Thursday, February 26, 2009

Links: Gender difference edition

Amrita Rajan on Hollywood movie villainy:

Male villains get cool names, all the chicks they can bang, and fly around the world like the billionaires they frequently are; female villains are typically the mom or the wife from hell, nobody loves them much less wants to bang them, and all their plotting and planning usually leaves them with a wrinkly face.

Chee. Who’d want to be a female villain?

Wray Herbert: Stigma: His and Hers: gender differences in stereotyping of mental illness:

[The psychologists] had a group of volunteers, mostly in their 40s, read a case history of a person with mental illness. Some read about Brian, who was a stereotypical alcoholic, while others read about Karen, who showed all the classical symptoms of major depression. Still others read switched-around versions of these cases, so that Karen was the one abusing alcohol and Brian was depressed. The idea was to see if the typicality of Brian and Karen’s symptoms (or lack of it) shaped the volunteers’ reactions and judgments.

And it did, without question. As reported in the February issue of the journal Psychological Science, the volunteers expressed more anger and disgust—and less sympathy—toward Brian the alcoholic than toward Karen the alcoholic, and vice versa for depression. They were also more willing to help Brian and Karen when they suffered from an atypical disorder. Most striking of all, the volunteers were much more likely to view the Brain’s depression (and Karen’s alcoholism) as genuine biological disorders—rather than character defects or matters of personal irresponsibility. What this suggests is that stigma-busting campaigns might profit by putting a different face on these mental disorders—and perhaps others as well.

Finally, gender differences in sinning (or, at the least, confessions of sins), as unearthed by the Vatican:

According to a new Vatican study, Roman Catholic men and women sin differently.

The study was based on confessions taken by Roberto Busa, a 95-year-old Jesuit scholar. The results were supported by the Catholic Church.

Father Jim Martin, an associate editor for America Magazine, ...says that the most common sin among women was pride, while lust topped the list for men — or at least, that's what churchgoers actually owned up to.

"You read the survey, and you could also interpret it as those are the sins they confess more," Martin says. "Which may not mean that they're actually sinning in that way, but those are the sins they confess most often to confessors."