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Chapter 13

Chapter 13 - Gender & Sexuality

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Department
Psychology
Course
Psychology 2075
Professor
Corey Isaacs
Semester
Summer

Description
HUMAN SEXUALITY III 1 Chapter 13 – Gender & Sexuality  By age 2 & a half children learn what gender they are – basic of status characteristics (in terms of individual interactions and status we hold in society) Gender Roles & Stereotypes  Gender role: a set of norms or culturally prescribed expectations that define how people of one gender ought to behave  Stereotypes: closely related phenomenon, rigid set of beliefs about a group of people that distinguishes those people from others and is applied to all members of that group  Modern north American society still holds belief that M & F differ psychologically and stereotypes have not changed much since 1972  Study found that children as young as six are aware of stereotypes – children responded to appropriate stereotype most of the time, more than 85% of 8 year olds identified the woman in the picture as appreciative, gentle, weak, soft-hearted, sentimental, emotional, excitable and meek and mild and then men as aggressive, strong, coarse, cruel, loud and ambitious  Heterosexuality is viewed as important part of gender roles – feminine woman is expected to be attractive to men and vice versa, lesbians are viewed as violation of gender roles and considered masculine Gender Schema Theory  Gender schema: set of ideas that we associate with males and females, influences how we process information (dichotomize information, distort or fail to remember stereotype inconsistent info)  Difficult to change stereotyped notions bc we filter out info that contradicts stereotype  Research shows that both our own gender roles and the situation we are in affect how likely we are to process information in terms of gender schema  Researchers found that traditionally masculine men when exposed to non violent erotic film treated the female confederate in a more sexist way than did non traditional men who saw a control film – erotic film activated a traditional gender schema The Traditional Sexual Script or TSS  Sexual script most pervasive in North America, heterosexual one that specifies how men or women are expected to behave in sexual situations  Research suggests that the traditional script is still the most common, most common aspects: 1) Men are oversexed (high sexual needs and high motivation to engage in sexual activity) and women are undersexed (sexually reluctant, slow to arouse, interested only in context of love and commitment ) 2) High sexual experience enhances men’s but decreases women’s perceived status - macho or stud VS slut or whore 3) Men are expected to be sexual experience and to take responsibility for both their own and their female partner’s sexual pleasure and orgasm, women are expected to be sexually naïve 4) Men are supposed to be initiators bc of their greater sexual interest 5) Women are expected to be sexual gatekeepers placing limits on sexual activities – to avoid being judged negatively  Results from study are consistent with TSS:  Men initiate sex more often than women do in both mixed sex dating and long term relationships  Men are not always the initiators, on average women initiated sex more than once a week HUMAN SEXUALITY III 2  Men & women were equally likely to accept or refuse an initiation – respond positively about 83% of the time in dating relationships and 74% in long term relationships  When one partner is reluctant – both use same strategy to try to change their partner’s mind – stroking, flirting or touching most often Socialization  Socialization: refers to the way in which society conveys to the individual its norms or expectations for his or her behaviour, occurs especially in childhood by reinforcements and punishments, models, expectations  Children also take part in self-socialization: 1) the more child identifies with gender, the more motivated they are to incorporate attributes associated into self concept 2) seeing self matching stereotypes for their gender strengthens their identity  In adulthood society conveys the norms of appropriate behaviour for men and women(jobs, sex)  Research shows that parents treat girls and boys similarly in many ways with the exception that parents strongly encourage gender-typed activities  Peer group can also have impact on socializing for gender roles – experiment found that children in grade3-6 read stories about boys and girls who engaged in traditionally masc or traditionally fem or combo of both – found that boys preferred to exclusively be friends with traditional masc boy and girls with exclusively fem  teenagers particularly effective at exerting pressure for gender role conformity  Media continues to show female and males in stereotyped roles – analysis of gender stereotyping in children’s picture books published from 80s to 2001 showed no decline over time in stereotyping – most adults were engaged in gender stereotyped occupations, analysis of advertising found that voice of authority is male in 71% of ads, men shown to be assertive and employed while F shown to be parents and sex objects  3-5 year olds who view more TV have more stereotyped ideas about gender roles than do children who view less, town in BC had less gender stereotyped attitudes when had little availability of TV, but when TV became more available 2 years later, children in that town became just as stereotyped as those in the town with TV all along  Video games also show extreme gender stereotyping, GTA men are violent and women are hookers – boys exposure to these games and their gender stereotype is massive  All societies have gender roles (universal) but the exact content of these roles varies from one culture to the next Gender Roles and Ethnicity  Ethnicity – a sizeable group of people who share a common and distinct racial, national, religious, linguistic or cultural origin or heritage  People of British and French backgrounds make up the largest ethnic group in Canada – only 12# of Canadians report only British or French origins  1 in 5 Canadians was not born in Canada about two thirds of these live in Toronto, Montreal or Vancouver  Acculturation – process of incorporating the beliefs and customs of a new culture  In the study Ethnocultural communities facing AIDS, sexuality was examined within 6 Canadian ethnocultural communities – based on ethnicity, found # of similarities in gender roles  Men and women are seen has having distinct roles – men are the head of the family and women are the caregivers – d/t economic realities, women must work outside of home which creates conflict within the family HUMAN SEXUALITY III 3  Tends to be a double standard with respect to sexual behaviour - dating and premarital sex are accepted and often encouraged in sons but not in daughters  Men expected to be active in sexual relationships whereas women are expected to be passive and meet men’s needs The South Asian Communities  The second largest visible minority group in Canada  Religion is a major focus of community life – hard work, education and achievement are seen as important  Respect for traditional values (arranged marriages) is highly valued  South Asian men & women are expected to be submissive to men – boys given privileges and freedom, dating is allowed and it is expected that they will have some sexual experience, girls may not be allowed to date bc virginity is highly valued  