Gender Roles, and Gender Differences 04/12/2013 04:34:00
Chapter 14-15 not included.
50% from class till term test 2, and 50% on material since test
o Focus on everything.
o Half of material from last bit of material.
Longer exam. Same format, but it is longer. More questions
About 15 short answer questions. More focus on short answer
than MCQ. 60% MCQ, and 40% SA.
Definition of Gender
Gender typing- is an umbrella term. It is a process of acquiring
behaviour suited for culture.
Gender-based beliefs- child’s ideas and expectations about
what is appropriate behaviour for males and females.
Gender stereotypes- every culutre has stereotypes about how
men and women are ought to be.
o in our culture, we stereotype men to be strong, and tough,
and top earners.
Gender roles- typical role in the culture.
o in our culture, females give up career to take care of baby
when giving birth.
Gender identity- perception of self as either masculine or
o just because you are female, does not mean you identify
yourself as feminine.
Gender-role preferences- someone’s desire to possess
o E.g. I am a woman, and I thus aspire to have close
Gender-Role Standards & Stereotypes
When do we start? Infancy
o E.g. painting nurcery blue or pink.
o E.g. how we describe the infant, and how we play with the
infant. We smile more at girls.
o E.g. names are gender specific. A lot around physical appearance, and some about
o E.g. males are more competitive and independent, and
females are more passive and dependent.
There could be variations from systems such as church.
Education- The more that within a culture a stereotype is
important, when the parent disproves a stereotypes, this is very
o Educated women have less stereotypes.
o We do not find this for men, the education level of a man
does not affect his stereotypes. Why is this?
History- it takes a long time for a belief to change for
indivdiuals. Men could benefit from this stereotype.
When does influence of stereotypes most effective
Children 3-6 hold most rigidity in terms of gender
o After this age, they are more influenced by external forces.
Adolescence- we are least influenced by stereotypes.
o This is a stage where we could want to challenge social
When there is a major change in life such as a birth of a new
baby, this is when we become most influenced by stereotypes.
o E.g. birth of a child.
o E.g. Taking care of an aging parent.
Developmental Patterns of Gender Typing
Language skills are different for males and females.
Women have better language skills.
Men have better motor skills.
Social skills are evenly developed for men and women.
Internalising and externalising is not different.
o E.g. women are not more susceptible for anxiety problems.
Maths- men are women are equally capable.
Young boys and girls know of what they are supposed to prefer
in terms of their gender.
Boys’ preference for vehicles increases, and decreases for dolls. Girls at 23 months, look at dolls and vehicles the same. This
shows that at 23 months, environment takes more effect.
o Girls’ environments does not affect their toy preference
o Boys' environment strongly affects their environment
This shows the pressure we put on boys and girls
There is more pressure on boys.
Developmental Patterns of Gender Typing
Both men and women value men more.
We believe men hold:
o higher self-confidence.
o Higher status.
There is actually more rigidity as to their roles. We have put
more pressure on them to conform to these stereotypes than
o fighting, and wrestling.
o Fixing an object.
o household chores.
o Child rearing.
Interests around stereotypes.
Stability of Gender Typing
Repress gender inappropriate behaviour.
the more expressed a stereotypes, the more expressed the
behaviour is. (not sure about this).
women are motivated by relationships. Expressive
Characteristics- more likely to express
o Concern with the feelings of others.
Men are more concerned with Instrumental Characteristics,
and focus on outcome:
o Tasks, productions, and occupations. o How much money am I making?
The more the child sees behaviour that is inconsistent with
stereotype, the more the are likely to dismiss stereotypes.
o Women have been playing more sports, which is reducing
Hormones & Social Behaviour
Prenatal and pubertal periods are very important.
In infants, the activation of behaviour relates to behaviour.
higher testosterone (in males and females)- if the levels in a
mother are abnormally high, this shows higher effects.
o means more aggression.
o More assertive the individual is.
o More play behaviour, higher social responses.
Is this due to biological differences, or a result of
parents’ reactions to the children? Do we pick up on
the hormonal differences, and encourage that
Androgenised females demonstrate tomboyishness.
o Data around rigidity on male stereotype pressure suggests
that males have higher pressure, and so men are more
likely to be viewed strictly, and their behaviour altered if
they behave in feminine ways.
o Is this why homosexual men are less accepted than
Studies on babies with higher testosterone showed that babies
can be taught feminine behaviour. Environment is also
Hormones & Social Behaviour, cont’d.
Child circumcised, and male genitals were removed by accident.
Psychologist told them to raise him as a woman.
Hormones kicked in, and he always felt like a male. This led to
depression in this man, and he committed suicide.
There is belief that the environment could change the gender