes ranged from d = −0.61 to 0.89. In contrast to those of previous tests of the gender stratification hypothesis, our results point to specific domains of gender equity responsible for gender gaps in math. Gender equity in school enrollment, women’s share of research jobs, and women’s parliamentary representation were the most powerful predictors of cross-national variability in gender gaps in math. Results are situated within the context of existing research demonstrating apparently paradoxical effects of societal gender equity and highlight the significance of increasing girls’ and women’s agency cross-nationally. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

New trends in gender and mathematics performance: A meta-analysis.

Title: New trends in gender and mathematics performance: A meta-analysis

Link: http://psycnet.apa.org/?&fa=main.doiLanding&doi=10.1037/a0021276

Summary:

In this article, we use meta-analysis to analyze gender differences in recent studies of mathematics performance. First, we meta-analyzed data from 242 studies published between 1990 and 2007, representing the testing of 1,286,350 people. Overall, d = 0.05, indicating no gender difference, and variance ratio = 1.08, indicating nearly equal male and female variances. Second, we analyzed data from large data sets based on probability sampling of U.S. adolescents over the past 20 years: the National Longitudinal Surveys of Youth, the National Education Longitudinal Study of 1988, the Longitudinal Study of American Youth, and the National Assessment of Educational Progress. Effect sizes for the gender difference ranged between –0.15 and +0.22. Variance ratios ranged from 0.88 to 1.34. Taken together, these findings support the view that males and females perform similarly in mathematics. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

Female teachers’ math anxiety affects girls’ math achievement

Title: Female teachers’ math anxiety affects girls’ math achievement

Link: pdf

Summary:

People’s fear and anxiety about doing math—over and above actual math ability—can be an impediment to their math achievement. We show that when the math-anxious individuals are female elementary school teachers, their math anxiety carries negative consequences for the math achievement of their female students. Early elementary school teachers in the United States are almost exclusively female (>90%), and we provide evidence that these female teachers’ anxieties relate to girls’ math achievement via girls’ beliefs about who is good at math. First- and secondgrade female teachers completed measures of math anxiety. The math achievement of the students in these teachers’ classrooms was also assessed. There was no relation between a teacher’s math anxiety and her students’ math achievement at the beginning of the school year. By the school year’s end, however, the more anxious teachers were about math, the more likely girls (but not boys) were to endorse the commonly held stereotype that “boys are good at math, and girls are good at reading” and the lower these girls’ math achievement. Indeed, by the end of the school year, girls who endorsed this stereotype had significantly worse math achievement than girls who did not and than boys overall. In early elementary school, where the teachers are almost all female, teachers’ math anxiety carries consequences for girls’ math achievement by influencing girls’ beliefs about who is good at math.