PhD student with white shirt
PhD student with white shirt

People of Social Sciences: Gijsje Maas

With a bachelor's degree in Communication Science in her pocket, Gijsje Maas left for Amsterdam. However, Nijmegen's atmosphere, nature, and small-city feel brought her back to Radboud University.

This is where I experience the feeling of home, a city where I can see myself settling down and growing old

As a PhD student and junior lecturer, she deals with gender norms around sex and closely examines the double standard. Where does the idea come from that men are tough if they have lots of sex, while women go down in status? Gijsje explains: "People learn a lot from films and series. Stories tell us what we think is 'normal' and what we see as the norm. The idea that women should sexually restrain themselves and men should exuberantly celebrate their sexuality is harmful because it contributes to inequality. Women, as well as men, suffer both mentally and physically. Media needs to tell a positive and equal story."

Sexual double standard

The term sexual double standard was coined in the 1950s, when premarital sex was seen as inappropriate, especially for women. By now, dating outside of marriage is quite normal. Yet the cultural idea that male sexuality is more accepted than female sexuality still exists. "In my research, I ask what role gender norms play in maintaining this social ideal and how films and series add to this image."


Since 2022, Gijsje has been developing into a passionate teacher. At first, she felt like imitating her old teachers (whom she can now call her colleagues), but she has now mastered all kinds of new teaching methods. In the Learning Project 2 course, bachelor students work on her PhD topic. Gijsje will use the data collected in this course in her research, which will be a win-win situation for both the student and teacher!

Contact information

About person
G. Maas (Gijsje)
Media & Communication