Venus and mars or down to Earth: Stereotypes and realities of gender Differences

Susan T. Fiske

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Psychological scientists, like lay people, often think in categorical dichotomies that contrast men and women and exaggerate the differences between groups. These value-laden divides tend to privilege one side over the other, often to the advantage of the scientists' own identity group. Besides balancing perspectives in the academic marketplace of ideas, scientists can recognize the complexity of stigma. Gender, like many categories, entails two fundamental dimensions that characterize intergroup stigma (and all interpersonal perception): perceived warmth and competence. These dimensions identify groups viewed with ambivalence (e.g., traditional women are stereotypically warm but incompetent, whereas professional women are allegedly competent but cold). In gender and in other areas, psychological scientists can go beyond value-laden dichotomies and consider the fundamental, continuous dimensions along which we think about stigma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)688-692
Number of pages5
JournalPerspectives on Psychological Science
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Psychology


  • Ambivalence
  • Competence
  • Gender
  • Stereotypes
  • Stigma
  • Warmth


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