Personality Chapter 16 & 17.odt

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29 Mar 2012
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Chapter 16
Sex, Gender, & Personality
Sex Differences In Personality
Sex differences: average differences between men and women in personality or behavior
The definition of gender, or social interpretations of what it means to be a man or a woman can change
over time
Gender stereotypes: beliefs about how men and women differ or are supposed to differ, in contrast to
what the actual differences are
Temperament in children
The question of sex differences in temperament is arguably one of the most fundamental questions in
gender differences research in the areas of personality and social behavior
Temperament reflects biologically based emotional and behavioral consistencies that appear early in life
and predict patterns and outcomes in numerous other domains
Inhibitory control refers to the ability to control inappropriate responses or behaviors
Perceptual sensitivity refers to the ability to detect subtle stimuli from the environment – girls on
average more sensitive then boys
Inhibitory control is related to the later development of the personality trait of conscientiousness
Surgency a cluster including approach behavior, high activity, and impulsivity, showed a sex difference
with boys scoring higher then girls
Combination of low inhibitory control and high surgency may account for another reliable gender
difference- a difference in the domain of physical aggression (boys more physically aggressive)
Girls and boys show virtually no difference in a variable called negative affectivity, which includes
components such as anger, difficultly, amount of distress and sadness. Exception to this is fearfulness,
girls tend to be more fearful then boys
In summary, girls show more inhibitory control and boys show higher levels of surgency. Very little
evidence that girls are more emotional than boys during the age of 3-13
Five-Factor Model
Extraversion
Women score slightly higher in gregariousness then me (d=-0.15)
Men score very slightly higher on activity level (d=0.09)
Men score moderately higher in assertiveness then women (d=0.50)
Men place a greater importance on the value of power than do women (value social status and
dominance)
Agreeableness
Women score higher then men on agreeableness
2 facets of agreeableness: trust (the proclivity to cooperate with others, giving others the benefit of the
doubt, and viewing ones fellow human beings as basically good at heart) and Tender-mindedness
(having empathy for others and being sympathetic with those who are downtrodden)
Women are more trusting (d=-0.25) and more tender-minded then men (-0.97)
Women smile more than men (d = –.60), but this may reflect submissiveness and low status rather than
agreeableness
Aggressiveness falls at the opposite end of agreeableness
Men are more physically aggressive then women
Men commit 90% of all homicides, and most of the victims are other men
After age 50, violent crimes of all sorts start to decline, and men and women become much more similar
to each other in terms of criminal aggressiveness
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