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Chapter 14

Developmental Chapter 14.pdf

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University of Guelph
PSYC 2450
Anneke Olthof

Developmental  Psychology  Chapter  14   1   Defining  Sex  and  Gender   Sex   o A person’s biological identity § Chromosomes, physical identity, and hormones Gender o A person’s social and cultural identity Gender  role  standards   Gender  Role  Standards   o Behaviour, value, or motive a society considers more appropri ate for a specific sex § Expressive role • Social prescription, usually directed toward females, that one should be cooperative, kind, nurturnant, and sensitive to the needs of others o Typical female § Instrumental role • Social prescription, usually directed towar ds males, that one should be dominant, independent, assertive, competitive, and goal oriented o Typical male Gender  typing   o Process by which children acquire gender roles Sex  Differences   Small  but  reliable  psychological  differences  between  sexes   o Verbal ability § Girls have better verbal abilities than boys § Develop verbal skills at an earlier age § Display verbal advantage son tests of reading comprehension and speech fluency § Females outscore males on math tests that require verbal strategies o Visual / spatial abili ties § Abilities  to  mentally  manipulate  or  otherwise  draw  inferences   about  pictorial  information   Developmental  Psychology  Chapter  14   2   § Boys outperform girls on tests of visual spatial abilities • Mental rotation “asked to choose responses that show the standard in different orientation • Spatial perception “subjects asked to pick the tilted bottle that has horizontal water line o Mathematical ability § In adolescence boys show advantage over girls on tests of arithmetic reasoning § Girls exceed boys in computational skills § Boys have more problem solving skills beat girls in geometry and math section of SAT § Male advantage apparent among math high achievers • More males than females exceptionally talented in math o Aggression § Overt versus covert § Boys more physically and verbally aggressive than girls as early as age 2 § Girls more likely to display covert forms of hostility • Snubbing or ignoring them, undermine their relationships or social status Other  possible  sex  differences   o Activity level § Boys more physically active than girls (even before born!) § Remain more active through childhood especially socially • High reactivity might explain why they play rough tumble o Fear, timidity, and risk -taking § As early as 1 girls appear more fearful or timid in uncertain situations compared to boys § More cautious less assertive , take fewer risks o Developmental vulnerability § From conception boys are more physically vulnerable than girls to prenatal and perinatal hazards and effects of disease § Boys more likely to display developmental problems o Emotional expressivity/sensitivity § As infants boys and girls are similar emotionally § Toddler boys are more likely to display anger § 2 year old girls use more emotion related words than boys § Girls and boys similar in nurture in adulthood and childhood § Empathy evident in males and females o Compliance § Preschool period girls more compliant than boys to parents, teachers, authority figures § Boys more likely to resort to demanding or controlling strategies in persuasion Cultural  myths   o Sociability, suggestibility o Differences in logical and analytical ab ility Developmental  Psychology  Chapter  14   3   Influence  on  culture:   o Impact of expectations on ability and vocational opportunities § Self fulfilling prophecy • Phenomenon  whereby  people  cause  others  to  act  in   accordance  with  expectations  they  have  about  those   others   • Parental expectations (home infl uences) o May contribute by treating sons/daughters differently o Find parental expectations about sex differences become self-fulfilling prophesies o Parents influenced by gender types expect sons to outperform daughters in math o Credit sons success in math to ability and daughters to hard work § Reinforces that girls lack math talent performance only through effort o Because girls then think they lack ability they become less interested in math less likely to pursue mathematic futures • Teachers’ expectations (Scholastic Influences) o Teachers stereotyped abilities of boys and girls in certain subjects o Grade 6 math teachers believe boys have more math ability than girls but girls try harder Development  of  Gender  Typing   Three  aspects  of  gender  typing:   o Research has focused on three separate but interrelated topics o Gender identity § One’s  awareness  of  one’s  gender  and  its  implications  (knowledge   one  is  either  boy  or  a  girl  and  that  gender  is  an  unchanging   attribute)   o Gender role stereotypes § Ideas about what males and females a re supposed to be like o Gender-typed patterns of behaviour § Childs tendency to favour same -sex activities over those normally associated with the other sex Steps  in  gender  identity  development   o Step 1: Discriminate males from females § And put oneself into one of these categories § By age 4 infants already begun to match male and female voices with faces in tests of intermodal perception o Step 2: Labeling males and females Developmental  Psychology  Chapter  14   4   § By age 2 and 3 children can tell what they know about gender as they acquire words like mummy and daddy later on boy and girl § 2.5 to 3 can accurately label themselves as boys or girls o 3. Sex as a permanent attribute § 3 to 5 still think boys can become mommies or girls daddies, or changing clothes or hair becomes a member of the opposite sex § 5 to 7 begin to understand sex is unchanging attribute Development  of  gender-­‐role  stereotypes   o Stereotyping evident at ages 2 -3 years o Psychological discrimination later o Ages 3-7 strict conformists to stereotypes o Gender intensification in adolescence § Came hard on boys who would dress like girls § Greater pressure put on boys to conform to gender roles o Cultural influences § 8-10 year olds in western individualistic societies becoming more flexible with violations to gender stereotypes § Pattern may not be apparent elsewhe re • Taiwan emphasis on maintaining social harmony and living up to social expectations • Children strongly encourages to accept and conform to appropriate gender role prescriptions o Taiwanese 8-10 year olds less accepting of gender role violations § Gender Intensification: magnification of sex differences early in adolescence; associated with increased pressure to conform to traditional gender roles as one reaches puberty. • As reaches puberty mothers become more involved with girls and fathers more involved with boys Development  of  gender  typed  behaviour   - Figuring  out  what  you  should  do  given  you’re  a  male  or  female   o Gender segregation   § Children’s tendency to associate with same sex playmates and to think of the other sex as the out-group   • Boys with boys, girls with g irls   • Usually because of   o Play styles / activity levels • Children who violate gender segregation tend to be less popular and less well adjusted o Girls and cross-sex activities in childhood § 4-10 year old girls more likely to remain interested in sports and ma le types activities compared to how boys would react to girl typed activities o Adolescent gender intensification • 10-11 year olds who insist of clear gender boundaries and avoid opposite sex tend to be viewed as socially competent and popular o More socially a cceptable Developmental  Psychology  Chapter  14   5   o Culture assigns greater status to male role § Explains why females would be more acceptable to do male type things but not vice versa Theories  of  Gender  Typing   Evolutionary  Theory   - Men and women have different evolutionary pressures and thus crea ted different traits between males and females and gender divisions between labour o Natural selection o Adaptive pressures § Men evolved to be more assertive and competitive because they carry roles as protectors in families § Females give birth, breast feed, nur ture, sensitive, kind, emotional to feel the needs of others. The combination of both gives the child the best shot of survival o Applies mainly to sex differences o Does not explain cultural differences § Social roles hypothesis • Psychological sex differences do not reflect biologically evolved dispositions o They emerge because of variations in roles that cultures assign to men and women § (Home maker and provider) o Agreed upon socialization practices to promote traits in boys and girls § (Assertion vs. nurturance) o Doesn’t explain the gender typing of how we raise children to be their designated sex, society decides what your like and the evolutionary theory doesn’t account for it Biosocial  Theory  (Money  and  Ehrhardt)   o Focus on biological forces that affect gender typ ing § As well as social forces, if born with xx or xy on top of how the society raises you these factors combined decide what gender you will grow up with. § Testicular feminization syndrome (TFS) • Genetic anomaly in which a male fetus is insensitive to the effects of male sex hormones and develops female like external genitalia
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