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Lecture 12

PSYC 251 Lecture Notes - Lecture 12: Social Identity Theory, In-Group Favoritism, Biosocial Theory


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYC 251
Professor
Stanka A Fitneva
Lecture
12

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PSYC 251 April 3, 2018
Module 12
Introduction to Gender Development
Sex vs. Gender
- Sex = biological differences between males and females
o Chromosomal differences
o Hormonal profiles
o Physical sex characteristics
o All of these don’t always align ie. male chromosomes but female phenotype
- Gender = social categorization
o Based on characteristics that society/culture associated with masculine or
feminine
Gender-Relevant Behaviour
- Assertion = tendency to exert influence over environment
o Can be done via competitive, independent, or aggressive behaviours
o Stereotypically masculine
- Affiliation = tendency to connect with others
o Done by being emotionally open, empathetic, or cooperative
o Stereotypically feminine
- Collaboration = associated with gender role flexibility
o Coordination of assertion and affiliation
o Can be referred to as androgyny
o More common in girls than boys
o Research suggests that it’s healthier to show both types of characteristics so it’s
better to not be completely male or female (especially for girls)
Relevant Terminology
- Gender typing = process of gender socialization and development
o The extent to which we build gender stereotypes into kids
o Discouraged in recent years
- Gender-typed behaviour = those behaviours traditionally associated with a given person’s
gender (gender stereotyped)
- Cross-gender-typed behaviour = those behaviours traditionally associated with the gender
other than that of a given person
Theories of Gender Development
Evolutionary View on Gender
- Males and females evolved for different lifestyles
o Males evolved to hunt and compete for mates
o Females evolved to take care of the kids
- Many societies promote these stereotypes
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PSYC 251 April 3, 2018
Module 12
- Play reflects skills needed in adulthood
- Biosocial theory = differences evolved because of physical differences, but no longer
relevant to today’s society
- Men are better at spatial rotation and women are better at memorizing where things are in
an array
Neuroscience Approaches
- Effects of hormones, particularly androgens, on the brain
o Most of these effects occur prenatally or in puberty because the brain is being
built and refined during these times
- Organizing influences = affect brain organization prenatally and in puberty
- Activating influences = differences in hormone levels leading to differences in behaviour
- Women less lateralized and larger corpus callosum, but studies only done on adults (don’t
know case with kids)
o Men tend to process language information solely in left hemisphere and other
stuff solely in left
o Women have activation on both sides
Kohlberg’s Cognitive Developmental Theory
- All approaches have idea that kids form beliefs about gender
- Piagetian influence child constructs own gender knowledge
- Stage 1: Gender identity by 30 months, kids are able to reliably label gender
- Stage 2: Gender stability between 3 and 5 years for self but not other
o They realize that they will grow up to be the same gender that they are now
o May not have the same stability for others
They can be fooled by putting a dress on a male doll (they will say the doll
is now a girl)
- Stage 3: Gender consistency between 4 and 7 years they realize gender is immutable
- Once you have all these you can have gender constancy
- Once you have constancy, you can build stereotypes
- We know now that kids have stereotypes long before they achieve gender consistency
Gender Schema Theory
- Combines social learning, info-processing, and cognitive approaches
- Attend to own gender and ignore, misinterpret, or actively reject any inconsistencies
- Two filters:
o Gender schema filter = filter out what isn’t relevant to your gender
o Interest filter = if you don’t know which gender something belongs to but you’re
interested in it, you’ll assume it applies to your gender
- In group/out-group orientation
o We pay attention to stuff in our group and ignore stuff in outside groups
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PSYC 251 April 3, 2018
Module 12
Social Identity Theory
- Very much about in-groups and out-groups
- In-group bias = to prefer own group
- In-group assimilation = to try to become more like in-group so characteristics become
stronger over time
- High status group is more valued and males generally are more valued in our society so
tom-boys are more acceptable than feminine boys
Bandura’s Social Learning Theory
- Gender-appropriate behaviour is modeled and rewarded so child engages in it
- Tuition vs. enactive experience
o Tuition = when people tell child what is appropriate for their gender
o Enactive = when what is appropriate is modelled
- Tv and books full of gender stereotypes
- Kids spend more time with adults and peers of same sex
o Reciprocal determinism idea
- Girls more willing to imitate opposite sex
- Parents provide gender-appropriate environments
- Boys more likely to dislike other-sex toys
- Boys more harshly punished for atypical gender play
Milestones in Gender Development
Infancy and Toddlerhood
- By 6-9 months, kids can differentiate between genders (based on habituation)
- Tend to focus on hairstyles to do this
- At 12 months old, both genders look more at doll than vehicles
o Early preference for human faces
- By 18 months, girls show more preference for dolls and boys show more preference for
vehicles
o Earlier than Kohlberg hypothesized
- At 24 months, while boys are very focussed on vehicles, girls are showing an equal
amount of looking time to vehicles and dolls
Preschoolers and School-Age Children
- Gender segregation begins in preschool and peaks in middle childhood
o Declines in adolescence where there’s more mixed groups of friends
- This is universal across cultures
- Different play experiences and different ways of interacting strengthen difference
between the sexes
Adolescence
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