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PSYC21H3 (41)


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Carly Prusky

Ch10: Sex and gender: vive la difference? Getting started: defining sex and gender (p. 324) sex: person’s biological identity gender: refer to the person’s socially constructed identity gender typing: social behaviors appropriate for their sex gender-based beliefs: an idea that differentiates males and females; include awareness of their own gender, understanding of gender labels applied to them and to others and knowledge of gender stereotypes gender identity: perception of oneself as either male or female gender-role preferences: desire to possess certain gender-typed characteristics and interests that are appropriate for their gender gender stability: belief that males remain male and females remain female gender constancy: belief that superficial changes in appearance or behavior do not alter one’s gender gender roles: general patterns of appearance and behavior associated with being a male or a female in a particular culture Gender stereotypes o Belief that members of a culture hold about acceptable or appropriate attitudes, activities, traits for each gender Gender differences in behavior, interests and activities  Behavior differences in childhood - girls learn to walk earlier and reach puberty at younger ages, maintain more eye contact, have better verbal skills, more nurturing and sensitive, kind, considerate - boys have advantages in muscular development, visual-spatial abilities that allow them to read maps, aim at targets  Interests and activities in childhood - girls preferred dolls and stuffed animals, asked for more clothing, jewelry. Girls were into dancing, writing, making crafts - boys preferred more manipulative toys, vehicles and requested for more sports equipment and action figures. Boys were into shooting, boxing, martial arts  Changes in adolescence and adulthood (p. 329) - gender intensification: young ppl shifting toward more typical gender-stereotyped patterns of behavior due to pressures from parents or interest in a romantic relationship - women’s expressive characteristics: nurturance, sympathy, concern with feelings, orientation toward children - men’s instrumental characteristics: task and occupation orientations  Stability of gender typing - adult behavior can be predicted more gender-typed interests in childhood  Sex differences in gender typing - male role is clearly defined - parents and peers condemn boys for crying. Although sissy boys are rejected, tomboy girls are tolerated Biological factors in gender differences  evolutionary theory and gender development - natural selection and adaptation - the likelihood that a person’s genes will be passed on to the next generation – evolution of gender differences - limitations: 1) testing is difficult 2) the theory applies to females and males as groups but does not point out individual differences btwn male and female 3) Advanced technology has lessened the importance of male-female differences in size and strength. 4) Cross-cultural research showing considerable variability in gender roles has challenged its assumptions 5) Criticized as being too strongly linked to genetic determinism rather than offering interactive position that embraces the role of the env  hormones and social behavior - testosterone  male hormone (or androgen) ; estrogen and progesterone  female hormone - males have high levels of testosterone and low levels of estrogen and progesterone and vice versa  gender and the brain - “female brain”  empathetic, friendly, sensitive to social and emotional signals - “male brain”  oriented to objects and organized to systemize information - female brains have more gray matter than white matter compared to male brains - amygdala(used for processing emotions) ; men have larger amygdala than women but women have larger orbital-frontal region that is modulates input to the amygdala  genetics of gender - all 46 chromosomes are expressed differently in male and female brains - boys are more likely than girls to think that cross-gender typed play as “bad”  biology and cultural expectations - fits with the evolutionary perspective that females are more committed to parental activities than males - gender-linked responses to babies are affected both by biological and evolutionary programming and by cultural conditioning Cognitive factors in gender typing Identification: Freudian concept that children think of themselves as being the same as their same-sex parent; they acquire feminine or masculine traits from the same-sex parent  cognitive developmental theory - children categorize themselves as female or male based on physical and behavioral cues and then behave in ways they understand to be gender appropriate - genital knowledge is an imp determinant of understanding gender constancy - 3 stages: 1) btwn 2-3 yrs of age, they acquire basic gender identity (recognizing that they are either a girl or a boy) 2) btwn 4-5 yrs of age, acquire the concept of gender stability 3) btwn 6-7 yrs of age, they acquire the concept of gender constancy; eg: changing superficial appearance will
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