Ambivalent Stereotypes Towards Gendered Robots: The (Im)mutability of Bias Towards Female and Neutral Robots

Stefano Guidi, Latisha Boor, Laura van der Bij, Robin Foppen, Okke Rikmenspoel, G. Perugia

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)


Many studies have investigated the effect of robot genderedness on the attribution of gender stereotypes to a robot, often with mixed results. This paper aims to overcome some of the limitations of previous research. We adopted a mixed study design with stereotypical trait type (communion vs. agency) or task type (stereotypical female vs. stereotypical male) and robot genderedness (female vs. male vs. neutral) as within-subjects factors, and participant gender (men vs. women) as between-subjects factor. We asked participants to rate 24 robots (8 per category) in terms of their perceived communion, agency, and suitability for stereotypical female and male tasks. The results disclosed that female robots activate paternalistic stereotypes (higher communion than agency, higher suitability for female tasks than male tasks), while male robots do not. Moreover, they reveal that the ambivalence of these stereotypes is stronger in men than in women. Even more interestingly, our analyses showed that neutral robots activate paternalistic stereotypes in men and envious stereotypes (higher agency than communion) in women. This last finding is particularly relevant as it suggests that gender neutrality is not enough to safeguard robots from harmful biases.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSocial Robotics
Subtitle of host publication14th International Conference, ICSR 2022, Florence, Italy, December 13–16, 2022, Proceedings, Part II
EditorsFilippo Cavallo, John-John Cabibihan, Laura Fiorini, Alessandra Sorrentino, Hongsheng He, Xiaorui Liu, Yoshio Matsumoto, Shuzhi Sam Ge
Place of PublicationCham
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-031-24670-8
ISBN (Print)978-3-031-24669-2
Publication statusPublished - 2 Feb 2023
Event14th International Conference on Social Robotics, ICSR 2022 - Florence, Italy
Duration: 13 Dec 202216 Dec 2022
Conference number: 14

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (LNCS)
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349
NameLecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence (LNAI)


Conference14th International Conference on Social Robotics, ICSR 2022
Abbreviated titleICSR 2022


  • sterotypes
  • social robotics
  • social categorization
  • Social categorization
  • Social robotics
  • Stereotypes


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