Chapter 13 G ENDER AND SEXUALITY SUMMARY N OTES
Gender selection: 25% of American’s would use gender selection and most of them would want their firstborns to be a boy.
Two aspects to consider for gender differences ▯ NATURE and NURTURE
Our Knowledge of Gender is Influenced By:
- Gender roles
▪ Culturally defined expectations of how each gender ought to behave
- Gender stereotypes
▪ Fixed, oversimplified, conventional idea about a group of people
Generalizations that distinguish one gender from the other North American Conceptions
North American conception Gender traits and stereotypes
* Tough, competitive, gentlemanly, and protective
* Gentle, dependent, kind, helpful, patient, and submissive
Gender Messages Influenced by:
- Culture E.g., household divisions, kiss as a greeting
- Time period E.g., stay at home dads, sexual scripts
- Environmen t E.g., Parents, peers, media, schooling
Learning Gender Messages
2½ 3 years: Acquire gender expectations (e.g., dolls are for girls)
* Sort concrete pictures (e.g., appliances)
2 to 4 years: Sort abstract pictures (e.g., colours, animals)
6 years: Show gender stereotypes
* Attach value to gender
Gender Roles and Stereotypes
- Gender role: a set of norms, or culturally defined expectations, that define how people of one gender ought to behave.
- Stereotype: a generalization about a group of people (eg. Men) that distinguishes them from other (eg. Women).
Gender Schema Theory (Bem)
- A set of ideas about behaviours, personality, and appearances that we associate with males and females.
- Beliefs about these gender are organized into schemas which then affect behaviour
- Information gathering guides interests and competencies
* memory for gender consistent information better than for gender inconsistent information
(Lec) Expectancies and motivation
* 68 year olds shown a game called Mr. Munchie where they threw marbles into a clown’s body
* Labelled as either a boy’s game like basket ball or a girl’s game like jacks
* Children performed better and reported liking the game more when told it was for their own gender.
Traditional Sexual Scripts (TSS) – (heterosexual)
▯ Scripts: cognitive frameworks for how people are expected to behave in social situations.
- Males are “oversexed” and females are “undersexed”
- High sexual experience enhances male status but harms female status
- Men expected to be “sexperts” and take responsibility for pleasure. Women are expected to naïve.
- Males are sexual initiators
- Females are sexual gatekeepers Socialization:
- The ways in which society conveys to the individuals its norms or expectations for his or her behaviour.
School Socialization (e.g., Eccles & Midgley, 1990; Sadker & Sadker, 1990)
- Teachers call on boys more than girls
- Girls more likely to be reprimanded for calling out answers
- Boys tend to receive praise for content and girls for neatness
- Boys more likely to receive remedial help
- Bad behaviour tolerated more from boys
- Girls and boys feel boys are better at math
1. Barbie “math is hard”
Gender roles and ethnicity
Ethnicity: group of people that share a common and distinct racial, national, religious, linguistic, and/or cultural origin or heritage.
- Gender roles reflect the values and norms of their country of origin.
* Influenced by dominant culture of locale in which you live
* Changing for intergenerational communication
- However, people who move to new countries bring their values and norms and as well pick up the new values and norms.
1. Example: Parents may allow their son to date but not their daughter (a norm from their home country). Although they also encourage their
daughter to pursue a career (not a norm from their home country).
The Chinese community
- Emphasize responsibility to the family/community over their individual fulfillment.
- Man is the head of house, women is the caregiver.
- Marriage is highly valued and couples are reluctant to divorce.
- Females: not allowed to engage in premarital and extramarital sex
- Males: not allowed to engage in premarital sex , but acceptable to engage in extramarital.
The South Asian (IndoPakistani) Communities
- Religion is a major focus within the community.
- Women are expected to be submissive to men
- Men may date and have premarital sex, women may not (female virginity is highly valued).
Englishspeaking Caribbean Communities
- Family and community are very important.
- Traditionally, the male is the provider while the female is expected to be the caregiver and work as well.
- More restrictions placed on girls than on boys.
- Women may engage in serial monogamy as adolescence.
- Not uncommon for married and cohabiting men to have multiple partners.
- Exposure to people from different cultural backgrounds can encourage critical thinking beyond the status quo of ethnocentrism
- Exposure and acceptance of diverse families and partnerships provides alternative information to dominant messages and norms about gender and parenting
Putting Gender into Perspective
- Gender differences are small
1. Due to bidirectional interaction of nature and nurture
- Males and females are more similar than they are different
- Differences between groups tell us little about differences between individuals
- Variations in selfreports due to gender norms
1. Eg. Bogus pipeline experiment
- Biological differences
1. Anatomy and hormones - Cultural factors
1. Tighter restrictions on female sexuality, double standard, sexual scripts
First Nations Communities
• before contact with Europeans, some of the FNP in N.A. had relatively egalitarian/equal gender roles
o their roles were more egalitarian than those of the European culture of the same time period
process of acculturation & adaptation = inc. male dominance among FNP in N.A.
