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Lecture 12

PSYC 231 Lecture Notes - Lecture 12: Masculinity, Femininity, Cisgender

Course Code
PSYC 231

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Traditional Account
Modern Account
“Sex is biological”
Dichotomous: Female
vs. Male
DNA: XX vs. XY
Clitoris/labia/vagina vs.
Hormones: Estrogen vs.
“Gender is psychological”
Identity, roles, self-
Dichotomous: Woman
vs. Man
Sex is a social construct (based on physiology)
DNA: XX vs. XY vs. XXX vs. XXY vs. mixed
ANATOMY: is a spectrum
Hormones: can vary: e.g., PCOS
Intersex: People with sex characteristics that do not
conform to social and medical expectations for
“male” and “female” 2% (or more!)
Gender is a social construct (based on social psychology)
Identity, roles, self-presentation
Continuous: people fall on a spectrum
o Man, Woman, Agender, Genderfluid,
Genderqueer, Non-binary, Two-Spirit
The sex/gender assigned at birth on the basis of anatomy
may match, or mismatch, true gender identity
Gender is determined by the individual
Cisgender: assigned gender matches true gender
Transgender: assigned gender mismatches true
gender identity
Infants tend to be assigned a gender at birth.
Many variations are recognized as "conditions" in the medical community.
Gender and Sex are both on a spectrum (more labels between the binary categories)
o Many labels depend on the surroundings of an individual (safety/ acceptance)
The majority of kids become aware of their gender identity at age 3
Gender Schemas
o Schema
Cognitive structure that organizes our thoughts about constructs
o Gender schema
Shared cognitive structure that organizes our thoughts about gender
Modern Western society has two primary gender schemas
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Man vs. Woman
o Eagly's Social-Role Theory (where gender schemas originate)
Gender schema are based on roles performed within society
Women: care-giving, child-rearing, maintaining social bonds
Men: resource acquisition, protection
Traditional Gender Roles
Men and women adopt the traits required to fulfill their roles
Women: patience, nurturance, warmth, helpfulness, communal
Men: dominance, agency, aggression, independence
Social Roles and Gender Schema/ Stereotype
o Schema/Stereotypes typically associate science with men more than women
o If social roles lead to gender stereotypes then women’s participation in science
should predict stereotypes
Assessed stereotypes about women’s participation in science in 66 nations
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