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Psychology (3,337)
PSYC 2450 (267)
Chapter 13

Chapter 13 Textbook Notes.docx

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PSYC 2450
Heidi Bailey

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DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCH CHAPTER 13 TEXTBOOK NOTES GENDER AND DEVELOPMENT Gender Stereotypes - Social roles: cultural guidelines for peoples behaviour - Starting in infancy, children learn about gender roles: behaviours considered appropriate for males and females - Gender identity: the perception of oneself as either male or female - Sex: male or female / Gender: characteristics that relate to maleness and femaleness (roles, personality traits, attitudes, behaviours, values, etc.) - Gender stereotypes: beliefs about how males and females differ in personality traits, interests, and behaviours - We call certain traits instrumental when theyre male-associated traits o Male associated traits = describe people who act on the world and influence it o Ex. Independent, competitive, aggressive, outgoing, ambitious, self-confident, dominant - We call certain traits expressive when theyre female-associated traits o Female associated traits = describe emotional functioning and individuals who value interpersonal relationships o Ex. Emotional, kind, creative, considerate, gentle, excitable, aware of others feelings - Study by John Williams &Deborah Best found: o Different traits show cultural variation (ex. Most Canadian and almost all American participants believed men were aggressive, but only a slight majority of Nigerians did); therefore, one cultures views are not shared worldwide o Americans gender stereotypes are more extreme than those of other countries o Ideas about gender are shaped by cultures beliefs (not universal) - 12-month-olds look equally at gender-stereotyped toys; 18-month-olds do not o Girls look longer at pictures of dolls than at pictures of trucks o Boys look loner at pictures of trucks - Takes children a little longer to note differences in gender-stereotyped activities o Children who are 2 years old looked longer at men/women performing opposite gender- stereotypic activities (ex. Women shaving, and men putting on lipstick this indicates they thought this was unusual) o By 4 years of age, childrens knowledge of gender-stereotyped activities is extensive (ex. Girls bake cookies, boys take out garbage, etc.) o Pre-schoolers believe boys are more aggressive physically and girls are more aggressive verbally o Elementary school years: expansion of gender-stereotyped traits and behaviours happens they begin to include personality traits; also learn that traits and occupations associated with males tend to have higher social status than those associated with females (ex. Lawyers and engineers have more social status than social workers and flight attendants) they believe jobs that men have are more prestigious than the ones women have o Middle school/by age 11: ideas of gender stereotypes are basically as well-formed as adults ideas o Children understand gender stereotypes by the time they enter kindergarten, and their understanding grows throughout elementary school years o Older children are more willing to ignore stereotypes when judging other children and realize that they do not always apply (ex. Boy who likes to play with feminine toys preschoolers would think he still wants to play with masculine toys, but middle- elementary school children would realize he genuinely would rather play with feminine toys o Therefore, although children are more familiar with gender stereotypes, theyre more able to see them as flexible and not always true o Girls tend to be more flexible about stereotypes o Adolescents and young adults from middle-class homes tend to have more flexible ideas about gender than individuals from lower-class homes Differences Related to Gender Physical Development and Behaviour: - Boys usually physically outperform girls; can be explained by the fact that girls usually have more fat than muscle in comparison to boys, and, during recess in elementary school, girls usually skip rope, swing, or talk, whereas boys spend time playing sports (this deprivation of girls playing sports leads to them not developing gross-motor skills like the boys do) - Girls perform better on tasks that involve fine-motor coordination - Boys are more active than girls during infancy, and this increases during childhood - Girls tend to be healthier than boys (infant boys are more prone to diseases and dysfunctions) - Adolescent boys and young men are more likely to engage in unhealthy, risk-taking behaviours (ex. drinking alcohol, reckless driving, sexual activity, etc.) - Basically, boys tend to be bigger, stronger, and more active. Girls tend to have better fine-motor coordination and be healthier. Intellectual Abilities and Achievement: - Verbal ability: girls have larger vocabularies than boys and are more talkative o During elementary and high school years, girls read, write, and spell better than boys (this difference is found in almost all industrialized countries) o This might be because the left hemisphere in girls might mature more rapidly (left hemisphere is associated with language); during toddler years, mothers talk more to daughters than to sons and by elementary school, reading is seen as an activity for girls (which might make girls more willing to spend time in mastering these skills) - Spatial ability:o Two aspects of spatial ability: o 1. mental rotation: the ability to imagine how an object will look after it has been moved in space From childhood, Boys tend to have better mental-rotation skills than girls o 2. Spatial memory: the ability to remember the position of objects in the environment Females excel in this o Spatial ability also involves determining relations between objects in space while ignoring distracting information From adolescence on, boys are more accurate than girls on these kinds of spatial tasks Boys and girls have similar spatial skill when they come from lower- socioeconomic-status homes o There is dual mechanism for spatial navigation Euclidian: direction and distance (males tend to use this) Topographical: placement and landmark use (females tend to use this) o Verbal and spatial abilities are both influenced considerably by experience - Mathematics: o Initially, girls excel in math computation (standardized tests) and boys later excel in math problem solving This is found in most industrialized nations o Girls get better marks in math courses but perform worse on tests of math achievement This might be because when girls do tests, theyre afraid of confirming the stereot
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