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Chapter 16

PSYC Chapter 16.docx

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University of Calgary
PSYC 351

Chapter 16 Theories of Gender-Role Development and Sex Difference Some Perceived and Real Sex Difference A lot of conflicting data. some studies show that parents talk more to girls, others show to boys. Which one to believe? Meta-analysis- a method of reviewing the research literature on a given topic that uses statistical procedures to establish the existence and the size of effects sex difference is only the average difference across all males and females. in reality, there is a considerable overlap between males and females. females are more different from other females than they are from the average male  Physical differences o physical maturity and vulnerability  at birth, female are healthier, developmentally advanced, smaller lighter, less muscular, more sensitive to pain, better coordinated neurologically and physically  females reach developmental milestones earlier  girls loose first tooth at younger age and begin puberty sooner  males are physically more vulnerable from conception on  higher miscarriage, mental illnesses hereditary abnormalities, death in male infancy  males suffer more physical injuries o activity level  on average, boys have higher activity level  difference first arises in fetuses- males more active in womb  difference is maintained through infancy and childhood  sex difference in activity level is small when kids are playing alone  boys activity is higher when with other boys o motor development  during infancy, sex difference is small  fine motor development is larger in early childhood  boys have skills in things that require strength, jumping, running, throwing ...better by age 5  girls are better at skills that require balance and precise movement such as hopping and skipping  girls learn how to tie shoes, perform school tasks, write, cut papers earlier  sex difference in this area is greatest in adolescence  Cognitive differences- boys are better at math, girls at verbal is the common thought. in reality, the diff is little. what is true though is that differences in certain topics are only restricted to specific age groups, or to very high achieving groups...but some differences ARE observed o Language and verbal abilities  females outperform in some kinds of verbal skills  females say words sooner, words are larger, better grammar and language complexity, sentence length, use of pronouns, conjunctions  2 yrs--> girls show marked superiority...difference continues to adolescence  early school years--> females do better in reading and writing, detect sound language (phonology), verbal memory (cannot simply be attributed to IQ scores)  males at higher risk for speech problems, written language, stuttering, dyslexia  sex diff in verbal and language abilities are biologically based  brain lateralization- specialization of functions in the right and left hemisphere of the brain  male exposure to testesterone slows the dev of left side of the brain: right side is more established in males (better at spatial tasks), female brains are less lateralized ( so we use both of our brain sides)  environment based: girls are exposed to richer language, mothers vocalize more to daughters, imitate their vocalizations more, maintain a higher level of mother infant vocal exchange/ parents think their daughters have better verbal ability so they treat them differently o Quantitative abilities  during elementary, girls and boys are equally interested in math  throughout elementary and intermediate schools, girls are better at computation, boys are better at problem solving and geometry  adolescents- males do significantly better in standardized tests of math; most pronounced diff on tests of shape and scale, least on measures of quantity  diff is especially seen in higher ability students  girls do better in math at school though  girls use simpler strategies, guys use complex strategies  speedy retrieval by boys may be beneficial in timed tests  by grade 3, girls prefer sticking to the conventional method of counting, boys use logic, estimation and unconventional strategies  why this diff in choice of strategy?1) girls may rely on safe strategies because they fear making mistakes, because females have less confidence in their mathematical ability or 2) girls are more concerned with following rules and meeting teacher expectations, 3) differences in spatial abilities  gender gap is now decreasing o Spatial abilities  males do better on spatial tasks like Mazes Subsets of the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence  males are better at 3d spatial tasks such as copying lego models  boys are better at throwing tasks, mental rotation, mentally visualizing an object from different perspectives  differences seen in early infancy too: 3-5 month old shown a picture, rotated...males could recognize its the same object  males are better at water level task  why are males better? lateralization AND males are exposed to spatial skill developing activities such as constructin gmodels, building with blocks  accorting to Newcombe, spatial skills can be modified through training  Social and personality differences o temperament  1st day of life- girls are better equipped for social interaction  girls maintain greater eye contact with caregiver, looks at faces longer  3 mon- girls engage in more face to face communication  girls smile more during social interactions  diff persists in adulthood: adult women maintain eye contact and smile more during social exchanges than do males  but females are not necessarily more sociable than males  in childhood, males are just more fussier, irritable and have less developed ability to regulate their emotional states o emotional development  the way the boys and girls cope with emotion are diff: 2 yr olds told to wait for an attractive toy...girls coped with stress by seeking comfort from mothers, boys distracted themselves by playing with the other objects in the room  same in adulthood: females turn to social support and talk when they are upset, males employ distractoin or to engage in some kind of physical activity  girls are more socialized...for example, parents talk more to daughters, especially about sadness  in childhood, both guys and girls report same amount of sadness, but by late childhood, more girls report feeling sad than boys  girls are better at making sad facial expression than boys  anger is more common with sons than daughters  boys are more likely to express anger in face-to-face interactions  boys are better at making angry faces than girls  boys are more likely to deny feeling afraid  boys are less likely to follow cultural display rules regarding expression of disappointment: girls given ugly gift, they can hide their disappointment and even make happy face...boys show their disappointment, do not hide it, even if given incentive to do so o self-control  kids who can inhibit impulsive, aggressive behaviour, delay immediate gratificaiton, comply with caregivers requests and prohibitions  girls comply more  even younger girls are better than some of the older males  difference emerges after 4- 5 yrs o aggression  males display more aggression ..89% of murderers, 79% of assaulters  difference in type of aggressions between genders: boys involved in physical aggression; girls are involved in relational aggression  girls find that more hurtful to be gossiped about , rumoured, threatened to withdrawal of friendship  diff noticed even before preschool years o prosocial behaviour  girls have better emotional perspective taking abilities and experience more empathy...but their prosocial behaviour is not too different from males o activities and interests  differences emerge b/ween 1st and 2nd year of birthday  boys prefer objects that can be manipulated, rough and tumble play, large motor activities  girls prefer doll play, dress up, artwork, domestic activities, less physically active activities  this difference continues, but more than boys, the girls are more likely to engage in some activities preferred by males  strong socialization influence: parents encourage sex-typed play from first months of life; especially true for boys  sex-stereotyped tv preferences: boys prefer non educational cartoons, action programs and sports...girls prefer comedy programs and shows with relationship themes  internet: boys spent slightly more time and that too to play games, however, in many other ways (i.e. chatting, visitng websites, using email), girls and boys used computers similarly...both are equally confident and skilled about their computer abilities  academic interest: beginning in elementary, girls are more interested in reading and music, boys in sports; at this age, both equally interested in math and science. by adolescence, boys have greater interest in math and science; currently, its diff: both equally are interested and do well  although gender diff in preference for science may be
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