Thursday, September 12, 2013

Gender and Behavior

Fascinating stuff regarding behavior that demonstrates power and how that translates to "gendered behavior."  I constantly try to remind myself as well as others that what we often consider to be "girly" mostly means "that which men don't want to be associated with."
Philosopher Sandra Lee Bartky once observed that being feminine often means using one’s body to portray powerlessness. Consider: A feminine person keeps her body small and contained; she makes sure that it doesn’t take up to much space or impose itself. She walks and sits in tightly packaged ways. She doesn’t cover the breadth of the sidewalk or expand herself beyond the chair she occupies. 
In laboratory experiments, people who were prompted to take up more space were more likely to steal, cheat, and violate traffic laws in a simulation. A sense of powerfulness, reported by the subjects, mediated the effect (a robust finding that others have documented as well). 
In a real world test of the theory, they found that large automobiles with greater internal space were more likely than small ones to be illegally parked in New York City.
From Gender and the Body Language of Power | The Society Pages