你更喜欢公狗还是母狗? | “性别偏见”对汪星人的影响

发布时间:2018-05-16 3评论 11305阅读

How Gender and Stereotypes

Can Shape Our Relationship with Dogs


壹心理翻译社 ◎ 荣誉出品
原作 | Paul McGreevy, Fiona Probyn-Rapsey
翻译 | 魏琦梦
校编 | 搬那度


The relationship between people and their dogs can be a lasting and loving bond if the match is right. But when acquiring a dog, how do you know if that match will be a good one?


Research shows there is a difference in the way some dogs react to men and women, and it can also matter if the dog is a he or a she.


The challenge lies in understanding the interactions of dogs with humans. And part of that challenge can be influenced by gender stereotypes of both humans and dogs.


This shows why matching dogs to people is far more complicated than we might predict.


Humans & Dogs: a Long History


Humans have been co-evolving with dogs for thousands of years. We owe them a lot, including (perhaps surprisingly) the ways in which we experience and express gender via animals.



This often happens in negative ways, such as when women are referred to as bitches, cows, pigs, birds, chicks and men as wolves, pigs, rats. None of these animal metaphors have much to do with the animals themselves but more to do with how we use categories of animals to categorise humans.

但是,这方面的理解经常带有歧视意味。举个例子:中国人可能会用 “蛇蝎心肠” 来形容女人,用 “狼心狗肺” 来形容男人。而歪果仁也一样:他们有时候会把女人称为母狗、牛、猪、鸟、小鸡,把男人称作狼、猪、鼠……



So unpacking and challenging gender stereotypes might just also improve the lives of animals too.


A 2006 landmark analysis of gender and dog ownership revealed that owners use their dogs as props to display their own gender identities.

一项 2006 年澳大利亚的里程碑式研究发现,养犬者会把狗狗当成道具,并利用它们来展示自己的性别身份。

Participants in this study considered female dogs to be less aggressive but more moody than apparently more playful male dogs. They used gender stereotypes not only to select dogs, but also to describe and predict their dog's behaviour and personality.


The potential ramifications of this are important because such flawed predictions about dog behaviour can lead to a person giving up on their dog, which is then surrendered to a shelter.



Once surrendered, an aggressive bitch or uncooperative dog faces a grim future, with most dogs who fail a behavioural assessment being killed, adding to the troubling euthanasia rates in Australia.


That said, the predictive power of behaviour assessment in shelters is being questioned. Some say the ability of such assessments to reliably predict problematic behaviours in future adoptive homes is "vanishingly unlikely". Moreover, the assessments are likely to be informed by the gendered expectations and behaviours of the humans who assess, surrender or adopt.

至于这样的行为测试准不准,目前仍有待商榷。一些学者表示,这种测试 “极不可能” 准确地预测狗狗被收养后是否表现出问题行为。更何况,狗狗的评估员、遗弃者和收养者的性别成见和行为,都会影响测试标准。

A small study in the UK in 1999 observed 30 dogs in shelters when approached by unfamiliar men and women. It found that the female dogs spent less time looking towards all the humans than the male dogs did.

1999 年在英国进行的一项小型研究观察了 30 只收容所狗狗被陌生男女接近时的反应。研究发现,母狗望着所有人的时间比公狗要短。

All the dogs barked at and looked towards the women less than the men, which the researchers suggest shows that gender of the potential adopter plays a role in determining what a good match might look like, as well as the likelihood of adoption.


Even the bond that dogs share with their primary care-giver may have gender differences. For example, in a 2008 Australian study, dog owners reported that male dogs showed elevated levels of separation-related distress compared to female dogs. They also reported that separation-related distress and food-related aggression increased with the number of human adult females in the household.

就连狗狗和主要照顾者之间的关系,也会根据人汪双方的性别而有所差异。比如,2008 年在澳大利亚进行的一项调查便指出,和主人分离时,公汪会比母汪表达更多的离别焦虑。这份研究也称,家中的女性成人越多,狗狗的离别焦虑和与食物相关的侵略性表现也会越多。

Desexing, which is more than justified by the animal welfare benefits of population control, also complicates cultural beliefs about appropriate dog gender and may even influence a dog's problem-solving behaviour. A recent study published this year suggests that desexing may have a more negative effect on female than male dogs when it comes to aspects of cognition.

此外,有些宠物主人也会为狗狗进行绝育。进行绝育能帮助控制犬只数量,从而有利于动物福利,所以绝对是合情合理的做法。但是,绝育不仅会影响人们对一只狗的 “正确性别” 的文化成见,还会影响狗狗解决问题的行为。今年发表的一项研究指出,绝育对母狗智力的负面影响,可能比公狗来得大。

A study published last month, that focused solely on working sheepdogs and their handlers (and so may have limited relevance to domestic companion dogs), is the first report of behavioural differences related to gender difference in both dogs and humans.


Gender Stereotypes


These studies underline just how much the lives of dogs depend upon how they conform to gender expectations. In other words, it's not just how we humans interact with dogs that matters, it's how our genders interact as well.


While we know how damaging stereotypes can be for humans, dog owners may not consider just how their conceptual baggage of gender stereotypes affects the animals they live with.


More research can help to shed light on the role that gender plays when it comes to making a good match between humans and their dogs; and by good match, we mean one that will result in a decrease in the likelihood of the dog being surrendered to a shelter or treated badly.


The take-home message from these studies is that, to be truly successful mutual companions, dogs don't need just any human, they need a complimentary human who is open to reflecting critically on gender stereotypes.



Thanks partly to an uncritical adoption of gender stereotypes, the matching of dog and human is currently rudimentary at best. So we should not be surprised if dogs often fail to meet our expectations.


When relationships go wrong, it's catastrophic for dogs, because it contributes to euthanasia rates in shelters. These deaths need to be better understood as a broader failure of human understanding about how their own beliefs and behaviour affect the dogs in their lives.




英文原作:Whose best friend? How gender and stereotypes can shape our relationship with dogs. (The Conversation)

作者简介:Paul McGreevy,澳大利亚悉尼大学动物行为和动物福利科学教授。Fiona Probyn-Rapsey,澳大利亚卧龙岗大学人文和社会探究学教授。

译者简介:魏琦梦,壹心理翻译社 | 译员,翻译爱好者。

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