A Study of Attitude towards Women in Relation to Narcissism, Ethics and Personality

By Kushari, Ujjaini; Sidhu, Saniya et al. | Indian Journal of Community Psychology, September 2017 | Go to article overview

A Study of Attitude towards Women in Relation to Narcissism, Ethics and Personality


Kushari, Ujjaini, Sidhu, Saniya, Tahlani, Kasturi, Chatterjee, Sayantani, Indian Journal of Community Psychology


INTRODUCTION

Various theoretical perspectives have been developed in order to explain how sex role typing, gender roles or gender stereotypes are formed. According to the Social Learning Theory (Mischel, 1966), children initially acquire sex-typed behaviours as a function of reinforcement and modelling; only later do they realise that they are boys or girls and that certain characteristics are differentially associated with each sex. From a social perspective, gender stereotypes can be explained in terms of a perceiver's observations of what people do in daily life. For example, if perceivers consistently observe women to be looking after children and devoting their times towards nurturing them, they are likely to believe that these characteristics are typical of women. Gender stereotypes stem from the tendency of perceivers to view women in a position lower to that of men. This is very well reflected in organizational settings where men tend to hold positions of higher authority than women do (Brown, 1979; England, 1979; Kanter, influence people's beliefs towards gender. (Eagly & Steffen, 1984).

1977; Mennerick, 1975). Apart from the workplace, in family settings also, men tend to hold a more powerful position over their wives (Blood & Wolfe, 1960; Gillespie, 1971). Such differences in the status of men's and women's roles may be the factors that

Depiction of Changing Status of Women Through Changing Social Conditions in Indian History:

Women in Ancient Period (early Vedic age: ca. 500-1100 BCE; later Vedic age: 1100-500 BCE):

The women in Ancient India enjoyed more or less a high status marked by freedom which was in most cases at par with the males of the society, if not above them. They were treated with respect, given every opportunity to develop their intellectual capacities and spiritual standards, they even earned distinction in the sphere of philosophy and theological studies and were allowed to choose their male partners. The Rig Vedic age was free from evils such as sati, early marriage and polygamy which was prevalent only among the rich and elite class. Numerous women of this time were Rishis. Women had complete freedom in their family matters and were referred to as 'Ardhanginis'. The system of education was also far reaching and penetrated all sections and levels of the society, the time was marked by great many learned ladies and the role of women in Ancient Indian Literature was immense (Basu, 2014).This positive light shed on the status of women of Rig Vedic age, slowly diminished in brightness and intensity during the Later Vedic period. The status of women gradually declined with the Smritis and other religious texts giving diktats which adversely affected women's freedom and rights. With the rise of Brahminism and birth of caste system and due to conflicting religious and social thoughts, the place of women remained subordinate and unsatisfactory. Buddhism and Jainism, however, continued to give a place of honour to women (Halli & Mullal, 2016). This period was marked by the birth of social evils such as the purdah, polygamy, widow burning, child marriage, devdasi system; and the consequence was discrimination in terms of educational opportunities and other rights and facilities which were previously available.

Women in Medieval Period (500 AD-1500 AD):

The Medieval period (Period between 500 A. D to 1500 A.D) was extremely stagnating for women in India as their status further deteriorated during this period. This period was evidenced by multiple Muslim invasions in India which markedly changed the social, cultural economic scenario in India and deprived women of their previously glorified and honourable status. These changes in this period due to the influx of foreign invaders and the Brahmanical iron laws is often considered as the ebb in their status in Indian history. Caste laws dominated the entire social life, widow remarriage and levirate's were disallowed. …

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