To deep gender equality in democratic society: combating internalized gender roles and internalized sexism

Conflicts over gender roles, cultural intolerance, sexist perspectives on language use, sexist discourses and women's oppression are the topics have been explored and discussed by researchers from many different areas for many years. However, the proposals for satisfactory social solutions have not been reached. Internalized sexism means that women unwillingly accept the existing sexist definitions in culture. People, especially women, reinforce sexism when they use it by internalizing sexist messages. With the influence of mass media, globalization, and social institutions such as family, religion, government and schools, gender roles have been shaped in the following way: women are expected to be more emotional, beautiful, elegant and thin, and men should be physically strong, muscular and emotional. For this reason, many people have body image concerns and their dissatisfaction with their physical appearances increases. In addition to this, individuals are also suppressed in emotional and behavioral issues, depending on their gender. Individuals internalize these roles when they are exposed to cultural expectations and messages about their bodies, feelings and behaviors. Internalized gender roles and internalized sexism bring women into competition, especially in business life, and cause women to treat their fellow harder than men. Likewise, men who are expected to hide their emotions because they are men are also suppressed by the sexist perspective. In this study, it was tried to reveal the opinions of the individuals regarding the gender roles. The aim of this study is to reveal the awareness of the extent to which individuals' stereotypical views reinforced by society and how they reflect on their behaviors. To accomplish this aim, semi-structured individual interviews were conducted with 12 individuals from various professional groups. According to the findings of the research, the images of physical appearances, emotional and behavioral patterns of the individuals are reinforced by the influence of both local and global cultures. In other words, it is idealized to be 'slim and beautiful woman' and 'strong and handsome male'. It is also noted that with the classifications related to emotions and behaviors such as 'maternal work' and 'maternal work' and ‘maternity-paternity roles' are internalized. On the other hand, both male and female participants are particularly disturbed by the sexist discourses that question the visibility of women in public sphere and try to limit women's clothing and behavior. Some participants also criticize the gendered discourses in the written and visual media. The spoken language used by the individuals influences their attitudes and behaviors after a while. In this respect, this study try to ensure that individuals focus on their own discourse and to raise awareness about their behavior. These results provide lectures on gender roles in public spaces, especially in schools; careful selection of course and entertainment materials; it may be suggested that the content presented by written and visual media tools be inspected.
VIII. International Congress on Research inEducation (ICRE), Manisa, Türkiye, (9 - 11 Mayıs 2018)


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Citation Formats
P. O. Taneri, “To deep gender equality in democratic society: combating internalized gender roles and internalized sexism,” presented at the VIII. International Congress on Research inEducation (ICRE), Manisa, Türkiye, (9 - 11 Mayıs 2018), Manisa, Türkiye, 2018, Accessed: 00, 2021. [Online]. Available: