Sex Roles, Vol. 43, Nos. 3/4, 2000
A Status Account of Gender Stereotypes: Beyond
Communality and Agency
and Lenny R. Vartanian
Women’s lower status relative to men can account for people’s differential
attribution to women and men, of the constructs of the Extended Personal
Attributes Questionnaire (EPAQ; Spence, Helmreich, & Holahan, 1979).
Ratings in all three studies were made on the EPAQ scales. In Study 1a,
participants rated their perceptions of the stereotypes of women and of men.
In Study 1b, participants reported their own perceptions of women and
men. In Study 2, participants were presented a minimal status manipulation
(Conway, Pizzamiglio, & Mount, 1996) for which status is unconfounded
with gender; participants then reported their perceptions of low- and high-
status individuals. The men in Studies 1a and 1b were perceived as were
high-status individuals in Study 2. Except for (i.e., verbal passive-aggression
nagging, whining), women in Studies 1a and 1b were perceived as were low-
status individuals in Study 2. Results are discussed in terms of status accounts
of gender stereotypes and gender differences in social behavior.
A large body of research has examined gender stereotypes in terms
of their content (e.g., Bem, 1974, 1981; Broverman, Vogel, Broverman,
Clarkson, & Rosenkrantz, 1972; Rosenkrantz, Vogel, Bee, Broverman, &
Broverman, 1968; Spence, 1984). Initial research and subsequent cross-
Research was supported by a grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council
of Canada (SSHRC), awarded to Michael Conway.
Lenny Vartanian is now at the Department of Psychology, University of Toronto.
To whom correspondence concerning this article should be addressed at Department of
Psychology, Concordia University, 7141 Sherbrooke Street West, Montreal, Quebec, Canada,
H4B 1R6. e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
0360-0025/00/0800-0181$18.00/0 2000 Plenum Publishing Corporation