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PSY323 Lecture4 Notes.pdf

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Alison Luby

Development of Gender Relations 9/27/12 4:01 PM • ARTICLE (Glick et al., 1997) • To avoid feeling of ambivalence, they split women into “good” and “bad” • Hostile sexists fear that women may use attraction to usurp their power- so the “good” women would be “cute chicks” and the “bad” women are the “temptresses” • It allows sexism to maintain itself- benevolent sexists don’t feel like their hostile • Having one group that deserves your love and others that you hate allows men to maintain their sexist attitudes Overview I. Sex Typing and Gender Composition of Children’s Groups II. The “Two Cultures” of Childhood III. Gender Hostility IV. Explanations for Gender Segregation and Hostility • 1. Sex Typing and Gender Composition of Children’s Groups • Sex typing= individuals acquire behaviors, interests, personality traits and cognitive biases that are more stereotypical of their own sex • Early work put a lot of emphasis about socialization from parents • Ruble & Martin 1998- Weak link between parents and sexism • Recent research focuses on the formation, interaction processes and socialization functions of childhood social groupings o Interaction between girls and boys in your childhood: team sports, fighting between groups, only got together if an adult mediated the groups, policing of the sex types; its like the contact hypothesis gone wrong, girls considered tomboys when they played with boys o Social groupings in childhood are very segregated • Pairs/ groups of children elicit certain behaviors from each other that they do not do when alone/ in other social contexts (Martin & Fabes 2001) o Ex. The probability of a fight depends on the aggressive predisposition of the individuals and the properties of the dyad (Cole et al 1999) • Eleanor Maccoby (1998, 2002)- childhood is “growing up apart” and later coming together o The segregated gendered are almost thought to be separated cultures • Infants do not show same-sex play preferences • Preferences start around 2 years old • Preferences intensify as children age and develop sophisticated/ interactive group play • Its not an inherent preference necessarily!!! • From about 3 years old, children mainly choose same-sex playmates (Maccoby 1990, 1998) • Even when adults actively discourage sex segregation, children find ways around it Ex. Making girls side and boys side of bench even when on same team) • From age 4-12, children spend the majority of their time with their own sex • By 6-7, 70% of unsupervised play is with same-sex groups • Pairing with opposite sex member of is pretty rare • Playing with a group of other sex children is even more rare o Except for tomboys, highly athletic girls who enjoy and are competitive • Children engage in cross- sex play as a last resort • Best friendships in middle childhood and well into adolescence are typically same-sex • These same-sex friendships are seen in many cultures • Also seen in young primates-- suggesting innate evolutionary role • Gender play group and skills learnt • From 5+, boys more often play together in larger clusters/ organized group games o Larger groups often involve conflict or competition, especially in all-male groups o Girls tend to split into dyads/ triads • If some groups are in pairs and other groups, we learn other skills for navigating social worlds • In dyads…. • Girls share more info about the details of their lives/ concerns (more intimate) o Encouraged to consider the needs of others- Girls learn relationships are priority o Boys are encouraged to be more independent • Boys base friendships on shared activities • Boys groups are more interconnected than girls groups o I.e. they are more used to functioning as a unit with a clear identity • Video: Style, size of play groups • Nicolopoulou (1997) o Watched classroom of preschool children throughout yr o Children told stories and had to act it out o Throughout year they became more elaborate o Boys generated different stories compared to girls o Gender differences in the stories were there initially, but became more sharply differentiated with time o Boys: adventure, violence, heroism, winning o Girls: home-life • Children developed subcultures based on socially shared cognitions that distinguish the sexes o I.e. common knowledge and expectations/ themes and scripts o They don’t transfer what they see at home unless their friends will accept it • A theory of group socialization suggests children become socialized by identifying with their peer groups • 2. The two cultures of Childhood • Because the 2 groups are segregated, their play becomes more and more gender-typed o Each gender influences its group and reinforces which activities are appropriate o The more time they spend with their own gender, the more polarized the traits of the group become--- shows powerful power of groups • Children learn very quickly gender schemas o Ideas about what activities, roles, behaviors, social practices, and items go with being male/ female o They’re not necessarily taking this from their parents but from their peer groups • Bem’s (1981, 1985) Gender Schema Theory o Children learn gender schemas from others o And they willingly adopt and exaggerate the gender dichotomy emphasized during socialization o Gender schemas become part of one’s self-identity and children try acting feminine/ masculine o Gender schemas typically define masculinity as tougher, rougher more active o Femininity as nicer softer nicer, passive o Bam suggest parents make gender schemas-- Boys and girls are separated only because of their biology to avoid this gender schema- change the gender schema so that it does NOT include masculinity v femininity o Children associate these themes with sex- toys • Blakemore & Centers (2005) o College students sorted a large number of toys into feminine v. masculine or moderately feminine, moderately masculine, neutral o 2 nd part they had to describe the toys o Masculine toys described as being violent, competitive, dangerous o feminine toys described to fit gender schemas o Neutral toys were educational or meant to develop physical, cognitive artistic skills o Girls and boys show differences in toy and activity preferences as toddlers o Boys and girls learn to associate certain characteristics with boy v girl toys • Boys and girls both enjoy fantasy play, but reinforce our gender schemas o Ex. Girl will be mommy o And boy plays the tough roles • Interviewed 6yr olds- what do you want to be when you grow up.. then what would you want to be when you grow up if you were the other sex; imposed extreme limitations and horizons o Girls more likely to see advantages of being male • Even with gender neutral toys, boys tried to make them more rough and tumble oriented • At age 3, boys more likely to engage in physical aggression and girls less likely to do so • Play styles of boys and girls o Boys play more assertively than girls o Because of difference in play they play separately o They snatch toys from each other instead of negotiating o Boys activities have to do more with competition, conflict, ego displaying, risk taking o Girls avoid competition and aggression focusing on collaborative discourse o Girls interactions are not conflict free, but they try to maintain group harmony while attaining individual goals (Maccoby 1998) o Boys construct hierarchy through physical competition; girls construct ore social dominance hierarchies o Girls use more relational aggression • Mixed-sex interaction often involves, teasing, taunting which reinforces gender segregation • Same-sex children tease each other when they become interested in the other group • Girls tend to avoid competition and aggression • 3. Gender Hostility • Relations between men and women are ambivalent • Relations between boys and girls are one-sidedly hostile and discriminatory • Young children are not cognitively complex enough to exhibit ambivalent attitudes o Black and white thinking is simpler than shades of grey • Social roles of men and women that seem to lead to ambivalent sexism are not yet acting on children (no romantic relationships, jobs) • Hostile relationships resemble hostility between competing ethnic/ religious groups • Children show intergroup hostility before they develop specific beliefs about groups o I.e. labeling something as good or bad without understanding why o Society finds this hostility amusing o Opposite of how we usually thing prejudice is formed • Children’s irrational feelings about gender are really strong • Although children don’t hold complex gender stereotypes, they learn quickly • As toddlers, children associate diff objects with sexes • At around age 3 they develop gendered cognitive associations that include sex-specific activities, clothes, jobs o Mass media • By age 5-6, children have developed rigid gender stereotypes • These stereotypes are pretty much entirely hostile • Personality traits come later- more complex • Children exhibtit strong in-group bias in personality ratings • They think their groups has all the good and all the bad things go with the other gender • Powlishta (1995) o Boys and girls both claimed that their gender is more independent, sure of themselves, helpful, careful o But these impressions were influenced by stereotypes § Boys say independent/ sure of themselves is highly masculine; girls say helpful/ careful is highly feminine § Boys say helpful/ careful is only slightly more m
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