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Bridging the Gender GapSeven Principles for Achieving Gender Balance$
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Lynn Roseberry and Johan Roos

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780198717119

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198717119.001.0001

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Slugs & Snails, Sugar & Spice

Slugs & Snails, Sugar & Spice

(p.87) 4 Slugs & Snails, Sugar & Spice
Bridging the Gender Gap

Lynn Roseberry

Johan Roos

Oxford University Press

This chapter explains how learning to categorize people as male or female is part of the social repertoire of human beings, who start learning to do it in infancy. Human beings are predisposed to divide the world into male and female categories, but what goes into those categories varies from culture to culture and over time. We are, to some extent, able to choose which images, practices, ideas, and role models we use to build our individual gender identities. With a little more effort, we can teach each other to pay more attention to the things men and women have in common and by doing so make more room for non-stereotypical behaviour. If we do that, men and women may find it easier to pursue gender atypical occupations and jobs.

Keywords:   Male and female categories, gender stereotypes, learned social behaviour, cultural variations

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