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Chivalry: A Look At Behavioral Psychology

Why has the meaning of the term chivalry evolved over time? Gender stereotypes and behavior give it different meanings.

Ryan Cormier

on 29 November 2012

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Transcript of Chivalry: A Look At Behavioral Psychology

Naysayers Modern Chivalry Change in Gender Roles Evolutionary Psychology Nature vs. Nurture The Feminist Idea Is Chivalry Dead? Historical Aspect Stereotypes and how They Shape Behavior Gender Roles and Behavior Old Adopters - "Old Adopters" of chivalry believed that it was a man's
duty to protect women because they were presumed to be a weaker half of the human race.
- A man's duty to women was broken down into 'courtly love' and being gentle/generous/gracious to a lady.
- Men were brought up with the same standards as every other man, no matter their social hierarchy. Rich or poor,
all men were raised with the attitude that they were to
treat women with gratitude and place them higher
than their own existence. - A great number of people in modern day America
(mostly women) will claim that chivalry never was, never is, and never will be exercised. However, this is a naive view that stems directly from their upbringing,
experiences, and beliefs.
- Feminists have disclaimed chivalry and rather feel that it is 'benevolent sexism'.
- Technology and the evolution of humankind has changed the meaning of modern day 'chivalry'. - "The fact that humans in modern society exhibit behaviors that evolved over our long evolutionary history should force us to conclude that a mere decade of social pressure and policy to the contrary will never succeed in extinguishing those behaviors." - Jennifer Goehring
- There are certain human tendencies that exist across time and cultures that stay consistent, which means there must be a more permanent force in our genetic makeup that influences our behaviors.
- Cultural influence shapes our behaviors and tries to force the idea of monogamy when one out of ten mammals are monogamous. Even though our culture has tried to instill this standard of monogamy, our genes had already decided years ago that it is in our reproductive best interest to resist the idea of monogamy. - Feminist Psychologists believe that chivalry is nothing more than 'benevolent sexism', Which in their eyes means men have a seemingly favorable attitude that puts women on a pedestal, but then sometimes conveys an assumption that women need a man's protection.
- This is a modern idea that disclaims chivalry's identity and initial purpose in society. Rather than embracing our natural tendencies like our ancestor's ancestors did, Feminists are much more concerned with rewriting human sexuality and gender roles.
- Gender 'inequality' is near nonexistent in our everyday
life, which is why this radical idea is blatantly trying to
stir a pot that has been closed since the late 1980's
feminist movement. - "The seemingly radical turn that feminism has taken of late will end up being yet another historical account of how we have failed in this regard. It has started to mess with vastly complex and delicate gender-related facets of identity which will prove inadequate for the task of eliminating gender inequality." - Jennifer Goehring
- Our natural identity as human beings should not suffer due to cultural attitudes towards oppression of women. There are certain differences between
both sexes that are instilled in the fabric of our existence and without these differences there would not be evolutionary progress. - Today the idea of chivalry is much less exclusive to
a particular gender or group of people, but rather a
communal understanding of common courtesy.
- Our behavior towards one another and how we
communicate has changed drastically in the past decade, which has actually made in-person communication
harder due to our culture's movement towards technological communication (i.e. social networks,
texting, etc.)
- This intellectual shift in communication has actually
made it easier to avoid confrontation, which
in turn makes it easier to avoid chivalry all together. - In this day in age there has been a serious change in
gender roles; for the first time in our culture's history it
is now disrespectful for a man to suggest that he wants to be a women's "protector" or "provider".
- The little things, the "courtly" things that some men
still want to demonstrate to a woman nowadays are the things that to this day make men feel important, proud, and most importantly happy. If men demonstrating chivalry to women in society today is continued to be frowned upon, then there is no
doubt that the divorce rate will continue to climb. - "Now, when feminism comes along and suddenly decides that women don't want (or need) to be cared for, all of the things that males throughout our evolution have practiced suddenly become taboo." - Jennifer Goehring
- These new behavioral "standards" have stripped men of their natural instincts, in order to create this superficial feeling of equality in our society. Instead of disclaiming these behaviors maybe we should still
be praising them.

A Look At Behavioral Psychology

By: Ryan Cormier - In 1292 the word was written in old French as ‘chevalerie’ meaning knighthood, however that word for all intents and purposes is dead.
- Over the centuries the word evolved to take on a different meaning. In the 12th century the word became the ‘ideal of courtly love’ and by the 15th century the military connotation was almost completely removed. - Due to the gap in gender specific roles in society, women
were forced to feel inferior to men due to their lack of physical strength.
- "Delicately interwoven into the fabric of our identity as men or women is a set of generally universal principles guiding how we think, how we behave, and how we feel. These principles evolved to help us follow the path that will most likely lead to reproductive success." - Jennifer
Goehring (Behavioral and Evolutionary Psychologist)
- Chivalry was a natural reaction to our biological
instincts that at the time explained men's
importance of existence. A Taboo Or Lost
Practice New Adopters
Full transcript