Gender Challenges the All American Research Proposal

Excerpt from Research Proposal :

Jamieson explains that the phrase Catch-22, serves as another synonym for double bind. Paula Caplan, a psychologist, notes, "Mothers are caught in a perfect Catch-22. They are supposed to be concerned with emotions and closeness in relationships, but because autonomy has been designated by the white male middle class in North America as the pinnacle of emotional health,"

Mothers in the workplace, however, who do what comes natural to them are sometimes treated as they are immature or even sick.

The gender of the leader does matter to perceivers who filter judgments to the demands of cultural expectations. "Applause from the same sensitive and collaborative leadership is more likely to go to a man than a woman."

In addition, women, particularly leaders frequently experience greater scrutiny for errors, even small ones they make, and are more likely to be criticized than men in leadership positions.

Viewpoints Regarding Genders

Rather than being of empirical validity, an ideology of gender differences reflects social and political status quo. A predictable variability in/within-gender behavior relates to factors including the person's age, his/her ethnicity, occupation, income, job status, education, personal experiences, situational demands, along with anticipated consequences. Particular beliefs, albeit, do not automatically match the behaviors men and/or women displayed across contexts and situations.

In fact, in regard to leadership, studies relating to sex differences have not confirmed any significant overall gender difference in judged leadership; however evidence does indicate connections to the cultural expectations for the leader's gender. A simplistic view of gender perceives that gender only relates to whether a person is a man for a woman. Social scientists point out, on the other hand, that gender constitutes is a multi-dimensional concept, enacted in a myriad of different ways. Chin, Lott, and Sanchez-Hucles note three models regarding the gender concept. The following three viewpoints apply to leadership in the workplace.

1. Intrasychic

2. Social Structural

3. Interpersonal


The first perspective focuses on gender as an intrapsychic process, defining gender in terms of gender-role orientation. This perspective includes a person's gender schema, his/her gender identity, and gender-role traits, his/her attitudes and values. According to intrapsychic perspective, no matter the leader's biological sex, his/her gender - role orientation will influence his/her behavior (Appendix a).

Social structural

Gender, according to the social structural perspective, an ascribed status characteristic, impacts the leader's access to power and/or resources. This perspective contends that the gender of the leader constitutes the most vital aspect of his/her position, as it serves as a stimulus for others' observations, and perceptions, along with their valuations. This perspective purports that male leaders (" high status individuals in roles and went with their sex") will attain different outcomes than female leaders (" low status individuals in roles incongruent with their sex"). Findings indicate that female leaders who utilize a masculine style, or when male subordinates rate them receive more negative evaluations than male leaders (Appendix a).


Interpersonal interactions between individuals, according to the third perspective, include components of the intrapsychic and social structural viewpoints. In this perspective, interactions are perceived to be a function of "gender-related beliefs and expectations both about the self (schemas) and about others (stereotypes)."

Situational clues, for instance, such as skewed gender ratios in groups, and the sex-type nature of the task, induce priming and basically make gender salient. This perception contends that the different kinds of social interactions that male and female leaders have with their male and female subordinates and supervisors, in turn, impact the outcomes each party's experiences. These processes are reportedly not as observable and/or salient as in a person's biological sex. Consequently, the sex of individuals serves as a cue and as status characteristic, activating stereotypes. A number of contextual cues, including skewed gender ratio in groups and the sex-typing of tasks moderate these processes (Appendix a).

Concepts to Challenge in Gendering

Throughout the years, according to Wolf, forces in culture have attempted to punish women seeking to gain more control over their environments and/or lives. The Beauty Myth, a dangerous link on a long chain of lies relates to the unwritten "rules" of regarding feminine behavior and attributes, and has succeeded in affecting they way women perceive themselves internally. The Beauty Myth contributed to creating an impossible standard of femininity for women. In response, in their attempts to measure up, however, many women react with increasingly obsessive behavior. Instead of investing energy to further positive goals, some women instead turn inward; focusing on physical faults and ways to correct them. Ultimately, Wolf stresses, both sexes need to challenge the media manipulation, which she contends, makes women feel insecure and unhappy with themselves.



This perverse cultural dynamic

The all American work ethic] gives fathers an incentive to stay away from their families and kill themselves at work, while coercing mothers to limit their career commitment..."

Letty Cottin Pogrebin.

Pogrebin's perception, portrayed in the quote introducing this chapter, the researcher finds, appears dated. Today, as noted by data presented in this chapter, mothers and fathers appear to be committing to careers, albeit women, as findings indicate, do not always receive equal pay for equal work. For this study's research design and methodology, as noted in the introduction at the start of this study, the researcher utilized the case study methodology, a form of qualitative descriptive research, to serve as a guide for this study. To secure information for this study, the researcher conducted a methodical search through a number of sources, which included, but were not limited to Highbeam Research and Google databases. Particular emphasis was attributed to data obtained from the Department of Labor. During the research process, the researcher explored a variety of sources to address this study's research question and retrieve several generalizable truths relating to this study's focus, gender challenges. From the effort, the researcher retrieved a "pool" of evidence, and drew conclusions, ultimately contributing to and constituting this study's final chapter. The Beauty Myth feeds the rumor that the ideal woman must look a particular way. The U.S. culture traditionally considers the ideal female as "thin, tall, white and blond. Small nose, long, shiny hair, hairless limbs, big breasts, full lips, wide-set eyes, and flawless skin are thought to be close to perfect."

Due to the Beauty Myth, women who are Black, Latina, Middle Eastern, Pacific Islander, or mixed, however, and/or short, overweight, have a big nose, body hair, acne, etc. frequently experience even more challenges in the work world (Appendix C).

Figure 1 portrays the fact that families maintained by men or by women with no spouse present have grown substantially.

Figure 1: Families during March 1970

Not only has the proportion of families maintained by men or women grown dramatically over time, but there also have been remarkable changes in the work patterns among married-couple families. The share of married-couple families in which both the husband and wife had earnings increased from 46% in 1970 to 57% in 2005, while the proportion comprised of families with just the husband as an earner fell from 33% to 18%.

Figure 2: Families during March 2006

Races in the Labor Force

Black mothers currently have highest labor force participation rates

In 2006, as in the past, black mothers with children under 18 were more likely than white mothers to be in the labor force -- 76% compared with 70%.

Asian and Hispanic mothers were less likely than either black or white mothers to be labor force participants.

Figure 3 shows Mothers participation rates in labor force during 2006.

Figure 2: Comparison of Races; Mothers in Labor Force

Figure 4 shows the percentages of children who live with an employed parent.



The all American work ethic] in turn limits their wages and shortchanges their families

Letty Cottin Pogrebin.

Through this thesis, the researcher related a number of considerations as this study addressed the question: How can women effectively overcome gender constraints in the workplace, particularly those women heading single parent families, to help ensure they reach their full potentials personally and professionally? Challenges relating to women in the workplace that must be overcome to help them succeed in the workplace, the researcher found, included concepts contributing to the Beauty Myth, as well as viewpoints Chin, Lott, Rice, and Sanchez-Hucles note that extend beyond simple gender considerations.

Some concepts that need to be challenged regarding gendering in the workplace, the researcher asserts, require more than simple, superficial suggestions. To begin, however, the researcher concurs with Wolf, that both sexes need to challenge the media manipulation, which promotes the lie that beauty can only be found by purchasing the products being promoted.

Some research purports workplace practices to be more negative than positive in regard to gendering; that the practices in this area remain stagnant; slow to respond; while some studies contend the problems women in the workplace counter, even single Moms, does not…

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