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Lecture 7

PSYC21 - Lecture 7.docx

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Carly Prusky

PSYC21 – Lecture 7 Prof’s Speech - Purple Slide 2 – Defining Gender - Gender – key and defining of certain things - Gender typing o the process by which children acquire the values, motives, and behaviours considered appropriate for their gender in their particular culture  culture still has a role in shaping gender - Gender-based belief o an idea that differentiates males and females o i.e. pink is for girls, blue is for boys o Can be completely false - Gender identity o the perception of oneself as either male or female o Sense of own gender o Develops at about 2-5 years - Gender-role preferences o Desire to possess certain gender-typed characteristics o Sets of expectations for males and females o Males – more domination o Females – more passive - Gender stability o the fact that males remain male and females remain female - Gender constancy o the awareness that superficial alterations in appearance or activity do not alter gender - Gender stereotype o belief that members of a culture hold about acceptable and appropriate attitudes, interests, activities, psychological traits, social relationships, occupations, and physical appearance for males and females - Gender role o composite of the behaviours actually exhibited by a typical male or female in a given culture; the reflection of a gender stereotype in everyday life o gender strongly influences self-esteem Slide 5 – Developmental Trends - By 3 o Kids usually know if they’re a boy or a girl o They show some gender-related preferences for toys and activities o But might not have an understanding of gender constancy yet  This develops around 4 or 5 - May be some overlap in what boys/girls like, but they are specific in what they like - Shocked when they see a man doing something they normally see a female doing, or vice versa - Children still exhibit the same stereotypes as mentioned in video (below) - Video – gender roles o Most 2 year olds know if they are a male or female o They show rigid standards for what is appropriate dress for boys/girls o Ideas about gender are deep rooted in children from a very young age - Children’s knowledge of stereotypes increases rapidly between ages 3 and 5 Slide 7 – Gender Constancy in Early Gender Development - Ruble et al (2007) o To investigate Kohlberg’s three stages of gender development in relation to rigidity of gender beliefs among 3-7-year-olds o Stability – males stay males, and females stay females o Constancy – superficial activities do not alter gender o Children do not yet have gender constancy  Believe one can transform into the other when do things typical of the other gender  Not rigid in gender beliefs  When they have achieved gender constancy – they become more rigid in their gender beliefs because they are more motivated to attend to/adhere to gender roles o Three models  Increased gender belief rigidity is related to gender stability  Increased gender belief rigidity is related to gender consistency  Decreased gender belief rigidity is related to gender consistency o Hypotheses  Children show age related increases in knowledge of gender stereotypes, gender category identification, and rigidity of gender beliefs  Gender stability or gender consistency would act as a mediator between age and gender belief rigidity  As children get older, they have an increase in gender concepts, at least until age 5 when gender stability emerges o Variables  Age 3-7  Understanding of categorical constancy of gender  Motivation to learn about being attentive to gender norms  Sense of connection to and positive evaluation of one’s gender group  Used a variety of methods to assess beliefs  Looked at rigidity of rules, self-rigidity (your knowledge of what you think you should be doing), fear of changing genders, peers/parents rigidity o Findings  Increases in stereotype knowledge, importance and evaluation of one’s own gender category and rigidity between ages 3-5  Gender stability mediated associations between age and outcomes  Rigidity decreased after 5 and gender consistency mediated relations between age and outcomes o Take home message – understanding of gender stability o Children are more interested in what peers who are like them would do o Understanding of gender consistency results in a decrease in gender belief rigidity Slide 11 – Developmental Trends - Very inflexible about gender stereotyping until about age 8-9 - Past 8-9, children start to see that genders can do other things Slide 12 – Gender-role Socialization - Begins right at birth - In the home… o Young children also often observe gender stereotypes o Many parents hold gender-stereotypic belief about children’s abilities  Parents refer to babies as – cute girl, strong boy, etc. o Parents who consciously try to avoid gender-stereotypical behaviours have children who are less gender-typed o Culture plays a large role Slide 13 – Gender Socialization in the Home - Sutfin et al (2007) - Investigated the difference between lesbian and heterosexual households - Ground breaking research – nothing like this was studied before - Hypothesized that parent attitudes were related to child environments (i.e. bedroom) and child’s gender attitude o Also that they associations would be similar in both households - Examined the associations among o Parents’ attitudes o Parents’ sexual orientations o The nature of the environments parents create for their children o Children’s attitudes about gender - Methods o Parents + children 4-6 years-old o Parental attitudes o Children’s physical environment o Children’s gender role attitudes o Higher scores = more stereotyped attitudes o Physical environment = took pictures of the child’s room and toys  Rooms were their own or shared with a sibling of the same sex o College students who were blind to the gender of the child, rated the bedroom on masculinity and femininity - Gender role attitude – e.g. how strongly a child felt when they saw a boy playing with a doll - Findings o Lesbian parents had less traditional attitudes about gender o Children with lesbian mothers had less stereotyped environments and less traditional attitudes about