Women and Men of the Past, Present, and Future: Evidence of Dynamic Gender Stereotypes in Ghana

Janine Bosak*, Alice Eagly, Amanda Diekman, Sabine Sczesny

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


People represent social groups by their trajectories through time, producing dynamic stereotypes. To the extent that these stereotypes derive from observations of group members’ behaviors in their typical roles, change in the roles of women and men over time should fuel beliefs that the sexes adopt traits associated with their new roles. Thus, earlier studies have found that stereotypes about the past, present, and future traits of women and men are consistent with beliefs about changes in their social roles. To examine such dynamic stereotypes in an African context, 150 participants from Ghana rated the likelihood of gender-stereotypic personality, cognitive, and physical characteristics of women or men of the past, present, or future in their society. Among the major findings were perceptions of increases over time in women’s masculine characteristics and men’s feminine characteristics. Also, both sexes increased in masculine and feminine cognitive characteristics. Comparison of these Ghanaian findings with those obtained earlier from five other countries revealed both similarities and differences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)115-129
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Cross-Cultural Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018


  • gender
  • men
  • social roles
  • stereotypes
  • women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology


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