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PSYC 355 Chapter Notes -Role Theory, Social Cognitive Theory, Influence Of Mass Media

Course Code
PSYC 355
Martin Davidson

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more so for M than F
androgen level <
> M sexual activity
renegotiation of gender identity to include sexuality
F: more soft spoken, sensitive; M: assertive, cocky
Pubertal changes and sexuality
Freud: gender/sexual behaviours are unlearned and instinctual
Erikson: genitals determine personality (intrusive vs. inclusive)
Anatomy is Destiny
due to differing roles in reproduction
M: multiple sexual partners to spread more genes; compete with other M to get
short term mating strategies (risk taking, violent)
F: securing resources
long term mating strategies (parenting, preference for
successful mates)
critic: these are only speculations; people aren’t locked in behaviours that were
evolutionarily adaptive; doesn’t take culture into consideration
Evolutionary Psychology and Gender
A. Biological Influences
F: domestic work, lower pay
social role theory
: gender differences result from contrasting role of M/F, with F having
less power/control/resources
parents monitor F more than M children (view F as sexually vulnerable)
parental expectations for F vs. M (science/math)
mothers tend to be more involved than fathers, esp. if no son
mothers: caregiving; socialize daughters to be more obedient/responsible than M,
more restrictions on autonomy
fathers: leisure; more attention to & involved with sons
F tend to list ‘family’ as more important than M
social cognitive theory of gender
: children/adolescent develop gender through
observations and imitation of gender behaviour & rewards/punishment for gender
in/appropriate behaviours
Parental Influences
younger siblings tend to be more similar to older siblings in gender role & leisure
limited to siblings with 2 year difference
in middle/late childhood, become more geared towards peers
peers reward/punish gender in/appropriate behaviours
in adolescence, peer approval is a powerful influence on gender
B. Social Influence of Gender
I. Biological, social and cognitive influences on gender
Ch5. Gender
9:09 PM
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more likely to have mixed gender groups
in adolescence, peer approval is a powerful influence on gender
compliance more associated with F
teachers tend to be F
M more likely to be criticized & ignored
biased against boys
M get more attention b/c they’re acting out (more instructions, hints)
F experience drop in self
esteem in middle school
Elementary M can list more career options than F
biased against girls
mixed findings for whether same
sex schools improves this
Schools and Teachers
stereotyped portrayal of adolescent F (shopping, dating, airheads, etc.)
music videos highly sexualizes & objectifies F
idealized characters in shows for adolescents to identify with
media influences body image in F > M
Mass Media influence
to perceive the world and act similarly
gender schema theory
: behaviours are guided by internal motivation to conform to
based sociocultural standards & stereotypes
C. Cognitive influences on gender
II. Gender Stereotypes, Similarities and Differences
e.g., F: nurses, good with words; M: mechanic, good with numbers
gender stereotyping
: broad categories that reflect our impression/beliefs about F/M
suited for traditional role as breadwinner
M associated with instrumental traits (independence, aggression, power oriented)
suited for caretaker
F associated with expressive traits (warm, sensitive)
unequal in job & social status/power
A. Gender Stereotyping
M: taller, greater physical strength, higher stress hormone, larger hypothalamus,
larger parietal lobe, larger brain size
F: more body fat, longer life expectancy, more resistance to infection/disease, more
brain folds
Brain differences
psychological differences
Physical Similarities/differences
None in overall intellect
M: greater math & visuo
spatial skills
F: greater verbal skills
Debate on extent of differences
Strong evidence of difference
Performance may reflect attempts to conform to gender roles
F have more positive attitude about school (less drop out, more post
admission rate)
Cognitive Similarities/differences
B. Gender Similarities and Differences
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