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Indo-Pakistani or European descent in Canada. Where possible in this book I have tried to include information that broadens the perspective on gender beyond that of White middle-class culture. Such inclusiveness has been easier in this sixth edition because of a burgeoning emphasis on diversity in feminist scholarship. However, information on every group for every topic is not readily available.

A second gap in the knowledge base about sex and gender stems from a tendency on the part of social scientists to ignore the experience of anyone whose sexual orientation is not heterosexual. Thus research on the development of sexual feelings and relationships and research on couples and families have until recently all but ignored the experiences of lesbians and gay men and bisexual and transgendered individuals. Although many gaps still remain in this area, some excellent studies now exist. I have tried to include this perspective wherever information is available.

The book is divided into three parts. Part I, Myths, Theories, and Research, focuses on the stereotypes of femininity and masculinity and on the ways theory and research in psychology and the other social sciences have been influenced by and have affected these stereotypes. Part II, Behavior and Experience: Female–Male Similarities and Differences, pits the gender stereotypes against the research evidence. It examines the evidence for male–female similarities and differences in a wide range of domains, from aggression to altruism, from mathematical performance to sexuality, from the experience of reproduction to mental and physical health. Throughout this section, the emphasis is on evaluating the evidence for gender differences and, when differences appear, on trying to understand the reasons for them. Part III, Sex and Gender in Social Relationships, examines the reciprocal links between gender roles and the structure of relationships, in the social world, and in areas ranging from friendships to families and from work relationships to politics and law. This section stresses the position of individuals in their social context. Feminine and masculine gender roles are not simply sets of qualities developed by individuals; they are part of the rules of a social system in which these individuals live. Built into that system is a hierarchy in which males, in general, hold more power than females. The power difference cannot be ignored, and it is not easy for an individual to break away from it or to change it. Its consequences can be very negative for women, and there are negative side effects for men as well. An understanding of how gender, as an aspect of social relationships, is a reflection of a status hierarchy in which males outrank females leads back to an understanding of why gender stereotypes are the way they are, thus completing the circle that was begun in the first chapter of the book.

A primary emphasis of this sixth edition is to evaluate and resituate the major issues of every chapter in the context of the most current research literature. Strangely, one of the most important reasons for doing this is not due to advances in gender equity or understanding in the early 2000s but rather to the necessity to document via the most recent sources the lack of such advances. In business, in education, in politics, and in media stereotyping of females and males, women and men still receive different messages and are encouraged in different directions. Men are

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disproportionately represented in political leadership positions, in corporate boardrooms, and at the top levels of academic institutions. Little girls still encounter more barriers than do little boys when they explore mathematics, science, or computing. Rape and sexual harassment continue to be major issues confronting women in their daily environments—including on college campuses. The research I reviewed for this edition makes it abundantly clear that we must continue to pay attention to gender-related issues.

On a more positive note, frequent revisions of this book are necessary because of the explosion in scholarship on gender in recent years. Many issues have been rethought and reanalyzed: Are sex and gender really two different things? How malleable is gender identity? Should we emphasize gender differences, or is that the wrong question? When should we call a gender difference “small”? Are women really “nonaggressive,” or does that label stem from stereotyping? How does subtle or “modern” sexism work on its targets? It is heartening to see the attention researchers are paying to these questions; it is difficult for an author to keep up with and include all the important scholarship being generated. Of course, not everything has been included. This edition does, however, convey some of the flavor of the interesting data gathering and debate that have focused on gender in the last 3 years. 

Many people have provided me with help and encouragement. I thank the following people for insightful comments and suggestions on all or part of the manuscript or proposal for the first edition: Katherine Schultz, Dena Davidson, Nina Colwill, Jane Prather, Rhona Steinberg, Jeanne Kohl, Jeanne Maracek, Anne Peplau, and Ann Costain. Nina Colwill, my coauthor for Chapter 13 (Issues in the Workplace), provided welcome expertise and inspiration on many occasions. A book that she and I coauthored more than two decades ago, The Psychology of Sex Differences, provided some of the groundwork for this one, and I am indebted to her for the ideas that have been carried over from that earlier work to this. 

For the second edition, I extend my circle of thanks to include the following reviewers: Judy Rollins Bohannon, East Carolina University; Claire Etaugh, Bradley University; Lisa Judd, Winona State University; Faye D. Pascak-Craig, Marian College; Gwendolyn T. Sorrell, Texas Tech University; Michael R. Stevenson, Ball State University; Gail A. Thoen, University of Minnesota; and Mary Roth Walsh, Harvard University.

For the third edition, I thank the following reviewers: Cathleen Callahan, John Carroll University; Claire Etaugh, Bradley University; and John R. McCarthy, University of Albany, State University of New York.

For the fourth edition, I thank reviewers Kristine Anthis, University of Nebraska, Omaha; Mary M. Brazier, Loyola University New Orleans; Barbara Peters, Southampton College; Gwendolyn T. Sorell, Texas Tech University; Gail A. Thoen, University of Minnesota.

For the fifth edition, Betty Dorr, Fort Lewis University; Tara Cornelius, Western Michigan University; Alice Eagly, Northwestern University; Marion Mason, Bloomsburg University; and Janet Melnick, Penn State University.

For this edition, I thank Isabelle Cherney, Creighton University; Genevieve D. Stevens, Houston Community College; Kimberly D. Brown, Ball State University; Gabbie Smith, Elon University; and Judith A. McLaughlin, Montana State University-Billings.

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I am grateful to Frank Graham, my sponsoring editor at Mayfield Publishing Company, for his support, suggestions, and encouragement through the first four editions. In the editing and production of the fifth edition, I much appreciated the careful help of Kirsten Stoller, Steve Rutter, Christina Thornton-Villagomez, Carin Yancey, Louis Swaim, and George Kokkonas. I thank Barrie Bondurant for her excellent work on the Instructor’s Manual for that edition. The students who have worked with me at Radford University’s Center for Gender Studies have been an important source of inspiration and support as I worked through this edition. My students and colleagues in the Psychology Department and the Women’s Studies Program also deserve thanks for sharing their ideas with me and keeping me on my toes. Finally, I am deeply indebted to Wayne Andrew for his patience and care, his ideas and encouragement, the many late nights, and for help in a multitude of ways large and small.


Hilary Lips

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