Intro to Women's Studies 2010

etsu: 2011-2014

Stereotype Threat

1 Comment

As a psyc major, the danger of stereotype threat has been beaten into my head since I took social psychology freshmen year. As a female, who is a terrible driver and has nonexistent math skills, I can honestly say based on personal evidence that people fall victim to this on a daily basis. In middle school, I actually had a math teacher get in trouble for telling the female students that it was okay if we didn’t understand because we probably wouldn’t need it. He was in his late sixties when I had his class, so of course he didn’t forsee many of us getting higher educations, or going into any field which may require mathematic ability. I’ve always been curious as to whether I am just one of those people who doesn’t get math, or if I could have been better at it if early on I had believed that women needed math aswell as men.

Another section of the lecture which interested me was when Mrs. Tolley-Stokes discussed the sort of “cookie cutter” household ideals; that women should stay inside the home while men did the outside work. My parents weren’t very educated, but they weren’t stupid either. My mother wasn’t one to give into stereotypes in any sense of the term, she worked three jobs in my early childhood. However, my sister and I were assigned household chores such as washing dishes and laundry, helping in the kitchen, and cleaning, etc. While my brother, on the other hand, took out the trash, walked the dogs, and mowed the yard. I thought it was interesting that even my parents set me up for gender socialization without even noticing. As someone who supports traditional marriage roles, I had never realized how early we are set up for traditional gender roles.


One thought on “Stereotype Threat

  1. I figured you might be familiar with the term, but it’s not one that most people outside of psychology or sociology learn. You probably could have explained it better than I, or given better examples. Glad the middle school teacher got in trouble for his big mouth. I was “lucky” in that there was work to do, & I “got” to do it no matter if it was inside or outside.

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