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Chapter 6

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PSYC 320
Sunaina Assanand

Chapter 6 -Gender dysphoria – a dissatisfaction with their biological sex, provide puzzling cases for gender development Gender Identity Development -Gender identity does not equal gender role -Gender identity – refers to identifying and accepting the self as male or female. -Gender role – behaviors that are typically associated with males or females. - for gender identity to develop, an individual must have some understanding of what is categorized as male or female, activities that distinguish the two. -process starts early in infancy Development during Childhood -study done, infants can distinguish difference between male and female faces, using hair lengths. -24 months, can distinguish gender related vocabs. -24 months, can distinguish between gender atypical activities. The Sequence of childhood Gender Role Development -age 3, children lack gender constancy, inability to realize that being male or female is permanent, unchangeable feature. -Gender constancy important in cognitive development, it has two components. -Gender stability- the knowledge that gender is a stable personal characteristic -Gender consistency-the belief that people retain their gender even when they adopt behaviors or superficial physical features associated with the other gender -e.g. a boy will say he’s still a boy even he puts on a dress -girls allowed greater leeway than boys. More acceptable to be a tomboy than sissy. -Gender schema theory- children master information about their own gender than opposite gender -evaluate their own gender more positively than opposite gender. “Girls are better” or “boys are better”. Later Development -gender development completed by age 6 -boys attend more gender-related activities, where girls interact with boys and well as girls -children with stronger identity, showed better acceptance by peers. Influences on Gender Identity Development -other than biology, family, peers, and media influence our gender identity development. Biological Factors and Gender Development -most obvious, configuration of external genitalia -evolutionary psychologist state that toys direct girls to nurture and boys to explore -genes and environment contribute to behavior; genes contribute more to girl’s behavior than boys -testosterone prompts development of reproductive organs but also influences brain development in ways that affect gender-typed behavior. -Congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) disorder – female fetuses that are exposed to high levels of androgen, born with masculinized genitalia – intersexed. -vast majority of girls with CAH accept themselves as women and develop female gender identity. No index of hormonal exposure or masculinization of genitalia predicts which of these girls develop a female gender identity. Thus, prenatal exposure to testosterone seems to be more strongly related to gender- related behaviors than to gender identity. -John/Joan case- John’s penis destroyed at 2 months age, underwent sex- reassignment , identified herself as girl. -Evidence indicates that both genetic and prenatal exposure to testosterone influence gender-related behaviors, especially during childhood. The relation to gender identity is not as clear. Babies may arrive primed to identity as male or female, but gender identity is not entirely dependant on any biological factor. Of course, the appearance of the external genitals is also the main signal for a cascade of social influences, making a distinction between the biological and other influences virtually impossible to disentangle. Family Environment and Gender Development -attitudes and behaviors of gender development are generally learned first in the home and are then reinforced by the children’s peers, school experience, and television viewing. -parents’ influence on
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