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Chapter 13

PSYB20 Chapter 13.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Mark Schmuckler

PSYB20 Chapter 13: Gender roles and gender differences 5 Principal psychological explanations of gender-linked patterns (Freudian theory): 1. Identification – identifying with same-sex parent  acquired either feminine/masculine traits and behaviour 2. Cognitive social learning theory: children acquire gender identification both through parent’s direct guidance and encouragement and by imitating parents and other people 3. Kholberg’s cognitive developmental theory 4. Gender-schema theory: information-processing approach 5. Evolutionary theory: stressed principles of natural selection and adaption Gender typing: the process by which children acquire the values, motives and behaviours considered appropriate for their gender in their particular culture Gender biased beliefs: what behaviours are appropriate for males and females Gender stereotypes: beliefs that members of an entire culture hold about the attitudes and behaviours that are acceptable and appropriate for each sex Gender roles: composites of the behaviours actually exhibited by a typical male or females in a given culture; the reflection of a gender stereotype in everyday life Gender identity: perception of oneself as male or female Gender-role preferences: desires to possess certain gender-typical characteristics Sexual preferences: same-sex or opposite-sex romance partners How gender-role standards and stereotypes vary over time and across cultures Male role seen – controlling and manipulating the environment, expected to be independent, assertive, dominant and competitive in social and sexual relations (mechanics and doctors) Female role seen – emotionally supporting in family and social relationships, passive, loving, sensitive, display of anxiety under pressure, suppression of aggression and sexuality (librarians and nurses) - African-American families more likely to socialize children w/o strict boy-girl gender-role distinctions - Age affects gender-role expectations (^ age  more flexible in attitudes) - Educations affects gender-role expectations (university women  more independent + desire for achievement)  teach their children this way - Fathers are more concerned with their children maintaining behaviours appropriate for their sex - Aggression = men, interpersonal sensitivity = women Gender differences in development 4 real gender differences: 1. Physical, motor and sensory development 2. Cognitive development 3. Social and emotional development 4. Atypical development Found only sometimes: 1. Activity level 2. Dependence 3. Fear, timidity, anxiety 4. Exploratory activity 5. Vulnerability to stress 6. Orientation to social stimuli Myths of gender differences 1. Sociability 2. Suggestibility and conformity 3. Learning style 4. Achievement 5. Self-esteem 6. Verbal aggressiveness and hostility (just use diff approaches) Developmental patterns of Gender Typing - Greater pressure for boy to conform to narrow gender-appropriate standards - Boys more like to be focus on trying to understand and organize a specific domain + develop extremely intense interests - Boys preference for gender-stereotyped toys remained consistent across wide age range (5 -13) - Boys and girls do develop distinctive patterns of interest that are consistent w/ gender stereotypes (parents encourage these in the assignment of household tasks) Stability of gender typing - Related to cultural acceptance (when a characteristic is incongruent to cultural standards  not to remain stable from childhood to maturity) - Gender roles may shift as adults meet the demands of new situations and circumstances (ex, parenthood) - Expressive characteristics: nurturance, concerned with feelings, child oriented (females) - Instrumental characteristics: task and occupational oriented (males) - Women tend to become more autonomous as they get older but return to more feminine gender-role orientation in old age Gender differences in abilities Boys – more skilled at manipulating objects, constructing 3-D forms, visual-spatial relations (geometry) - More likely to suffer from social and communicative difficulties + autism is 4X’s more common Girls – speak and write earlier + better at grammar and spelling , better computational skills The role of biological factors in the development of gender roles Hormones and social behaviour  girls exposed to high levels of androgens prenatally exhibited masculine behaviours and interests – even if they were raised as girls  COULD LEAD to mistaken sexual identity Hormones and cognitive skills  prenatal androgen levels in females  better visual-spatial skills Brain Lateralization and gender differences  men’s brains are more specialized than women’s! (if damaged  great deficit) Biological programming and cultural expectations  boys play with toys that involve spatial abilities (building sets, blocks, models, video games enhances spatial skills) The role of cognitive factors in the deve
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