From: Kimiko Ryokai <>
Critique of "Prestige and Intimacy"

Holland & Skinner investigated cultural model of gender, but only looked at a gender model defined by the opposite sex. Their male social types were defined only by females and female ones only by males. The first question that came to my mind when I saw the three-dimensional representations of male and female social types was whether the representation was in accord with male and females own social types that they take upon themselves. In other words, are "jock," "Don Juan," and "stud" represented in males minds in the same way in they are in females minds, and do "princess," "girl," "woman" represented in females minds thought of in the same way in males minds?

It would be interesting to do Study A with a reciprocated condition (both male and female list types of both their own gender and opposite gender) instead of the one-way condition like they had (males and females list types of their opposite gender only), to see whether males and females do in fact share the same gender type. If the representations of male and female social types that males have and the ones females have are the same, the cultural model of gender Holland & Skinner present is more credible. However, if they are different, males and females hold different gender types of each other and work towards different expectation of their opposite. Perhaps, males tend to conceive "jock" in more positive ways than females do, and females conceive "woman" more negatively than males do?

According to the males in their study, the type, "cute girl" is very much towards endearments, yet for females, the term may connote something like, "pretty but stupid" and is something that they may try not to become. If this was true, the types of men and women Holland & Skinner presented are not so useful as frame semantics, since what "cute girl," for example, means to men is different from what it means to women.

As Holland & Skinner mention in their discussion, considering different factors such as age, class, and ethnic groups is important. The US is a pair-culture whereas a country like Japan, for example is not. American couples are always conscious of each other. They are always making sure their relationship is balanced and in check with each other. In Japan, people are more conscious about the people of their own sex. Information is widely exchanged within the gender group but the exchange in cross gender is minimum. Therefore, Japanese females may be more conscious about their own sex gender type than American do with theirs. Holland & Skinners method of constructing the gender model may be appropriate for studying Americans to some degree. However, when a different culture is considered, a different method should be considered.