Using priming experiments to better understand gender attitudes
by Katrina Kosec, Cecilia Hyunjung Mo, Emily Schmidt, and Jie Song
Sticky gender attitudes?
Researchers typically think of gender attitudes as challenging to move or shape. How individuals see women and their proper roles in society is viewed as sticky—something that might be changed through intensive programs and policy changes, but otherwise deeply entrenched since childhood. This has been a motivation for large investments to promote women’s economic and livelihood opportunities, and educational opportunities for girls. It has also motivated gender researchers to conduct intensive training programs to promote beliefs in gender equality; examples can be found in Burkina Faso (a family coaching program), Cote d’Ivoire (couples’ trainings), and Uganda (couples’ workshops on joint decision-making).
How economic conditions can influence gender attitudes
Our study, “Perceptions of Relative Deprivation and Women’s Empowerment,” partly contrasts with this perception. It shows that some (but certainly not all) aspects of gender attitudes may be easy to alter. Specifically, they may change with the ubiquitous fluctuations of economic conditions confronted by the poor in low-income countries.
This story is part of the EnGendering Data blog which serves as a forum for researchers, policymakers, and development practitioners to pose questions, engage in discussions, and share resources about promising practices in collecting and analyzing sex-disaggregated data on agriculture and food security.
If you are interested in writing for EnGendering Data, please contact the blog editor, Dr. Katrina Kosec.