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Do women want 'new men'? Cultural influences on sex-role stereotypes

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Traditional cultures are associated with more strongly conserved sex-role stereotypes. Members of the Asian and Caucasian populations in Britain were sampled as representing traditional and liberal cultures, respectively. In two studies participants rated how characteristic and desirable they believed masculine and feminine traits to be in their own and in the opposite sex. While Asian respondents believed sex-appropriate traits were more characteristic of themselves and the opposite sex, and rated these as more desirable in their own sex than did Caucasians, both groups believed sex-typed traits to be equally desirable in the opposite sex. While masculinity was thought desirable in females, femininity in males was strongly disliked by all females, indicating that a more behavioural latitude exists for females. Results are discussed in the context of the evolution of sex-role stereotypes.
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Keywords: CULTURE; EVOLUTION; SEX-ROLE STEREOTYPES

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Psychology, University of Hertfordshire

Publication date: 2000-08-01

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