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Kathleen Fuegen & Monica Biernat

In: The SAGE Handbook of Gender and Psychology

Chapter 9: Gender-Based Standards of Competence in Parenting andWork Roles

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Gender-Based Standards of Competence in Parenting andWork Roles
Gender-Based Standards of Competence in Parenting and Work Roles
Kathleen FuegenMonica Biernat
Introduction

All judgment is relative. To describe someone, therefore, as ‘competent’ or‘incompetent’ has no clear meaning unless the standard or referent used to produce thejudgment is specified. Indeed the relativity of language means that we can describe different people(or animals or objects) with the same adjectives, but mean substantially different things by them;our manuscripts, our pets, our children, and our colleagues may all be described as‘brilliant,’ but the standard of brilliance is defined differently in each case.

In this chapter we examine how standards of competence may be differentially defined depending onthe gender of the target person being evaluated. Our focus is not on gender differencesper se, but ...

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