An Investigation into the Relationship between the Gender Binary and Occupational Discrimination Using the Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure

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APA Citation: 

Cartwright, A., Hussey, I., Roche, B., Dunne, J., & Muphy, C. (2017). An investigation into the relationship between the gender binary and occupational discrimination using the implicit relational assessment procedure. Psychological Record, 67(1), 121-130. doi:10.1007/s40732-016-0212-1

Publication Topic: 
RFT: Empirical
Publication Type: 
Article
Language: 
English
Keyword(s): 
Gender binarism; relational frame theory; gender discrimination; implicit relational assessment procedure
Abstract: 

The social construction of gender-as-binary plays an important role within many contemporary theories of gender inequality. However, to date, the field of psychology has struggled with the operationalization and assessment of binarist ideologies. The current article proposes a technical framework for the analysis of the gender binary and assesses the suitability of the Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure (IRAP) as a measure of binarist gender beliefs. Forty-seven undergraduate students (26 female; Mage = 23.84) completed two IRAPs assessing the coordination of certain traits exclusively with women and others exclusively with men. Effects found on the IRAP were in the expected direction (i.e., relating men but not women with certain traits and women but not men with other traits). In addition, the traits ascribed to men within the IRAP were evaluated as more hirable by a large majority of participants (83%) on an explicit preference task. The results therefore support the arguments that, first, gender traits do seem to be framed oppositionally in language and, second, this binary may underpin existing gender hierarchies in certain contexts.

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