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Androcentrism & the Androcentric Bias: Definition & Examples

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Instructor: Yolanda Williams

Yolanda has taught college Psychology and Ethics, and has a doctorate of philosophy in counselor education and supervision.

Androcentrism is the perspective emphasizing the masculine role or features, often elevating the male view as the norm. Explore an example of androcentric bias in research, and an overview of the historical relationship between androcentrism and psychology. Updated: 12/07/2021

Definition of Androcentrism

Androcentrism refers to perspectives concerned with masculinity or men to the exclusion of other perspectives. The opposite of androcentrism, which occurs when the feminine point of view is emphasized over another, is called gynocentrism. Androcentric bias occurs when one makes the assumption that the male view is the norm for all people.

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  • 0:03 Definition of Androcentrism
  • 0:25 A Look at Androcentric Bias
  • 2:18 Androcentric Bias in History
  • 3:29 Lesson Summary
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A Look at Androcentric Bias

Tom is a researcher interested in studying romantic relationships. He conducts a study that asks each participant to rate characteristics he or she looks for when choosing a partner. Here is the study questionnaire:

Survey Questionnaire

Four hundred males and forty females complete Tom's study. He finds that 75% of the males chose physical appearance as the most important characteristic. The women were evenly split among their preferences - primarily finances, a family-oriented demeanor, and emotional openness. In fact, 33% of the women selected each of the three on their questionnaires. Tom analyzes his research findings and concludes that when men and women choose a romantic partner, physical attraction is the most important factor. This is an example of an androcentric bias.

So why is Tom's conclusion androcentric? After all, a majority of the 440 participants did choose physical appearance as the most important characteristic. However, consider the following: 400 of the participants were male. This means that less than 10% of the research participants were women. Given that Tom wants to use his research study to draw conclusions about men and women, he should have included more women in his research study to gain a more balanced understanding of what people look for in mates. Tom concluded that both men and women find physical appearance as the most important trait; however, this conclusion was only true for the men surveyed. The women preferred three other traits. Tom's conclusion does not accurately reflect the women's choices, but he gave his results as if they were true for everyone.

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