Gender roles- Composites of the behaviours actually exhibited by a typical male or
female in a given culture; the reflection of a gender stereotype in every day life.
(these are essentially reflections of the gender stereotypes)
Gender identity- The perception of oneself as either masculine or feminine.
Gender-role preferences- Desires to possess certain gender-typical characteristics.
(choices of toys and play partners)
Sexual preferences- The preference for same or opposite sex romantic partners.
In North America male role is seen as charged with controlling/manipulating the
environment. Expected to be independent, assertive, dominant, and competitive in
social and sexual relations. Female role is seen as emotionally supporting the family.
Expected to be passive, loving, sensitive, and supportive in social and family
relationships. (expression of warmth in personal relations, display of anxiety under
pressure, and suppression of overt aggression and sexuality is more appropriate for
women then men) Only changes seen so far is that males have become less likely to
endorse toughness/aggression, but differences at work still exist. Kids/adults still
think mechanics/doctors=male, nurses/librarians=female. (variations exist in more
tradition bound cultures like middle eastern nations and Taiwan, they are more
rigid with these roles)
Even in North America, differences based on ethnicity: blacks more likely to
socialize kids without gender role distinctions, so kids less likely to hold stereotypic
views about women. (encourage independence early on for both genders, females to
be more aggressive/assertive, and males to be more emotional/nurturing) Opposite
Between age 3-6yrs, kids especially rigid in gender stereotyping, become more
flexible with age. Uni-educated females more likely to view feminine role involving
independence/desire for achievement. Their kids have less stereotyped views too,
but educated men still stereotype regardless. Overall men characteristic=
aggression, women= interpersonal sensitivity.
Some gender differences are real:
physical-girls more physically/neurologically advanced at birth. (walk/attain
puberty earlier) boy have larger lungs/heart/muscles and less sensitive to pain at
birth. Boys get stronger with age but boys more likely to be miscarried and higher
rate of infant mortality. So females are better in terms of physiological vulnerability.
Cognitive- infancy to early school years, females= superior at verbal abilities. At age
10+ boys= greater visual-spatial ability (not true in poor families though), 12+
boys= greater at math (mostly geometry though, no algebra differences).
Social- boys from infancy are aggressive. Girls=indirect aggression (excluding others
from social interaction) From age 2 girls more likely to comply parents demands,