Ep: 238: A Robot’s Gender, Act Like A Girl and Be A Man

MichaelDisorders, Gender/Sexuality, Social Psychology4 Comments

Female Robot

Female Robot

Does it matter if a robot looks male or female? You might not think so, but are we perpetuating stereotypes if if we create a robot that looks “feminine” to help the elderly aren’t we continuing the stereotype that these types of jobs are “women’s” jobs? If we create “masculine” looking robots to work outside and do adventurous, heavy lifting jobs aren’t we discouraging young women from entering such jobs? Something to think about. Also, have you ever said (like I have) “Like a girl“? What effect does that have on young girls? Isn’t it, upon reflection, a derogatory thing to say – implying that girls are weak and uncoordinated? And how about “Be a man” – doesn’t that encourage young boys to distance themselves from their feelings?

Let’s take a look then at stereotypes. Sometimes we actually like them. We’re proud of our social identities. But we also don’t want to be limited by them either. It’s a conundrum.

And we address the question: is this generation more narcissistic that past ones? Find out in this episode of The Psych Files.

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4 Comments on “Ep: 238: A Robot’s Gender, Act Like A Girl and Be A Man”

  1. I am Amanda thanks for leaving a comment. I’ve just heard about these “gender reveal” parties. I haven’t attended one so I’m not exactly sure what goes on. I guess everybody celebrates no matter what the gender is, so I suppose it’s just a way for everybody to celebrate the upcoming birth. But still, it does also sound like a really early time for everyone to begin their gender expectations gossip.

  2. Hi Michael,
    I’m busy catching up on your podcast and just listened to this episode. I remember talking to my daughters years ago about gender identity before ultrasound could tell you the gender of your child. I expressed my concerns that knowing gender even before the baby is born, would lock the parents into gender stereotypes. Now that my daughters and their peers are having families, I see babies’ rooms being decorated in very specific themes, not gender neutral at all. We even had a Gender Reveal party before the baby shower. Makes me wonder if this could have unintended consequences. Just my 2cents, and keep up the great podcast!

  3. This discussion of gender roles, and your recent episodes where you described your experience dressing in drag for a play, reminded me of an iconic image and quote. This image is of the ruggedly masculine musician Iggy Pop wearing a dress:


    “I’m not ashamed to dress ‘like a woman’ because I don’t think it’s shameful to be a woman” [Iggy Pop]

  4. The discussion on memory was interesting. How about more on the mechanisms of memory storage and what happens to memories upon death. I’d also be interested in hearing about the origin of ideas and creativity in general. Information on intelligence augmentation or cognitive enhancement could be extremely helpful. A couple of my favorite movies hit upon that in “Charly” & “Lawnmower man” – let me know if you have any more movie titles and I’ll check them out.

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