Men expected to take the sexual lead and women are expected to be passive, submissive and uninformed about sex  As a result some men might visit sex workers for casual sex before and during marriage – women are not supposed to question the behaviour of husbands or complain about extramarital activity The Chinese Community  Largest visible minority group in the country  Culture emphasizes responsibility to the family and the community over self fulfillment and individualism as in the majority Canadian culture  Marriage is highly valued and couples are reluctant to separate or divorce even when experiencing significant marital problems  Man is considered head of the household and woman is the primary caregiver, and expected to adopt a submissive role with her male partner  It is not acceptable for females to engage in premarital or extramarital sex and boys are discouraged from premarital as well  Extramarital sexual activity by men may be accepted in astronaut families in which man works away from home in Hong Kong or Taiwan  Gender roles within community are becoming more diverse as people move away from traditional roles  Achievement and education are considered important within the Chinese community  Women who pursue their education in Canada may experience conflict btwn gender role of Chinese VS Canadian culture & men btwn family values & individual achievements English Speaking Caribbean Communities  Have a strong sense of family and community  Man was expected to be provider and women to care for child and the household while also working outside home but today there are many single parent families in the Caribbean communities usually headed by women  More restrictions are placed on women than on boys as an attempt to prevent adolescent pregnancy  In adolescence and adulthood, women focus on developing relationships and may engage in serial monogamy  Having a male partner and a child are considered important aspects of the female role and indicators of success whereas men are more likely to want to have many sexual partners and is not uncommon for married and cohabiting men to have multiple partners Aboriginal Communities HUMAN SEXUALITY III 4  Before contact with Europeans had relatively egalitarian roles than those of European culture of the same period – process of acculturation and adaptation to the majority culture seems to have resulted in increased male dominance among North American Aboriginal people  Of the 200 Aboriginal languages, 2/3 have a term that refers to a third gender beyond M & F – anthropologists termed this category berdache (term rejected by many who prefer two spirit)  Concluded that people were homosexuals, transsexuals or transvestites – none of which are accurate from an Aboriginal POV – man may be married to a 2 spirit M but this would not be considered homosexual bc the 2 are diff genders  Role for the “manly hearted woman” – strong, independent and aggressive, warrior woman role  women expressed masculine traits or participate in male stereotyped activities while continuing to live and dress as a woman Gender Difference in Psychological Functioning  Gender differences: aggressiveness and communication styles  M are more aggressive than females and this differences is found cross culturally, true for all indicators of aggression (physical, verbal, fantasy), true at all ages  Within dating relationships, F are more likely to self disclose more than M do about both sexual and non sexual issues  Norms of self disclosure are changing – good contemporary ethic that demands good communication and openness of equal self disclosure  Study found that traditional roles persist in that women that are more emotionally expressive than men in both non sexual and sexual situations – research also shows that we are moving toward a norm of greater emotional expressiveness in M, were described as ideally equally expressive as F in sexual situations  Decoding non verbal cues – ability to read others body language correctly  Women are better than men at decoding such non verbal cues as facial expressions and discerning others emotions – consistent with gender related expectation that women will show greater interpersonal sensitivity Gender Differences in Sexuality Masturbation  Largest difference is the incidence of masturbation – Kinsey datat found that 92% of M had masturbated to orgasm at least once in their lives compared to 58% of F  Also begins at a later age than men – all men said they had before age of 20 (start @ 13-15) and women reported for the first time at 25, 30 or 35  Shows no evidence of diminishing over the last few years Attitudes About Casual Sex  Men are more approving of such interactions and women disapproving  Many F feel that intercourse is ethical or acceptable only in the context of an emotionally committed relationship, for men it is not necessary  In Canada 68% of M and 48% of F adolescents approve of having sex before marriage with someone you like and F are more likely to believe that sex without love is not satisfying  One study asked M & F their reasons for having sex – participants identified 237 reasons and the top 25 were the same for M & F  Consistent with traditional gender roles men were more likely to have sex due to physical desirability of their partner, opportunity, pleasure and insecurity HUMAN SEXUALITY III 5  Women were not more likely to endorse emotional and commitment motives for having sex although women were more likely to say that they had sex to express their love for their partner Use of Porn  M more likely to report using porn that women were  Study found that men are more likely to go online to view porn that are women – also more likely to go online and engage in sexual activity with a partner Arousal to Erotica  M are more aroused by erotic material, but gender differences is not large  Heiman study: sexually experienced uni students listened to erotic story tape recordings and she recorded the responses, also obtained objective measures of physiological arousal  Used two instruments: penile strain gauge and photoplethysmograph  Penile strain gauge: flexibl e loop that fits around base of penis ; photoplethysmograph: measures arousal in female, size of tampon placed inside the entrance to vagina  both measure vasocongestion ,intrusive and cannot be used for both genders  New technology such as thermal imaging – changes in temp of the genital area due to arousal are detected by a remote camera focused on the genital region may be useful in assessing physiological arousal in both women and men  Genital arousal also measured in women using a labial thermistor clip which looks @ temp 2  Participants heard one of four kinds of tapes depicting heterosexual couples: erotic – explicit descriptions, romantic – expressing affection and tenderness no sex, erotic romantic – explicit & romantic, control – just normal convo  Plots varied according to who initiated activity and whether description centered on woman’s physical and psychological response or male’s  Three important results emerged: 1) Explicit heterosexual sex (erotic and erotic romantic) was most arousing for both M & F, both physiologically and self ratings, F found erotic tape more arousing than men 2) Both M & F found female initiated, female centered tape to be most arousing – forbidden or taboo nature perhaps 3) F not aware of their own physiological arousal sometimes – high correlation b/w self ratings of arousal and objective physiological measu
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