Investigated genetic explanations for perceived gender differences in nurturance, a gender intensified prescriptive trait, compared to other gendered traits. Based on a nationally representative telephone survey of Black and White Americans (N = 1200), we found perceived gender differences in nurturance were more often attributed to genetics than perceived gender differences math ability or violence. Men were more likely than women to use genetics to explain perceived gender differences in nurturance, but not math or violence. Finally, respondents viewed perceived gender differences as more strongly genetic than individual differences for nurturance, but not math and violence, suggesting such beliefs have ideological roots. We discuss the potential of genetic explanations to reinforce stereotypes and to justify the social hierarchy.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: May 24, 2007
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