• many languages spoken in N.A. have a term that refers to a third gender (beyond male + female)
o “berdache” ▯ coined by European anthropologists
incl. homosexuals, transsexuals, or transvestites
o “twospirit” ▯ preferred by Aboriginals
rejected the European view – a marriage in which a man is married to a twospirit male would not be considered homosexual b/c the
two persons are of different genders
• other third gender roles identified by First Nation communities:
i) “manlyhearted woman” = a role that a woman who was exceptionally independent and aggressive could take on
ii) “warrior woman” = a role among certain Native tribes (incl. Apache, Crow, Blackfoot, etc.)
>> in both of these roles, women could express masculine traits or participate in malestereotyped activities while continuing to live and dress as a woman
GENDER DIFFERENCES IN PSYCHOLOGICAL FUNCTIONING
• focus = gender differences re:  aggressiveness and  communication styles
• males are generally more aggressive than females
o this is true for all indicators of aggression – physical (fighting), verbal, and fantasy
but females are > in relational aggression (the 1 exception to the rule)
o this is also true at ▯ ales dominate the stats on violent crimes
o this difference is largest among preschoolers and becomes smaller and smaller with age
• males and females differ on their verbal communication styles
o women are more likely than men to selfdisclose information to strangers or to friends
selfdisclosure: telling personal info to another person
o but traditional gender roles are being replaced by contemporary ones
˛ women = emotionally expressive // men = emotionally repressive & avoidant
P good communication & openness that demands equal selfdisclosure from both genders
o but traditional roles continue to persist in today’s world – women are more emotionally expressive than men in both sexual and nonsexual
situations; but there is a shift (slowly…)
• males and females differ on their nonverbal communication styles; decoding nonverbal cues = body lang.
o women are better than men at decoding nonverbal cues and discerning others’ emotions
consistent with the expectation that women will show greater interpersonal sensitivity
GENDER DIFFERENCES IN SEXUALITY
• incidence of masturbation = the largest reported sexual gender difference
• in general, men are considerably more likely to masturbate than women
o of the ones who do, women start at a later age in comparison to men
all men = before 20 y/o (avg. = 1315), whereas women’s first
times ranged btwn 2535
• these results hold true over the decades – i.e. from the Kinsey report ▯ the NHSLS (recent data
Attitudes about Casual Sex
• attitudes toward casual sex = the second largest reported sexual gender difference
• “casual se▯ 1night stand in which there is no emotionally committed relationship btwn the partners
• men are considerably more approving of 1nighters, whereas women tend to disapprove of them
o many women feel that sex is only ethical/acceptable within an emotionally committed relationship
more males adolescents approve of sex before marriage than female adolescents female adolescents are more likely to believe that sex without love is not satisfying
66% of Gr.11 boys vs. 32% of Gr.11 girls said it was alright to have casual sex
• gender differences re: reasons for having sex for the first time (highschool students data)
o love = girls > boys; curiosity/experimentation = girls M!
AC = women reported fewer partners than men did
ETC = the largest gap bten men and women appeared – fear that results would be made public
• implications from this study: not all gender differences are false; they are just exaggerations of the
o \ objective physiological data can be used as justification since it’s not
vulnerable to this bias
• females may be less aware of their own arousal in comparison to males
o the male sexual anatomy is external & visible and has a very obvious
o the female sexual organs are hidden and do not have an obvious arousal
o “penis” > “clitoris” is given much more exposure – i.e. in textbooks, in
parental ‘talks’, etc.
• anatomical conclusion : b/c the female’s genitals are not in plain view and b/c their arousal response
is less obvious than that of a male’s genitals, women are less likely to masturbate and less likely to be fully aware of their own sexual response
o if this is the case, why not stop it in its tracks? ▯ e.g. parents should
encourage their daughters to look at their genitals, and speak to them about masturbation
• basis = testosterone is related to sexual▯ ote: the animal castration experiment
• females generally have lower levels (1/10 ) of testosterone in their tissues than males do
• hormonal conclusion : is testosterone is important in activating sexual behaviour, and if F have much less of it than M have, this might result in a lower level
of sexual behaviour (i.e. masturbating, sexdrive)
o limitation #1 – cells in the hypothalamus or the genitals of a woman are more sensitive to testosterone (compared to male cells); thus a little
testosterone may go