Tag Archives | Gender Role

Forensic Psychiatrist: Women Kill More Creatively Than Men

blood-countess-elizabeth-bathory

Elizabeth Bathory

Sigrun Rossmanith and Spiegel Online talk about gender roles and the underestimated shadow of women.

via Spiegel Online International

Women rarely commit murder, but forensic psychiatrist Sigrun Rossmanith has treated many female killers. She tells SPIEGEL ONLINE that women’s dark side is underestimated.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Frau Rossmanith, in your book you pose the question of whether women make better murderers than men. Is that the case?

Rossmanith: They are certainly more creative than men. More inventive. Take the revenge incident that I describe in the book: An unfaithful wife from Asia passionately kisses her partner — and in doing so slips a cyanide capsule into his mouth, which he is forced to swallow. She combines an act of love with the murder. Would a man come up with such an idea?SPIEGEL ONLINE: Hard to say. Are women perhaps more creative with murder because they lack the physical strength for more heavy-handed violence?

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Study: People See Sexualized Images Of Women As Objects, Not People

adCritiques of popular media as “objectifying” women are dead on — both males and females have been found to  subconsciously process sexy women as being inanimate objects, yet recognize sexy men as human beings. Via Psychological Science:

Perfume ads, beer billboards, movie posters: everywhere you look, women’s sexualized bodies are on display. A new study published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, finds that both men and women see images of sexy women’s bodies as objects, while they see sexy-looking men as people.

Psychological research has worked out that our brains see people and objects in different ways. For example, while we’re good at recognizing a whole face, just part of a face is a bit baffling. On the other hand, recognizing part of a chair is just as easy as recognizing a whole chair. One way that psychologists have found to test whether something is seen as an object is by turning it upside down.

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Sweden To Use New Gender Neutral Pronoun, ‘Hen’

A70-13940If the language and words we use determine the frameworks within which we think, the newest edition to Swedish may have an enlightening effect. Slate explains:

For many Swedes, gender equality is not enough. Many are pushing for the Nordic nation to be not simply gender-equal, but gender-neutral. What many gender-neutral activists are after is a society that entirely erases traditional gender roles and stereotypes at even the most mundane levels.

Earlier this month, the movement reached a milestone: Just days after International Women’s Day, a new pronoun, ‘hen’ (pronounced like the bird in English), was added to the country’s National Encyclopedia. The entry defines hen as a “proposed gender-neutral personal pronoun instead of he [han in Swedish] and she [hon].” The announcement came amid heated debate that has been raging in Swedish newspaper columns and TV studios and on parenting blogs and feminist websites. It was sparked by the publication of Sweden’s first ever gender-neutral children’s book, Kivi och Monsterhund.

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A Browser Extension That Flips Gender

1950s-housewife-223x300Danielle Sucher's Jailbreak the Patriarchy is a Chrome extension that substitutes the word "women" for "men" and "he" for "she" and so on within all text. The results are thought provoking -- toggle between a patriarchal and matriarchal online world with the click of a button:
Jailbreak the Patriarchy genderswaps the world for you. When it’s installed, everything you read in Chrome (except for gmail, so far) loads with pronouns and a reasonably thorough set of other gendered words swapped. For example: “he loved his mother very much” would read as “she loved her father very much”, “the patriarchy also hurts men” would read as “the matriarchy also hurts women”, that sort of thing. This makes reading stuff on the internet a pretty fascinating and eye-opening experience, I must say. What would the world be like if we reversed the way we speak about women and men? Well, now you can find out!
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The Golden Age Of Female Computer Programmers

computer-girls1Via the blog of software developers Fog Creek, a look at the forgotten history of women programmers, and the strange ways in which different work fields are labeled as “male” or female”:

Computer science has always been a male-dominated field, right? Wrong.

In 1987, 42% of the software developers in America were women. And 34% of the systems analysts in America were women. Women had started to flock to computer science in the mid-1960s, during the early days of computing, when men were already dominating other technical professions but had yet to dominate the world of computing. For about two decades, the percentages of women who earned Computer Science degrees rose steadily, peaking at 37% in 1984.

In fact, for a hot second back in the mid-sixties, computer programming was actually portrayed as women’s work by the mass media. Check out “The Computer Girls” from the April 1967 issue of Cosmopolitan magazine.

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Indian Parents Push For Surgical Procedure To Turn Children From Girls To Boys

Photo: Planemad (CC)

Photo: Planemad (CC)

Oh the social questions this raises! How does this benefit/hurt the future generation? Should parents have the right to change a child’s sex? What psychological damage could occur? What if an adult learns that they had the procedure when they were young and want it reversed? The next twenty years may see a rise in the search for therapists. Hindustan Times reports:

Girls are being ‘converted’ into boys in Indore – by the hundreds every year – at ages where they cannot give their consent for this life-changing operation.

This shocking, unprecedented trend, catering to the fetish for a son, is unfolding at conservative Indore’s well-known clinics and hospitals on children who are 1-5 years old. The process being used to ‘produce’ a male child from a female is known as genitoplasty. Each surgery costs Rs 1.5 lakh.

Moreover, these children are pumped with hormonal treatment as part of the sex change procedure that may be irreversible.

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Sweden Debuts Gender-Neutral Preschool

3596182798_fdf38a900eAt best, a school model for the more-enlightened future, and at worst, an intriguing social experiment. Via Yahoo News:

At the “Egalia” preschool, staff avoid using words like “him” or “her” and address the 33 kids as “friends” rather than girls and boys.

From the color and placement of toys to the choice of books, every detail has been carefully planned to make sure the children don’t fall into gender stereotypes.

Egalia doesn’t deny the biological differences between boys and girls — the dolls the children play with are anatomically correct. What matters is that children understand that their biological differences “don’t mean boys and girls have different interests and abilities.”

The taxpayer-funded preschool which opened last year in the liberal Sodermalm district of Stockholm for kids aged 1 to 6 is among the most radical examples of Sweden’s efforts to engineer equality between the sexes from childhood onward. Breaking down gender roles is a core mission in the national curriculum for preschools, underpinned by the theory that even in highly egalitarian-minded Sweden, society gives boys an unfair edge.

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Women Like Pink Because Of ‘Berry-Picking’ Past And Boys Like Green Because Of Their Hunting Ancestors

525px-HeteroSym-pinkblue.svgDo pinks and purples remind you of gathering berries? Do greens and blues remind you of hunting in the forest? Finding a reason other than cultural influence as to why genders seems to lean towards specific colors, scientists look to our past. Via Fiona Macrae at Daily Mail:

Girls really do prefer pink – and not just because it is pretty.

Scientists have shown that females are drawn to pinks and reds and men to blues and greens – and they believe the explanation lies our hunter-gatherer past.

As the gatherers of the operation, women’s brains became fine-tuned to the purples and reds of ripe fruits and berries.

The men, meanwhile, developed a preference for the clear blue skies that signaled good weather for hunting.

The theory comes from Chinese scientists who asked more than 350 students to study 11 colours for three minutes and then rank them in order of preference.

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