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Lecture 11

PSYB20 - Lecture 11.docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Mark Schmuckler

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 attributes  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  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 reasoning  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: o First step: Discrimination of males versus females  By 6 months, infants can discriminate male vs. female, or at least their speech  By 1 year, infants can discriminate photos of males vs. females  Between 2-3 years, child can label selves as boys and girls  They have not yet developed gender constancy – don’t understand that sex doesn’t change o Children’s knowledge of boys versus girls o Gender constancy  Develops around 5-7 years – other constancies also develop, i.e. constancy of mass  Child begins to understand gender constancy – first they apply it to themselves before they can do so to other people, then they understand constancy for the same sex, and then they understand constancy for both genders - Development of gender-role stereotypes: o Timing of gender stereotypes  Acquired around the same age that they start to label gender identities  2-3 years old – reliably use gender role stereotypes  Agree that girls play with dolls, ask for help, talk a lot  Boys play with cars, build things, spend time with dads o G
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