This paper provides a comprehensive analysis of the article “The Gimmicks of Sex & Gender”. The article examines the effect of sex-priming in the society and its implication as regards to self-perceptions. The paper provides a detailed description of the six different experiments used to verify the hypothesis of the study. From the experiments a conclusion is drawn on the implications of sex-priming. Moreover, the results from the six experiments justify the hypothesis.
This article was authored by Tanja Hundhammer and Thomas Mussweiler. The article comprehensively covers the sexual behavior in the society. According to the article women are expected to be submissive, this is a stereotype that existed in the society for a very long time now. The article covers a detailed description of six different experiments. The aim of the six experiments was to test the hypothesis of the study. The study incorporated the use of pictorial and material things to collect data. The study revealed that sex priming enhanced the perceptions based on sexuality. These perceptions clearly identified in the study include the self-categorization of humanity, identification with a certain gender, gender stereotyping as well as the assertiveness of men and the submissiveness of women (HundHammer, & Mussweiler, 2012).
The researchers hypothesized that the exposure of women to sexuality cues leads to a development and enhancement of the stereotypical view of women in society. Priming is responsible for changing the beliefs of people as well as well as the general perception in the society. The researchers carried out research on the basis that sexuality enhances the salience of a person’s sexual orientation by a significant factor. This implies that sex cues and gender play a central role in self-control within humanity. The script used to develop the stereotypes within the society considering men as assertive and women submissive are inherently developed by the society. According to the self-categorization theory the group identify is ascribed by many members of the society in divergent situation. This subdues the individual identity. This creates behavioral expectations that are in line with the group identity of an individual. Self-stereotyping is a consequence of adopting the group identity when influenced by a little environmental stimulus (HundHammer, & Mussweiler, 2012).
Various methods were used to conduct this research, and this was done through various studies. For instance, the first study examined how sex printing affected the accessibility of peoples’ personal gender. Here, different participants were subliminally primed with the concept of sexuality. They were then asked to identify whether they were male or female since this made sex priming gender accessible. Additionally, it would be faster for participants to identify their gender (HundHammer, & Mussweiler, 2012).
A total number of ninety eight participants were chosen as a sample. Out of these, 47 of the recruits were male while were female, all students at a local university. They took part in the ostensibly unrelated short studies on self-assessment and attention test. They were later offered a bar of chocolate before they could be released (HundHammer, & Mussweiler, 2012).
The procedure, materials and design that was used in this study were that, ones the participants arrived in the lab, the same type of sex experimenter greeted them and then taken to individual booths. Here, three were computers, and the participants would first engage in an attentiveness task. They were supposed to be as quick as possible and using a press button they would provide their decisions.
The second study was about how sex priming affects the centrality of a person’s identity in their gender and a person’s current perception. In this case, the participants would either perform a control test or primed with their sexuality.
This study used a method where fifty six participants were selected. Out of these fifty six participants, twenty nine were female while twenty seven were male students. They were asked to take part in two different ostensibly unrelated studies whereby they would use word processing and the other one would use self-assessment (HundHammer, & Mussweiler, 2012).
The materials used in this case were the word search task. This involved the priming manipulation which was closely followed. The other one was gender identification and this was measured using two separate scales. These scales were graphical scales, which represented several depictions with idealized relationships as a group or individually.
The third and last study involved demonstrating that sex priming lead participants in identifying strongly with their own genders. In this case, the methods and materials that were used were more or less the same as those of the other studies. In this case, a total of sixty six participants were chosen among the students. Here, they were divided equally in such a way that thirty three were male, and thirty three were female. The materials used in this case included, picture primes and pictures were used to prime sexuality concept (HundHammer, & Mussweiler, 2012).
Results of the studies
In the first study, they received a number of results. This included response latencies. This was the key prediction which pertained to response latencies for self-categorization either as male or as female. The other key result was the awareness check and this revealed that none of the selected participants was skeptical about the procedures used (HundHammer, & Mussweiler, 2012).
On the other hand, the results for the second study indicated that sex priming led to higher identification with a person’s own gender. However, this would have no effect on the identification of the other gender. Finally, the results for the last study indicated that sex priming pictures led participants to describe and perceive themselves together with the other gender stereotype (HundHammer, & Mussweiler, 2012).
The researchers successfully confirmed their hypothesis through the different studies. They had initially hypothesized that sex priming activates the stereotypes portrayed by the society as well as the self-knowledge behind the different concepts portrayed by the stereotypes. Some of the common concepts include the issue of female communion, sexual submissiveness, as well as a service to the society. On the other hand, men are considered to be dominant in the society. The prediction of the study was based on the hypothesis where it was expected that sex-priming influences self-perception in a semi-permanent manner.
The first study reveals that the gender identity is most predominant when reacting to sex-priming. This results to a quick acknowledgement of an individual as a member of a specific group. Moreover, the central concept of gender stereotyping becomes self-perceptions across the different genders. The results of the second, third and sixth studies were consistent with the hypothesis of the study.
The third study which incorporated pictorial representations revealed a high level of self-perception influences when compared to the other studies which used some control conditions. It is evident from the results of the study that the response to sex priming on both sides of the gender reveals and enhances the self-perceptions. For women, sex-priming makes them become more submissive. On the other hand, sex priming makes men become more assertive. This was confirmed in the studies through the use of two different schools of thought. The first paradigm ensured that the respondents behaved in an enhanced manner of their stereotype. On the other hand, the second paradigm allowed the participants to behave in a less enhanced manner in regard to their stereotype. The fourth and fifth studies revealed that women would hesitate either out of fear or respect to interrupt a male speaking.
In the sixth experiment, where the boundary conditions were deducted from the influence of sex-priming access to mental content was altered to enhance the results of the study. The manipulation helped in confirming that the stereotypes could be easily eliminated if some forms of counter stereotypes are provided to the participants. This implies it is only in the absence of modern gender roles that sex priming has a significant influence in the self-perception in the society. The results of the studies conform to the social cultural aspect of the society but have little basis on the evolutionally explanation of humanity. It is pertinent to note that the six studies have a significant implication in the effect of subtle stimuli to sexuality.
The research findings can be useful in future research regarding the effect of sex-priming in relation to gender issues. The existence of divergent concepts on active-self can help identify weakness of the study. However, the study is instrumental in developing potential boundary conditions, as well as, the effects of the sex-priming on the society. A theoretical framework is clearly developed from this study where the potential mechanisms of active- self are subjected to divergent conditions to observe the implications. This study is also instrumental in forming a base of the multiple theoretical perspectives where different cognitive variables are required for effective analysis. The study leaves another avenue for research where a researcher would choose to find out the effective duration for the self-priming effects. Another area of research that can be based on the present study is the area of the underlying mechanisms as well as the multiple self-presentations related to self-priming.
HundHammer, T., & Mussweiler, T. (2012). How Sex Puts You in Gendered Shoes:
Sexuality-Priming Leads to Gender-Based Self-Perception and Behavior. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 103, No. 1, 176193.