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PSYC 3350 (43)
Chapter

Chapter Six cross cult

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSYC 3350
Professor
Saba Safdar
Semester
Fall

Description
Chapter Six: Culture and Gender Female circumcision Has been described as part of female initiation ceremony and imporation rite of passage marking transition from childhood to adulthood Strongly held beliefs about women and the role of role People who defend this practice say it is a requirement for marriage and emphasize importance of upholding tradition People who condemn it emphasize pain, suffereing, health risks involved Women’s movement in the U.S. 40-50 years ago led American academic communities to evaluate treatment and presentation of women in textbook and research found that most research was conducted using men as subjects, and most information presented about “people” in academic textbook and university courses based on information gathered from men gender bias affected what scholars considered important to study, relative status of different studies and topics, and probability and outlet for publication Psychologists became more aware of possibility that men and women may differ psychologically, calling into question previous research findings and theories based on them Began to question whether knowledge based primarily on men was accurate for people in general Growing awareness among researchers and scholar and they made a conscious effort to include women as research participants Today, studies of gender differences are commonplace in social science research and textbooks routinely incorporate sex and gender differences Sex and Gender Sex: Refers to the physical characteristics and differences between men and women Sex roles: Used to describe behaviours that men and women may engage in that are directly related to their biological differences and the process of reproduction - Eg. for females- breastfeeding, a behaviour that only women can engage in Sexual identity: Used to describe the degree of awareness and recognition of sex and sex roles an individual may have - Eg. male sexual identity typically includes his awareness that he has the potential to impregnate women and knows the necessary behaviours. Female sexual identity includes that woman’s awareness of her reproductive potential and her knowledge about behaviours that lead to pregnancy Gender: Refers to behaviours that a culture deems appropriate for men and women, behaviours may or may not be related to sex and sex roles (often are) Gender role: Refers to degree to which a person adopts the gender-specific behaviours ascribed by his/her culture - Eg. traditional gender roles suggest males are aggressive and unemotional (exception of anger) and that male should home everyday to make a living and be principal wage earner. Traditional gender roles for females- suggest women are nurturant, caring, and emotional and that they should stay at home and take care of children Gender identity: Refers to degree to which a person has awareness or recognition that he/she adopts a particular gender role Gender stereotypes:Refer to the psychological/ behavioural characteristics typically associated with men and women. Not everyone can be categorized into stereotypes based on sex/gender because of individual differences across people in regards to these roles Gender Differences Across Cultures Hofstede’s study Hofstede studied work related attitudes across 50 countries Conducted large scale survey of work-related values in major multinational corporation Based on the data he obtained, generated 4 dimensions of differentiation among cultures in his sample, on dimension called “masculinity v. Feminity” Dimension refers to degree to which a culture will foster, encourage, or maintain differences between males & females Found that japan, Austria, Venezuela, and Italy had the highest masculinity vs feminity scores. Denmarkm the nethlands, Norway, and Sweden had the lowest scores Identified key differences between masculine and feminine culture in terms of sexuality Cultures high on masculinity tended to have moralistic attitudes about sex, had double standards about sex (eg. women should be virgins at marriage but not men), and had norms encouraging passive roles of women Cultures low on masculinity tend to have matter-of-fact attitudes about sex, single standard concerning sex for men and women, and norms that encouraged active role for women in society Masculine and feminine cultures also differed in attitudes about religion Masculine cultures More traditional, focusing on religion, focused on god/gods Feminine cultures Less traditional, emphasize importance of religion in life less and focus on fellow humans Importance of study Findings highlighted that cultures will arrive at different ways of dealing with differences between men & women Behaviours men and women engage in produce different psycholigcal outcomes that have direct ramifications for actual life behavious Cultures vary in how they act on these gender differences- some foster and encourage differences between genders, others minimize the differences Suggest Masculinity in this dimension may also be interpreted as “materialism” Cognitive Differences Difference between male and female cognitive strengths has narrowed over the years Maccoby & Jacklin (1974) Concluded in review of literature that males tend to do better on spatial tasks and other tasks having spatial component Berry (1966) Said such differences do not appear to exist among males and females of the Inuit culture in Canada Suggested gender differences didn’t exist because “spatial abilities are highly adaptive for males & females in Inuit society, both boys and girls have ample training and experience that promote acquisition of spatial ability” Followed up on his research in 1976 Conducted study in which a block design tash was given to males and females in 17 different cultures Stimulus card depicting geometric representation of a set of blocks was presented and task was to manipulate an actual set of blocks to emulate design provided Number of cultures males did better than females, however in other cultures, females did better than males Berry et al (1992) suggested male superiority on task tended to be found in cultures that were tight (relatively homogeneous), sedentary, and agriculturally based on hunting and gathering In these latter cultures, rolse given to males & females relatively flexible, more members performing variety of tasks related to survival of group Meaning, some cultures foster male superiority in types of tasks, others foster female superiority, and others foster no differences Conformity and Obedience Common stereotype of females being more conforming and obedient than