Education Portal is now Study.com! Same great content, just under a new name. Learn more
Copyright

Gender Stereotypes: Definition, Examples & Quiz

Instructor: Ross Davis

Gender stereotypes are over-generalizations about the characteristics of an entire group based on gender. While gender stereotypes have been popularly perceived as having negative connotations, they can also have positive ones as well.

We also recommend watching Ageism & Stereotyping the Elderly: Definition & Examples and Stereotype Threat: Definition & Examples

Definition

A man can say 'women aren't meant for combat,' while on the other hand a woman can say 'men do nothing but watch sports.' Such expressions represent gender stereotypes, which are over-generalizations about the characteristics of an entire group based on gender, as in women or men. While women were barred from serving in military combat in Western nations until the latter half of the 20th century, in recent times they have served in combat roles as capably as men. And while many men may watch sports, not all men would necessarily do so.

Gender stereotypes can also have positive connotations, even though they're often over-generalized. For instance, the notion that women are better caregivers than men. This is not necessarily true in all cases, as some women may lose custody of children in court cases where neglect is proven. This is similarly so for the notion that men are better providers than women, particularly in cases where men have abandoned their families and back-owe on child support ('deadbeat dads').

Sociological Perspectives

A 2-year old girl wanders away from her playgroup and becomes lost outside. A man happens to drive by her. He thinks about going back to help get the toddler back home or where she belongs, but drives on. Later on it turns out that the girl drowned in a garden pond. An investigation ensues, and the man who drove by the girl told authorities that the reason he had not stopped or gone back to assist her was because he did not want anyone to mistakenly think that he was a pedophile trying to abduct her.

The above true story illustrates the impact that stereotypes, even perceived ones, have on someone based on his or her gender. The following sociological perspectives are highlights of the varying interpretations of such stereotypes.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 10 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member

Already a member? Log In

Start Your Free Trial To Take This Quiz

As a member, you'll also get unlimited access to over 10,000 lessons in math, English, science, history, and more. Plus, get practice tests, quizzes, and personalized coaching to help you succeed.

Free 5-day trial
It only takes a few minutes to set up and you can cancel at any time.
Already registered? Login here for access

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 100 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 2,900 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.