Today the search for support in the process of categorization of the perceived world in the situation of social uncertainty predetermines the interest of modern social psychology to the study of the determinants of the process of social cognition. Searching and finding ways of constructing a consistent and ordered picture of the social world by an individual involves the study of a number of social and psychological mechanisms, one of which is the mechanism of stereotyping and the related problematics of studying social stereotypes. In this regard, the concept of gender roles is considered as a social stereotype, defining its place in the context of interaction of gender subgroups. It is necessary to consider the prejudices and roles assigned to each gender separately in order to identify their nature.
“Masculinity” is implied better and appears to be self-sufficient, suggesting successful performance of what is intended, and vice versa. In general, more positive qualities are ascribed to men than to women. Such “injustice” is often interpreted with reference to the ideas of post-Freudism, according to which a man, unlike a woman, is not born, he becomes (Kirner & Mills, 2019). The nature of this phenomenon is explained by regression and its connection with the social role: the psychic unity of the child with the mother is replaced after the threshold of separation-individuation by the realization of his “I” and the formation of a gender identity (Kirner & Mills, 2019). For boys, this process occurs in a more acute form, with masculinity as a new and independent social status that marks the opposite of the mother, and the permanent battle for masculinity is a battle against regression (Kirner & Mills, 2019). Men were the main actors of social action, and masculinity was institutionalized. Masculinity has become a cultural expression of social group domination, and in this sense femininity is more related to the biological sex, and the possession of status, resources and prestige is reserved for men and fuels the myth of female passivity, which has developed for cultural, not biological, reasons.
For women, the main socio-sexual roles according to the stereotype are family roles, for men – professional roles. Men’s success, according to the stereotype, is judged by his professional achievements, while women’s success is judged by having a family and children. In the culture of the peoples of the Caucasus such tendencies are more acute than in Orthodox society: here the center of the family space is female (Bosson et al., 2018). The feminine is not characterized by mobility, which makes women in the eyes of men flawed and incompetent. But the “protection of the family nest” by men is carried out largely thanks to women, who create a “shell” akin to the mother’s womb in the form of clothes, the good reputation of the wife, heirs, which allows the male world to be active in the near and far frontiers (Bosson et al., 2018). The reproduction of patriarchal gender stereotypes and statuses in socialization is also significant for the peoples of India – the independent behavior of women is condemned by society (Bosson et al., 2018). All this confirms the great stability and rigidity of gender stereotypes, and even their cross-cultural status.
The formation of gender roles is traditionally considered in connection with the issue of socialization. Thus, the result of categorization of social experience, predetermined by culture and upbringing, are social (and gender) stereotypes. Cognitive side of the process of gender role assimilation, self-categorization and cognitive information received by a child from an adult become fundamental elements in forming a gender role as a moral orientation. Social conformism stimulates the fulfillment of this prescribed role, gives the postal goal a social status and predetermines the functional state of its bearer. Under the influence of social identification mechanisms, society breaks down into groups, the spheres of influence of each community are established, and barriers between them are formed, which are designed to maintain social distance between gender groups.
Bosson, J. K., Vandello, J. A., & Buckner, C. E. (2018). The psychology of sex and gender. SAGE Publications.
Kirner, K., & Mills, J. (2019). Introduction to ethnographic research. A guide for anthropology. SAGE Publications.