Women and Sex Roles: A Social Psychological Perspective

By Irene H. Frieze; Jacquelynne E. Parsons et al. | Go to book overview

1

The Psychology
of Women
and Sex Roles
*There are a number of questions which are of major concern to those studying the psychology of women and sex roles, which will be raised in various contexts throughout this book. These include:
1. What are the effects of sexism or prejudicial attitudes upon women and men today? How do these limit options for both sexes?
2. What is the reason for differences between women and men? Do these differences have a biological basis or are they based solely upon the values and teachings of our culture?
3. What are the psychological effects of traditional sex roles upon women and men? How are these sex roles changing? What will be the effects of these changes on the lives of women and men?
4. What factors serve to maintain traditional sex roles? Will these factors show changes?

Unfortunately, each of these questions can be answered in many ways, depending upon which data one looks at and how the data are interpreted. As we discuss in Chapter 2, there are many examples of sexism or biased thinking in social psychological research. Thus, it is difficult to know which studies should be accepted and which should be questioned or completely rejected. This book is an attempt to carefully review the existing research and draw conclusions about what this research can tell us about the basic theoret‐

____________________
*
Irene Frieze was the primary author of this chapter.

-1-

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