Gender Stereotypes of the US Women

Table of Contents

The primary research question

What experiences influence the development of US women’s gender stereotypes as regards the distribution of gender roles as seen by US females?

In this study, gender stereotypes related to the distribution of gender roles are beliefs concerning the place of the woman in the US society. These beliefs include ideas that a woman should focus on the household, rearing children, be involved in teaching and nursing, and should not occupy high posts in business or affect the political agenda of the country. These stereotypes also include the belief that even if the woman works she is responsible for the household (second shift).

In this study, the experiences include women’s family history, family life, education, and so on.

Research Topic

The study will focus on women’s perceptions concerning experiences that influence their attitudes towards their roles in society, gender stereotypes, distribution of power. Females will share their views on their upbringing, historical factors (the establishment of the patriarchal society), psychological traits, family history, and so on.

This topic is related to the field of psychology as it aims at identifying factors affecting people’s opinions and behaviors. The focus on people’s perspectives rather than trends existing in the society can enrich the scope of the psychological knowledge base as researchers will identify people’s views on major factors that are believed to contribute to the development of certain stereotypes and traditions.

Review of the Research Literature

Women’s perspectives on gender roles have received significant attention and many studies on the matter exist. Thus, Western (2013) examines the way workload and related stressors affect the development of depressive symptoms in women. It is stated that females have to work in quite a challenging working environment as they are still seen (even by themselves) as passive and submissive, lacking creativity, knowledge, and certain skills to perform equally with men.

Helgeson (2015) provides a detailed analysis of various theoretical frameworks used to address gender-related issues. The researcher looks into the process of the development of gender stereotypes. The historical perspective is often brought to the fore as it is believed that the development of the patriarchal society led to the distribution of power between genders. This tradition is firmly rooted in people’s minds, which resulted in females’ acceptance of the norms imposed.

It is necessary to add that various studies unveiled the persistence of the gender bias that exists in women’s minds as well. For instance, McKay (2013) provides an analysis of existing literature and claims that recent research shows that women tend to share the patriarchal values existing in the society. Aluko (2015) explores opinions of women enjoying certain financial security and notes that females still think that their roles are confined to domestic responsibilities, or areas traditionally assigned to women.

Need for the Study

The study aims at identifying experiences contributing to the development and persistence of gender stereotypes in women. It is especially interesting to explore the ideas of working women who could have more egalitarian views due to the position they have in the society (their financial or social empowerment). It is necessary to understand how US women see themselves and what experiences (shaping their attitudes) they identify. Their opinion can provide insights into the nature of gender stereotypes and reasons for their power in the majority of countries.


The focus of this study is opinions and attitudes, which makes the qualitative research methodology the most applicable option. The case study methodology will be utilized as the study focuses on the opinions and experiences of a specific group of people (US women). It is necessary to note that a diverse sample will be used as it is important to understand whether opinions differ as regards such variables as age, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and education.

The data collection will be held through interviews and focus group discussions. Thus, the research will run conversational interviews where the participants will answer open-ended questions concerning several issues. The participants’ opinions concerning the power of such experiences as the patriarchal society, psychological traits of females, and family history will be elicited. The researcher will make field notes that will help the researcher to record non-verbal communicative patterns. Emotions are as important as particular words, and field notes will help include emotional codes into the analysis.

The form of a conversational interview presupposes a set of prepared questions that can be adjusted during an interview depending on the situation. This form also enables the researcher to create a relaxed atmosphere for the participants.

At that, interviews are still characterized by certain boundaries (questions, two (the researcher’s and participant’s) perspectives only). Focus group discussions can provide a broader perspective on the matter. Participants will share their opinions and may challenge each other’s perspectives. The discussion may bring various issues to the fore. It is a more dynamic method, which can help obtain in-depth insights into the matter. The researcher will have a list of prepared questions. These will be questions similar to the ones asked during the interviews. However, they will be modified by the themes that appeared to be recurrent. Again, field notes will be made as they will also capture non-verbal communication that will provide more details.

Reference List

Aluko, Y.A. (2015). Re-evaluating the empowerment potential of women’s paid work. International Journal of Gender and Women’s Studies, 3(2), 190-201.

Helgeson, V. (2015). Psychology of gender. New York, NY: Psychology Press.

McKay, T. (2013). Female self-objectification: Causes, consequences and prevention. McNair Scholars Research Journal, 6(1), 53-70.

Western, D. (2013). Gender-based violence and depression in women: A feminist group work response. New York, NY: Springer Science & Business Media.