Note: the link is not between creativity and masculinity but, rather, the attribution of creativity to men because they are ascribed the masculine traits of self-direction and independence that we associate with creativity, and women are not. Key finding (from the abstract below): This boost in men’s perceived creativity is mediated by attributions of agency, not competence.
Write-up from pacificstandard:
Last week, Vanity Fair unveiled a striking portrait of the new generation of late-night television hosts, a handsome group that varies in terms of age and race, but, as many critics pointed out, not gender. Also, American Theatre magazine came out with its annual list of the 20 most-produced playwrights, which includes four—count ‘em, four—women.
Those are just the two most recent reminders that women remain woefully underrepresented in a wide range of creative professions. Newly published research suggests this imbalance can be traced to our reflexive tendency to link masculinity and creativity—a bias so strong it can lead people to judge the same work as more creative if they believe it was produced by a man.
“A 'masculinized’ orientation, focused on exerting independence and distinctiveness closely resembles popular understandings of creativity.”
“The propensity to think creatively tends to be associated with independence and self-direction—qualities generally ascribed to men,” Duke University researchers led by Devon Proudfoot argue in the journal Psychological Science. As a result, they write, “men are often perceived to be more creative than women.”
Proudfoot and colleagues Aaron Kay and Christy Koval describe five studies that provide evidence of this bias, as well as the gender inequality it helps perpetuate. One featured 169 Americans (36 percent female) who were recruited online.
Participants were randomly assigned to read background information about either an architect or a fashion designer. This person was given a male name for half the participants, and a female name for the rest.
“Participants were then instructed to examine the target’s work, which was identical in the two gender conditions,” the researchers write. “In the architecture condition, participants saw three images of houses. In the fashion-design condition, participants saw three images of designs from the 2013 Pratt Fashion Show.”
They then rated the creator’s creativity, originality, and outside-the-box thinking.
Source and rest: The Imagined Link Between Masculinity and Creativity (psmag),
And abstract: Proudfoot, D., A. C. Kay, and C. Z. Koval. 'A Gender Bias In The Attribution Of Creativity: Archival And Experimental Evidence For The Perceived Association Between Masculinity And Creative Thinking’. Psychological Science (2015): n. pag. Web. 27 Sept. 2015.
p style="padding-left:30px;">We propose that the propensity to think creatively tends to be associated with independence and self-direction—qualities generally ascribed to men—so that men are often perceived to be more creative than women. In two experiments, we found that “outside the box” creativity is more strongly associated with stereotypically masculine characteristics (e.g., daring and self-reliance) than with stereotypically feminine characteristics (e.g., cooperativeness and supportiveness; Study 1) and that a man is ascribed more creativity than a woman when they produce identical output (Study 2). Analyzing archival data, we found that men’s ideas are evaluated as more ingenious than women’s ideas (Study 3) and that female executives are stereotyped as less innovative than their male counterparts when evaluated by their supervisors (Study 4). Finally, we observed that stereotypically masculine behavior enhances a man’s perceived creativity, whereas identical behavior does not enhance a woman’s perceived creativity (Study 5). This boost in men’s perceived creativity is mediated by attributions of agency, not competence, and predicts perceptions of reward deservingness.
(Excerpt etc. first posted on. Orig. attribution above.)