Giving a robot long hair and curved lips is enough to make people assign it traditionally feminine tasks, according to a paper by German researchers Friederike Eyssel and Frank Hegel. Published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology, their research involved showing a group of 60 students images of stereotypically female and male robots and asking them to rate their suitability for certain duties, including guarding a house, caring for children, and preparing meals. Participants responded as expected, assigning the more assertive and dominant roles to the short-haired male robot while reserving communal and family-oriented tasks for its female counterpart. As Eyssel and Hegel point out, the results raise an interesting dilemma: should designers challenge traditional gender stereotypes by creating non-stereotypical robots, or is it better to minimize confusion by staying within our accustomed boundaries?
Long hair and curved lips condemn 'female' robots to housework and childcare
Robots with long hair and curved lips tend to be given traditionally "feminine" tasks, according to a paper published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology.