What are some stereotypes and characteristics for your genderWhat are some stereotypes and characteristics for your gender?

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megan-bright eNotes educator| Certified Educator

As a female, some of the more traditional ones include less intelligent, less trustworthy, more pure and chaste, less competitive, more obedient, emotionally unstable, and natural at child-rearing.

I do believe that in recent years in the United States, (majority) women have made unprecedented gains in the workforce and thus some of these stereotypes are not nearly as strong as they once were. For instance, I believe that women are viewed as intelligent beings as women outnumber men in college and girls usually outperform boys in school, to the point where researchers are asking if public schools are failing boys. Things have really changed in that arena.

One huge stereotype that remains and seems to be getting stronger is that women are catty, gossipy, petty, jealous, evil, and downright hateful towards each other in the work place, and in regards to physical appearances and gaining the attention of men.

justaguide eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Here's a view from the other side of the globe, India. Society has advanced a lot here, I'm going to refer to the middle class women, educated, working in most cases, can be independent. But, the responsibility for maintaining a family here continues to lie on the man, he is the one who has to bring in the money. Irrespective of the fact that a woman may have the skills to earn more than a man, the groom should earn more than the bride. Sometimes it makes me feel that women have some kind of psychological training which makes them not want to be the "man" in a family, i.e. earn less, and stay prepared to play the role of pro-creator, mother. Can someone tell me why the role homemaker can't be taken by a man. Does it happen? Anywhere?

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I am male.  There are a number of stereotypes about my gender.  Here are a few.

First, we are supposed to be tough.  Men are supposed to be the ones who are both physically and emotionally able to deal with stress and pain.  We are not supposed to need emotional support the way that women do.

Second, we are supposed to be much more obsessed with sex and with the way women look (as opposed to women who are supposed to be less interested in visual attractiveness and more interested in relationships and emotions).  We are supposed to be hormones with legs, always looking to "score."

catd1115 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Time to add the other side! I am a woman. Stereotypes about us?

We are the weaker sex, in both mind and body. It is assumed that we want and need someone to care for us (aka a man, husband). However we are also assumed to be nurturers. We are natural homemakers (a laugh for many women) and not as aggressive as men.

There are also lots of stereotypes about how we relate to others. Women are assumed to always be nasty to other women. Women relate only to men in terms of their needs from them.


amy-lepore eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In literature, the archetypes for women include wife, mother, daughter, seductress, old crone, witch, helpless orphan, damsel in distress, victim.

For men, they are husband, father, son, manipulator, enforcer, hero, villain, weakling, magician, leader.

Everything you've ever read in a book or seen on the movie or TV screen is a stereotype.  Just think about all your favorite or least favorite characters, and there you have it.

Good Luck!

accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Whilst I share #2's characteristics of being male, I think we can also identify a new gender stereotype coming through in recent years. We are now expected to be "soft" males who are in touch with our feminine side. We are also now expected to be more involved with housework and kids and not just the breadwinner. We are supposed to be gleefully using the increasing range of beauty products that are aimed at making our skin softer and us smell nicer.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I am a woman.  I am considered weak and emotional.  Sometimes I am emotional, and sometimes I do feel weak.  I am not considered as good a leader as a man.  In my profession, teaching, I am considered a fit teacher but not an administrator.  That is a man's job, and men will be more respected by parents and students.  It is also expected that students will respect and fear my male counterparts more than me.

ask996 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Let's not forget the stereotype that women have maternal instincts. Women were made for having children, and have a natural inclination to have children. This is an inherent characteristic, and women are naturally good at maternal issues. If women fail to live up to this stereotype, they sometimes must deal with public criticism.

kapokkid eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Another stereotype about men is that they are supposed to be far more comfortable being dirty and working with their hands.  Of course the actual physical differences may lead to more capability in this regard, but the assumption is that men would also be more drawn to or interested in that type of work than a woman.