Gender Stereotypes and their Effects in Social Situations

Author: Răzvan - Paraschiv Seceleanu
University of Transilvania, Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences, Braşov, Romania

A glance through human history in order to better understand the relationships between men and women brings to our attention the dramatic ways they have changed in time. Most of the civilizations were based on a patriarchal model, but one cannot ignore the fact that during human existence, matriarchal societies also existed. The term of “patriarchy” comes from the Greek word “patriarkhēs” were pater means "father of a race" and arkhō means “I lead” (Walby, 1990). Matriarchy, as described by Heide Göttner-Abendroth, includes three important criteria, namely the economic, social and cultural ones. On an economic level, the author states that matriarchal societies were agrarian developed around 10.000 years ago, at the beginning of the Neolithic era. Considering the system of goods distribution, it was based on an economic reciprocity, so Göttner-Abendroth (2004) describes them as societies of reciprocity.

Keywords: Stereotypes, matrilineal societies, balanced economic reciprocity, sexism, the illusory correlation