We Are All Green: Stereotypes for Female Soldiers and Veterans
As the number of females in the U.S. military continues to rise, the need for research concerning this cohort becomes increasingly important. In consideration of gender role theory, society may assume that soldiers and veterans are male, due to stereotypes. Thus, it was hypothesized that participants would be more likely to implicitly associate military (i.e. prior military or combat veteran) as male compared the neutral condition (i.e. prior Peace Corp volunteer). The current study (N = 174) used gender pronouns as implicit measures of gender assumptions. Participants were assigned to read six gender neutral scenarios; three focal scenarios (i.e. combat veteran, prior military, and former Peace Corp volunteer) and three filler scenarios (i.e. combined into an aggregate baseline score). After reading each scenario, participants then wrote about their opinion of the fictitious character’s personality. The writing samples were coded for gender pronouns. There were no differences when comparing the three focal scenarios. However, exploratory analyses revealed that participants were more likely to assume that the characters in the filler scenarios were female, whereas they were more likely to assume that the characters in the focal scenarios were male. Also, when comparing the filler scenarios to the manipulated scenarios, there was a significant difference in these gender assumptions in the same direction. These implicit assumptions, although not part of the original hypotheses, suggest that soldiers and veterans are assumed to be male. Future studies examining implicit stereotypes with improved materials are likely to support this conclusion. If so, this may lead to new lines of research investigating the effect that these assumptions have on stereotypes, prejudice, discrimination, and social support for female soldiers and veterans.
Experimental psychology|Social psychology|Personality psychology|Gender studies
French, Katherine L, "We Are All Green: Stereotypes for Female Soldiers and Veterans" (2020). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI27961954.