males Actuality- degree to which difference occurs varies from culture to culture Berry’s (1976) study Obtained index of degree to which each person conformed in the 17 cultures in the sample Clear variations among 17 cultures related to cultural concept of tightness Cultures that were tighter seemed to foster greater gender difference on conformity Females more conformist than males Tight cultures may require larger degree of conformity to traditional gender roles on part of both male and females Cultures that were looser fostered less gender difference on conformity In some of these cultures males found to be more conforming than females Cross-cultural differences exist in degree and in some cased the direction of this difference Aggressiveness Common stereotype that males more aggressive than females Support for this in all cultures where there is documentation Males account for disproportionate amount of violent crime in industrialized and non- industrialized societies Increased testosterone levels associated with dominance hierarchies in some human primates, but human analog less clear Based on available evidence- hormones may contribute to some degree to aggressivenss but culture and environment act to encourage/ discourage its emergence Archer (2006) -Study examining physical aggression between partners -Male & female aggression towards partners examined in 52 countries -Both committed acts of aggression toward their partners in developed, westernized nations – didn’t generalize to all nations -Magnitude of sex difference in physical aggression related to levels of gender empowerment and individualism in each of the countries -Cultures that were more individualistic and empowered women more had less female victimization and more male victimization -Archer argued findings best explained by social role theory -States sex differences in social behaviour result from division of labor between men and women with regard to homemaker/worker ouside the home -Argued that these roles produce expectancies that lead to different patterns of behaviour in men and women and these expectancies transmitted across generations—part of culture -Expectancies associated with male role -Use of direct aggression to resolve problems -Expectancies associated with female roles -Communal responses to resolve problems -Support studies to sex difference in development across cultures Barry, Josephson, Lauer, and Marshall (1976) -Examined degree to which cultures foster aggressive tendencies in socialization of children -Found sex-related difference in average amount of teaching about aggressiveness across 150 different cultures -Inspection of their data show that this average difference was produced by disproportionate number of high-scoring cultures in which teaching aggression actually occurs -Large majority of societies didn’t show sex-related difference in teaching aggression -Some cultures known for aggressive tendencies Yanomami culture of Venezuela and Brazil- often referred to in anthropoligcal circles as the “fierce people” Even when looking at these supposedly aggressive groups- more recent research call into questions potential bias in anthropological and comparative methods that may see only part of culture Recent study (Glick et al, 2004) 8,360 participants from 16 cultures responded to questionnaire that asses hostile and benevolent attitudes toward men When people harbour both types of attituedes toward men at high degrre they were labeled ambivalent Ambivalent attitudes toward men related with degree of gender inequality in country--- more people in a country may start with how the people view the role men (women rated more positively than men in all cultures) Biology and sex differences in teaching aggressive acts can’t account for gender differences in aggression observed across cultures Researchers suggest males aggression may be compensatory mechanism to offset conflict produced by young male’s identification with female care provider and his initiation into adulthood as male In this model, aggressiveness is viewed as “gender marking” behaviour Personality Five factor model -5 personality traits exist universally and can describe most human dispositions for behaviour Neuroticism Extraversion Agreeableness Openness to experience Conscientiousness Costa and colleages (2001) - Study examining differences in personality traits around world - Obtained data from 23,031 respondents in 26 cultures, tested for gender differences on the five universal personality traits and their sub-facets Results - Women universally had higher scores on neuroticism, agreeableness, warmth, openness to feelings - Men scored higher on assertiveness and openness to ideas - Differences between men and women largest in Europe and U.S. - Both places typically promote more individualistic egalitarian values Sex and Sexuality Major cultural differences in degree of importance placed on values about chastity especially for women Traditional, conservative cultures of world view chastity as virtue with non-married women Others more open and explicit about sex, approving and encouraging multiple sexual partners before marriage Large conflict between capitalistic societies in U.S. and western Europe and Muslin countries in North Africa and Middle east Changing values, attitudes, behaviours concerning sex often attributed as fault of countries like u.s. Traditional cultures view homosexuality as curse or worse Open homosexuals may be beaten, publicly humiliate/shamed, or persecuted by state in some cultures Attitudes towards sex and sexuality linked with cultural values of honour and transgressions seen as injury to ones or family’s honour/ disgrace- sometimes has deadly consequences Premarital sex/homosexuality views Female genital Mutilation (FGM) Partial/complete removal of female genitalia oragns for non-therapeutic reason Still practised in some African, middle eastern, Asian, south American, and pacific cultures Has ties with virtuousness, chastity and honour for women Considered way to promote marital fidelity, control women’s sex drives, and enhance fertility among women Attitudes used to justify enforcement of passive gender roles on women (similar to practice of foot finding in china Issues No apparent health benefit Studies demonstrated many health problems associated to it Death, infertility, UTI Tied to honour and virtue for many women in many cultures, not having with would prevent them from finding husbands or make them live life as outcast Mate Selection, Mate Poaching, and Jealousy Evolutionary model suggest males look for younger, chaste mates to bear offspring Females look for mates that can provide resources for offspring in the long term Study focussed
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