Conformity Gender and Conformity Has Term Paper

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Women may be especially motivated to maintain the positive affect of others, or to at least limit the negative affect. (Daubman, and Sigail 75)

This tendency towards conforming to the group may also be the basis behind the psychology of eating disorder in young adolescent women attempting to conform to the norm. This normative social pressure may explain women attempting to attain Somme idealized ideal body type by extreme forms of diet and exercise creating such eating disorders as anorexia nervosa and bulimia. As early as the 1960's researchers found that 70% of the high school girls surveyed were unhappy with their bodies and wanted to lose weight:

It seems plausible that the forces that lead a woman to feel she must downplay her accomplishments and assets might contribute to her feeling inadequate in a number of domains, including her abilities to manage her life, her relationships, and even her own internal emotional states. (Mahalik et al.)

Roles in conformity also have been found to parallel helping and pro-social behaviors in their gender variance. The relationship between gender and pro-social/helping behavior also varied depending upon the type of helping being examined. "...helping that was more heroic or more chivalrous was exhibited more often by young men than young women, whereas helping embedded in a relational context was exhibited by young women more than young men." (Carlo, and Randall 34) it was also noted that adolescent boys tended to exhibit more pro-social behavior in public than did adolescent girls, leading to the possibility that boys may have also have more of a tendency to conform to normative behavior in public. Women also have been noted to have a tendency towards nurturing behavior than men, possibly owing to the often cited maternal instinct. Therefore lending themselves by their gender classification alone to be more of a facilitator and exhibit more conforming behavior especially towards close friends and family. This set of characteristic may also lead to norms also associated with social roles and job classifications that tend to frame women's responsibilities in more nurturing and caring ways. (Belansky, and Boggiano 647-648) Conversely:

According to Eagly and Crowley (1986), men develop skills to help people in heroic ways based on the jobs males typically occupy or expect to occupy. Traditional male jobs like fire fighters and police officers require workers to put themselves in risky situations in order to perform their job. Again, the norms associated with men's jobs may shape the kinds of skills they acquire. (Belansky, and Boggiano 648)

Here we observe the creation of a self-fulfilling social and marketplace prophecy for men and women. They appear to be based partly on societal constraints that individuals conform to regarding their gender and partly on some biological and evolutionary inheritance that is innate within the different sexes. While some studies have fond that women conform more easily than men, other studies have found that this can very within the situational context. In a sense we can see as regards conformity and gender that what men and women really do is vary in the type of interdependence they require from each given situation. Men often seem more concerned about their relationship with the larger group while women often seem to worry more about close friends and familial relationships. This can certainly set the course for conformity as related to gender and create some broad strokes of findings as far as the research states, but looking at things on an individual basis certainly there is a wide variance of conformity and non-conformity on an individual case by case level.

Works Cited

Belansky, Elaine S., and Ann K. Boggiano. "Predicting Helping Behaviors: The Role of Gender and Instrumental/expressive Self-Schemata." Sex Roles: A Journal of Research 30.9-10 (1994): 647-649

Carlo, Gustavo, and Brandy a. Randall. "The Development of a Measure of Prosocial Behaviors for Late Adolescents." Journal of Youth and Adolescence 31.1 (2002): 31-38

Daubman, Kimberly a., and Harold Sigail. "Gender Differences in Perceptions of How Others Are Affected by Self-Disclosure of Achievement." Sex Roles: A Journal of Research 37.1-2 (1997): 73-77

Frost, Liz. 2005 'Theorizing the Young Woman in the Body,' Body & Society 1 63-85

Lyons, Sean, Linda Duxbury, and Christopher Higgins. "Are Gender Differences in Basic Human Values a Generational Phenomenon?." Sex Roles: A Journal of Research 53.9-10 (2005): 763-769

Mahalik, James R., et al. "Development of the Conformity to Feminine Norms Inventory." Sex Roles: A Journal of Research 52.7-8 (2005): 417-420

Santor, Darcy a., Deanna Messervey, and Vivek Kusumakar. "Measuring Peer Pressure, Popularity, and Conformity in Adolescent Boys and Girls: Predicting School Performance, Sexual Attitudes, and Substance Abuse." Journal of Youth and Adolescence 29.2 (2000): 163

Workman, Jane E., and Kim K.P.…[continue]

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