The Hidden Gender

January 24, 2022

Isn’t it strange how we highlight the male sex when men do something bad, but then erase it when they do something good?

When a horrific crime is committed by a man, we talk of male violence, male entitlement, toxic masculinity and dangerous men, we name the assailant a knife-man, or gun-man, a con-man or a mad-man.

Which is fine.

But when a man steps in to intervene, risks his life to save another, kicks down the door of the burning building, or lifts someone from the rip tides of a flood – do we gender that?

Do we talk of male-heroism, male-bravery, male-sacrifice?

No we don’t.

Instead we erase the male sex, and he becomes a ‘good samaritan’, a ‘bystander’, ‘member of the public’ or ‘vigilante’.

This simultaneous gender highlighting of men’s badness, and erasure of their good is called ‘Gamma Bias’ and it is causing a systemic exaggeration of the negative aspects of masculinity, and minimising of their good.

So next time you read the papers or watch the news, take a look and see if you can spot it too.

What do you think?

Read more about Gamma Bias here


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