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Lecture 11

PSYB32H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 11: Gender Role, Information Processing Theory, Oedipus Complex

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Mark Schmuckler

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PSYB20 Lecture 11 Prof’s Speech - Purple
Slide 2 Categorizing Males and Females
- Gender is extremely important to development
- Amplifications of gender labelling are direct and swift
o i.e. boys at moment of birth “look at him kick”
girls at birth “look at how sweet she is”
- names in society typically reflect gender
- sex appropriate clothes, toys, play, hairstyles
- basic genetic/biological differences are responses for gender differences which explain why
parents treat son/daughter differently
- virtually all societies expect males and females to behave differently and assume different roles
- sex-typing process by which children acquire gender identity values, motives, etc.
- Sex-role or gender-role standards:
o A value, motive, or class of behavior that is considered more appropriate for members of
one gender than the other
Describes how males, females, are expected to behave
o Girls and the expressive role
Kind, nurturing, sensitive, cooperative
Assumed to be important traits for girls to adopt to role
o Boys and the instrumental role
Traditional father/husband
Providing and protecting family
Dominant, independent, assertive, competitive
Slide 3 Gender Typing in Non-industrialized societies
- Sex differences in the socialization of five attributes in 110 non-industrialized societies
o How universal are standards?
Study looked for differences in socialization of boys and girls
What percentage of society provided more pressure of adoption of these
Note: not to say that boys weren’t expected to be obedient or nurturing,
but more pressure for certain traits for boys and for girls
Findings don’t imply that achievement is frowned upon in girls
Children need to be gender-types
Starting with the notion that there will be gender differences
o Are there truly differences? Evidence?
o Anatomical differences?
o Psychological functioning?
Slide 4 Facts and Fictions about Gender Differences
- Actual differences between the genders
o Verbal ability: Girls have greater verbal abilities than boys
Consistent finding throughout the literature
Skills are typically better than boys throughout childhood and adolescence
o Visual/Spatial ability: Boys outperform girls in visual/spatial tasks
Slide 5 Gender Differences in Visual-Spatial Ability
- Mental rotation and Water Level tasks
o Mental rotation
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Pick out the rotated object boys respond more quickly and more accurately
o Water level task
Depictions of glasses with water, tipped to the side
Pick one that has the correct water level
Girls are more likely to make errors than boys
Slide 6 Facts and Fictions (con’t)
- Mathematical ability
o Beginning in adolescence, boys show small but consistent advantage in arithmetic
Boys overall outperform girls in math skills , which even occurs among high
math achievers
o The role of social factors?
Boys and girls receive different messages of how much time to spend on math
- Aggression: Boys are more physically and verbally aggressive than girls
o Girls are more likely to show covert signs of aggression talking, teasing, etc.
o Boys are more physically aggressive and more verbally aggressive
Slide 7 Facts and Fictions (con’t)
- Differences that may be real:
o Activity level: Boys are more physically active than girls
o Fear, timidity, and risk taking: Girls or more timid than boys
Girls engage in less risk taking activities than boys
Girls are more cautious and fearful
o Developmental vulnerabilities
Boys are more physically vulnerable than girls
Boys are more likely to display developmental problems
o Emotional expressivity:
Girls are more emotionally expressive than boys
Parents of preschoolers talk more about feelings with girls
Empathetic sensitivity?
Evidence is mixed, girls rate themselves as more empathetic/nurturing
than boys
o Compliance: Girls are more compliant than boys
Girls are more likely to respond when asked to do something
Girls are more responsive when they are asked to do something by an adult,
which is not the case when young boys ask then they will be just as likely to
say no as boys
o Looking at behavioural variation 5% of variation of children can be accounted for in
terms of gender 95% of variation is due to something else
o Gender differences are not a huge factor, actually gender differences are quite small
Most evidence is at opposite ends of the distribution
o Across categories, men and women are more similar than they are different
o Even most well documented differences are small
o Final conclusion: many gender stereotypes have no basis
I.e. there is no evidence that supports that girls are more social, suggestible, and
have more self-esteem than boys
If there is no evidence, why should we believe it?
Slide 8 Developmental Trends in Gender Typing
- Development of the gender concept:
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