Interpreting and communicating the results of gender-related research

Hegarty, P. J. and Pratto, F. (2010). Interpreting and communicating the results of gender-related research. In: Chrisler, J. C. and McCreary, D. R. eds. Handbook of Gender Research in Psychology, Volume 1. Berlin: Springer Verlag, 191 - 211.



In this chapter we argue that people (including psychologists) communicate about gender-relevant findings in active interpretive ways that are characterized by precisely these kinds of revisable implicit assumptions. Often these assumptions work to reify gender stereotypes and to communicate implicitly that men are more important kinds of people than women are. However, these assumptions can also be challenged in ways that lead to less obvious, less sexist, and more thoughtful, considered, and open-minded ways of thinking about difference. Psychologists have often offered each other advice about how we ought to communicate about gender-related findings. In this chapter, we focus on implicit meanings of gender-related research to argue that we often communicate much more than we intend when we communicate about gender-related findings. We assume that "gender-relatedness" does not reside in particular attributes, behaviors, preferences, or body parts.

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