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Chapter 13

PSYB32H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 13: Grater, Parental Investment, Psychosexual Development

Course Code
Diane Mangalindan

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Chapter 13: Gender roles and differences
-Five primary theories used to discuss gender-specific patterns of behaviour:
1. Freud's psychoanalytic theory: proposed that through a process of identification, child
acquires either fem or masc traits and behaviours by identifying w/ the same sex parent.
-Children's curiosity about their own bodies at 5/6 leads alerts them to the anatomical
2. Cognitive social learning theory: suggests that kids acquire gender identification both through
parent's direct guidance and encouragement and by imitating parents and other people.
-kids understand gender quite early & the fact that parents behave differently to the child
based on their gender is influential in this understanding.
3. Gender-schema theory (an info processing approach): proposes that kids as young as 2.5
begin to develop their own native theories about gender differences and gender appropriate
4. Cognitive developmental theory: Lawrence Kohlberg asserted that kids categorize
themselves as male or female on the basis of physical and behavioural cues and then proceed
to behave in gender appropriate ways.
-It's not until 6 or 7 that children make stable gender-typed choices.
5. Evolutionary approach: stressed the principles of natural selection and adaptation.
-These concepts are well applied to gender related behaviours, especially ones that increases
likelihood of reproduction.
-Men and women have different strategies for reproductive success. These different strategies
have led to the evolution of gender differences in humans.
-Other biological factors also contribute to the differences in attitudes and behaviours like
specific hormones and differences in brain lateralization.
-Most gender differences are the result of interplay b/w genetic and environmental forces.
-Gender: refers to the cognitive and social differences.
-Sex: the biological and physiological differences.
-Gender typing: the process by which children acquire the values, motives and behaviours
considered appropriate for their gender in their culture.
-They being by developing gender based beliefs: ideas and expectation about what is and isn't
appropriate behaviour for males and females.
-These beliefs are largely derived from:
-Gender stereotypes: beliefs that members of an entire culture hold about the attitudes and
behaviours that are acceptable and appropriate for each sex.

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-These stereotypes prescribe the way men and women should act.
-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 everyday life.
-Early in life, kids develop a:
-Gender identity: the perception of oneself as either masculine of feminine.
-Children also develop:
-Gender role preferences: desires to possess certain gender-typical characteristics. Their
choices of toys of play partners reflect these preferences.
-In late childhood or adolescence, children develop sexual preference : the preference for
same or opposite sex romantic partners.
-Agents of socialization systematically teach kids gender-based standards of behaviour.
-This process starts immediately after birth.
-Parents often react negatively when children behave in ways considered gender inappropriate.
-Cultures are internally consistent with regard to their standards of appropriate gender role
-In NA, the male role is seen stereotypically as charged with controlling and manipulating the
-Men expected to be assertive, independent, dominant, competitive in social and sexual
-In NA, female role is seen as emotionally supporting the family.
-Women expected to be passive, loving, sensitive, supportive in family and social
-People regard the expression of warmth in relationships, the display of anxiety under pressure
and the suppression of aggression and sexuality as more appropriate for women.
-Major societal change in this been slow.
-Males have become less likely to endorse personality traits like toughness and aggression.
-But the world of work remains stereotypically gendered.
-Both kids and adults think of mechanics and doctors as male, librarians and nurses as female.
-These stereotypical roles are found in a wide range of societies world wide.
-However, there are variations in more tradition-bound nations adhering to more rigid
stereotypes for the sexes.
-Study: 8-10 Taiwanese children were more committed to maintaining gender role
stereotypes than were more westernized Israeli children.
-W/in NA, the strength of these standards vary with ethnicity.
-AA families more likely to socialize children without strict gender role distinctions. Their
children are less likely to hold stereotypical views about women. The families value
independence for both boys and girls and make fewer distinctions when deciding who is
to carry out which family roles and tasks. Encourage girls to be assertive and boys to
express emotion and nurturance.

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-Mexican Americans: gender role socialization standards for boys and girls very
-Age affects gender role expectation.
-3-6 y/o are especially rigid in their gender stereotyping.
-As they develop, they become more flexible.
-Education affects gender role standards and stereotypes.
-University educated women more likely to perceive the feminine role as involving
independence and desire for achievement.
-This trickles down to their children. Boys with moms who are employed in skilled
occupations are more likely than boys whose moms are homemakers to think that acquiring
an education and employment are appropriate for women and that it's okay for men to assume
housekeeping and child care tasks.
-However, even educated men maintain more stereotypes gender role standards than women
-Adult men and women differ in their views of gender typing in children.
-Fathers are more concerned than mothers with their children maintaining behaviours
appropriate to their sex.
-Still, almost all NA's regardless of gender, age, SE class, view aggression as more
characteristic of men and interpersonal sensitivity as more common in women.
-How accurately do gender stereotypes reflect differences in the actual gender role behaviours
of men and women?
-In some characteristics, there are clear gender differences, in others, differences are
occasional, in others, there is no difference.
Developmental patterns of gedner typing
-Kids develop gender typical behaviour pattern at early age.
-Infants and toddlers express gender based preferences through looking behaviour.
-Study: boys and girls differ in their preference for toys and recognize gender
inconsistent behaviour.(By 18 m/o)
-However, girls are more likely to play with gender inappropriate toys than boys. Why?
-Western culture is male oriented. The masculine role is associated w/ greater esteem, more
privillege, higher status. It is more clearly defined. There is a greater pressure for boys to
conform to the standards.
-Boys are also more likely to be "systematizers" who focus on trying to understand and organize
a specific domain than girls, who are less focuses on a particular set of interests.
-Boys also more likely to develop "extremely intense interests" in some things than girls. These
passion are often gender stereotyped.
-Boys' preference for gendered toys remained consistent across wide age range (5-13 y/o)
while girls interests in gendered toys decreased as they grew older.
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