gender o Associations between parents’ and children’s attitudes were partially mediated by the child’s physical environment o lesbian household – less traditional o There was a difference between the different households - Take home message o Despite variation in child’s room, there was a high degree of stereotyping in the rooms o College students were 90% correct in identifying boy/girl room o Degree of stereotyping in room explained the association between parent and child attitude towards gender o Gender stereotype prevailed in less conventional families Slide 16 – Gender-role Socialization - With peers… o Pressure to conform to the typical gender roles  Kids who have interests in activities ―for the other gender‖ are often teased o Gender composition in groups  i.e. groups of girls, groups of boys  Teasing is reduced in high school - Media o Reinforces sex-role and gender stereotypes - In school… o Many stereotypes in curriculum activities, extra-curricular activities and staffing o Boys and girls are called on differently and receive different kinds of feedback o Gender = controversial  Rules at school – boys can’t wear dresses  In play houses in schools, dresses had to be taken out of dress up centres because boys were wearing them  Parents name their children with gender neutral names Slide 17 - Gender Stereotypes - According to stereotypes men are thought to be: o Independent and self-reliant, strong willed and assertive, dominant and competitive, decisive, direct, active, adventurous, worldly, and strong o Expected to control their emotions, even under stress, and to be able to easily separate feelings from ideas - According to stereotypes women are o Expected to be pretty, sociable, loving, sensitive, considerate, gentle, sympathetic, sentimental, and compassionate o Expected to express warmth in personal relationships, display anxiety under pressure, and suppress overt aggression and sexuality more than men - Not the best way of viewing either gender - They are impressions that are placed on children - Male qualities and female qualities overlap - Stereotype present in media – Aby Cadaby – very sympathetic, can’t solve problems - What children are expected to play with is related to stereotypes - Children o Girls are supposed to be sweet, gentle, pretty, wear dresses and jewelry, play with dolls and toy kitchens, and be concerned with their appearance o Boys are expected to be rough, tough, and brave; like sports and video games; and play with toy cars, guns, construction toys, and action figures Slide 20 – Gender Differences in Self-perceptions - Boys tend to perceive themselves as more competent in physical activities, appearance, and math - Girls tend to perceive themselves as more competent in reading, verbal skills, and social relationships - BUT ability differences are often negligible! - Differences in ability do not really exist - Children are reinforced by parents, teachers, and media with stereotypes Slide 21 – Gender Differences in Self-Esteem - Beginning in middle childhood, boys tend to report more positive self-esteem than girls o Difference is greatest in adolescence - Boys are often seen more positively, girls = just more likely to report problems Slide 22 - Figure 10.1 o Characteristics in male/female overlap o Distribution shows that females on overage score higher than males o Miniscule differences are actually seen Slide 23 – Gender Differences - Girls are… o Physically more mature than boys from birth o At 4 months, gaze at faces longer o Maintain more eye contact and better at recognizing and processing facial expressions o Tend to have better verbal skills o More compliant, nurturing, and fearful o More emotionally competent o More intimacy in social interaction and friendships - Boys are… o Advantaged in muscular development and lung and heart size o Usually do better at activities involving strength and motor skills  Don’t define type of motor skills  Girls – better at fine motor skills (i.e. writing)  Boys – better at gross motor skills o Better at visual-spatial tasks (maps, looking at things) o More physically active; tend to play in larger groups and larger spaces and enjoy noisier, more strenuous physical games o Often concerned with dominance rather than friendship; more competitive - Actual differences; not stereotypes - Are these facts created by stereotypes? Or vice versa? o Hard to say because to do an experiment, children would have to be prevented from hearing about all types of gender stereotypes Slide 25 - Figure 10.2 - Difference in use of vehicles and cars between girls and boys - Measured looking time towards toys - Cause? Innate? Or because of number of toys available in child’s room? Slide 26 - Girls are as likely as boys to ask for bikes, male dolls - Boys are as likely as girls to ask for clothes, educational items Slide 27 – Gender-typed Interests - In middle childhood and adolescence, boys prefer and spend more time in masculine leisure activities (e.g., hunting, playing competitive sports) - Girls prefer and spend more time in feminine leisure activities (e.g., dancing, writing, making crafts) - Boys and girls also prefer different types of books and TV shows - Gender intensification occurs with the onset of puberty and parenthood o Shift to more typical gender type patterns o Expressive characteristics - Those aspects of a person involving nurturance and concern with feelings. They are more typical of females o Instrumental characteristics - Those aspects of a person involving task and occupation orientation. They are more typical of males - Gender typing o Dynamic process o Continuous across lifespan Slide 29 – Gender-typed Interests - Based on previous research o Individuals who are strongly masculine or feminine at one age tend to continue to be strongly masculine or feminine as they age  Adult behaviour – things we do now are because of things we did as children  But longitudinal research is needed  Memories can often be skewed by what people tell you; individual report is not always the best method o Boys are more gender typed in their play and toy choices than girls are o Boys’ preferences for gender-stereotyped toys remains constant as they age,
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