PSYC 3530 Lecture Notes - Lecture 10: Femininity, Masculinity

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Tendency to divide world into distinct and non-overlapping characteristics
Men and women don’t differ in kind, but in degree of the attributes they
1. Conceptual mistake to assume men are opposite to women
2. Doesn’t allow people to have male traits if the subject is female and vice
1. Masculinity and femininity: separate, individual dimensions of each other (not
Gender Segregation: when separated and allowed to interact with people of
the same sex, men and women behave differently. This is because they were
raised differently; they were segregated and played differently.
Gender Socialization: different kinds of play. Children acquired and learnt
different kinds of attributes of which they carry on to adulthood.
At age four ration of Same Sex : Cross Sex interaction is 3:1, at age 10 is 10:1
Masculinity & Femininity
Two independent (statistically orthogonal) dimensions of individual
oInstrumental–Masculine–Agentic Characteristics
e.g., dominant, forceful, competitive, individualistic
oExpressive–Feminine–Communal Characteristics
e.g., affectionate, cheerful, tender, compassionate
Same Sex Interaction is the place to see each of the gender’s main attributes
No global differences in genders; genders are far less different than similar; if
any differences do exist, they are modest and highly situated.
Agentic and Communal Behaviour
Same Sex Friendship: men display very dominant behaviour when with those
of the same sex; when women interact with women, they are more
communal than men (men and women don’t differ in agentic behaviour)
Opposite Sex Friendship: behave differently
Romantic Relationship: women are less communal than men with romantic
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