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PSY210H5 (84)
Chapter 13


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Elizabeth Johnson

Chapter 13: Gender Roles and Gender Differences Notes • identification - the Freudian notions that children acquire gender identity by identifying with and imitating their same- sex parent Defining Sex and Gender • gender typing - the process by which children acquire the values,motives,and behaviours considered appropriate for their gender in their particular culture • gender-based beliefs - ideas and expectations about what is appropriate behaviour for males and females • gender stereotypes - beliefs that members of a culture hold about how females and males ought to behave,that is, what behaviours are acceptable and appropriate for each • gender roles - composites of the behaviours actually exhibited by typical male/female in a given culture; the reflection of a gender stereotype in everyday life • gender identity - the perception of oneself as either female or male • gender-role preferences - desires to possess certain gender-typical characteristics • sexual preferences - the preference for same- or opposite-sex romantic partners Gender Differences in Development • physical,motor and sensory: •girls are physically and neurologically more advanced at birth •girls walk earlier and attain puberty earlier •boys have more mature muscular development •with age, boys become superior at activities involving strength and motor skills male fetuses are more likely to be miscarried and they are more vulnerable to many hereditary anomalies • • cognitive development: •from infancy through the early school years, girls display superior verbal abilities during middle childhood and adolescence gender differences are non-existent or very small • •boys tend to display greater visual-spatial ability and they tend to excel in mathematics • social and emotional development: •boys are more often the aggressors and the victims of aggression •girls display relational aggression •boys are more variable in their responses to adult direction than girls • research shows that from a very young age,boys and girls differ in their preferences for dolls and cars, and can recognize gender-inconsistent behaviour • boys shy away from things that are “for girls,” fearing derision from other boys, whereas girls may want to do things that are regarded as higher status • during adulthood, most people’s masculine or feminine behaviour remains stable • expressive characteristics - presumably typical of females, these characteristics include nurturance and concern with feelings • instrumental characteristics - presumably typical of males, these characteristics include task and occupation orientation • boys tend to be more skilled than girls at manipulating objects, constructing three-dimensional forms, and mentally manipulating complex figures and pictures • in grades 3 - 11, boys are more likely than girls to make correct judgements of visual-spatial relations (research done one boys’ and girls’ understanding of horizontal and vertical relations) Biological Factors in Gender Differences • in the prenatal period, fetal testosterone is the major determinant of the anatomic sex of the fetus, and hormones organize the fetus’ biological and psychological predispositions to be masculine or feminine sex hormones may determine a fetus’ brain organization,and this,in turn, may lead to gender differences in males’ and • females’ verbal and spatial skills Cognitive Factors in Gender Typing 1.Kohlberg’s cognitive developmental theory: • cognitive developmental theory of gender typing - Kohlberg’s theory that children use physical and behavioural cues to differentiate gender roles and to gender-type themselves very early in life • Kohlberg believed that children go through 3 phases in gaining an understanding of gender: • b/w ages 2 -3, children acquire basic gender identity • by the age of 4/5, they acquire the concept of gender stability • about the age of 6/7, children acquire the notion of gender constancy • gender stability - the notion that gender doesn’t change • gender constancy - the awareness that superficial alterations in appearance or activity do not alter gender 2. Gender-schema theory: An information-processing approach: • gender-schema theory - the notion that children develop schemas, or naive theories,that help them to organize and structure their experience related to gender differences and gender roles • children develop schemas through their own perceptions and based on information provided by parents, peers, and cultural stereotypes The Influence of Family on Gender Typing • parents speak differently to infant boys and girls, hold them and move them differently, and choose different clothes and toys for them • as children grow, parents encourage them in gender-appropriate activities and disapprove of their gender-inappropriate actions • they provide different opportunities for boys and girls to learn sex-typed behaviours by enrolling them in different activities, clubs, and sports fathers consis
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