Personality Differences by Gender

"Personality" is quite a problematic concept to apply to Balinese ideas of personhood. While differences between individuals are perceived and commented upon, there is a very limited range of possible types and individualism is not encouraged. There is an idea of karma—that one's present position is the consequence of past actions and that present actions have implications for the future—but this is not an understanding akin to Western-style personality formation as a result of formative psychological experiences. The social ethos is one of group activity, social conformity, and cooperation to get things done. Further, the exigencies of life in very crowded living conditions, where virtually every activity takes place in public, and where the consequences of every action will rebound within one's moral community, are such that people downplay "personality" differences. That said, differences do attach to gender, as described above for ideal masculinity and femininity.

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