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Chapter 5

Gender Chapter 5

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Glen Gorman

BIOLOGY Genes: Gene contributions examined by comparing mono- and dizygotic twin (100 VS. 50% DNA) Theory: Genes explain greater similarities in behaviour between identical twins compared to fraternal twins when the environment of both is the exact same - One study: 3- and 4-year-old twins—examined the genetic and environmental contribution to sex-typed behaviour  Greater correspondence in behaviour among mono than di  Greater correspondence between di than other siblings  Concluded both genetics and environment make significant contributions to sex- typed behaviour (genetics stronger for girls than boys)  The environment accounts for a substantial portion of variability in gender atypical behaviour; genetics was a moderate amount Twin studies also used to examine heritability of homosexuality - Concordance in monozygotic (24%) higher than dizygotic (10%) - If one identical twin is homosexual, chance of other one is far from 100% - Could there maybe be more environmental similarity for identical twins because people create more similar environments for them - Aggression is one social behaviour with clear-cut sex differences - Twin studies find a stronger correlation of aggressive behaviour between monozygotic than dizygotic twins - Study: Meta-analysis of 51 twin and adoption studies  Genetics accounted for about 40% of antisocial behaviour, including criminal behaviour, delinquency and behavioural aggression - Adoption Study results: Greater correspondence between parents’ reports of family functioning and the rate of antisocial behaviour in biological than in adopted children - Sex-related chromosome abnormalities have also been linked to aggression  Early genetic theory of aggression focused on role of Y chromosome in men  Boys with the XXY pattern are more irritable and have more temper tantrums however this could be due to the way there parents respond to them Hormones: - Chemicals produced by the endocrine system that circulate throughout the body - Two classes—Estrogen (female) and androgens (male)  Women and men have both classes of hormones, but in different amounts  Sex hormones effect the brain, the immune system, and overall health  Hormones are influenced by behaviour Use INTERSEX CONDITIONS to study the influence of hormones on behaviour  Conditions where there is some inconsistency between the individual’s chromosomal sex and phonotypical sex  Either the person’s physical appearance with respect to sex organs is inconsistent with the chromosomal sex or the appearance is ambiguous - Common condition is congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH)  CAH: genetic disorder resulting from a malfunction in the adrenal gland that results in prenatal exposure to high levels of male hormones and a lack of cortisol—girl’s genitals somewhat masculinized (i.e., enlarged clitoris) 1. CAH females have superior spatial skills; CAH boys have inferior spatial skills  Curvilinear relationship between androgens and spatial abilities 2. CAH females are similar to unaffected males in terms of brain structure  Amygdala activation was stronger than non-CAH females 3. CAH study comparing 3- to 11-year-old CAH girls and boys to their unaffected siblings  CAH girls more active and aggressive than non-CAH girls (similar to unaffected boys)  No difference in activity and aggressive of CAH and non-CAH boys  CAH girls less likely to play with female toys; play behaviour in boys unaffected 4. Relationship between CAH and sexual orientation/gender identities  Link between CAH and homo/bisexuality in women—small effect size  CAH is not associated with gender identity problems - Three potential explanations for the relationship between CAH and these factors  Androgens may affect areas of the brain linked to spatial skills, social behaviour, etc.  Androgens could affect the tendency to engage in activities affecting cognitions/behaviour  Masculinization of appearance could influence behaviour (i.e., family can influence) Use CORRELATION DESIGN by examining the relation of different levels of hormones across women and men to a behaviour - Used by researchers who sample amniotic fluid of pregnant women to measure prenatal exposure to testosterone  Higher levels of testosterone associated with male-typical play behaviour in 6- to 10- year old boys and girls  Greater lateralization of language at age 6 in boys and girls  Less empathy in 4-year-old girls and boys - Studies have begun to manipulate hormones to examine their effects  Study: testosterone was administered to healthy women and was found to improve their performance on the mental rotation task  Study: testosterone versus placebo administers to male college students prior to playing an economic game o Men receiving testosterone were less generous—greater punishment of competitor - Studies have looked at the male hormones relation to gender-related behaviour among genetically male individuals with an insensitivity to androgens - These individuals have Complete Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome (CAIS): born with testes instead of a uterus but have female genitalia (masculinizing hormones don’t work)  Testes are typically surgically removed and individuals are reared female  One study showed no different in gender-related behaviour in CAIS/normal females  Story about Brain and Bruce override belief that hormones override genetics Brain - Spatial abilities are located in the right hemisphere; verbal abilities in the left - Women’s brains are bilateral—likely to use either hemisphere for specific function - Men’s brains are lateralized—two hemispheres have more distinct functions - No different in the shape or size of the corpus callosum among males/females - Most studies do not find sex differences in brain lateralization—among those that do, men appear to be more lateralized than females Research has examined whether there are sex differences in the way the brain is structured and functions - One approach: see if different areas of the brain are activated for women and men when performing cognitive tasks—could examine sex differences in cognitive tasks  Different areas of the brain are activated even when performance is the same  Differential activation does not always translate into differential performance - Study of adults showed there was the same amount of brain activation among women and men during an object-naming task, but that different objects activated different regions in men and women  Suggest the brain activation mechanism is very complicated - A sex difference in an area of the brain does not always lead to a difference in behaviour - Brain is not constant; behaviours can alter the brain (i.e., juggling example) - Biological basis for gender identity could be in the hypothalamic uncinate nucleus Psychobiosocial Models - Alternative theory to traditional nature versus nurture model of sex differences - Argue nature and nurture are two categories that interact with one another - Biological factors operate within a social context—environment can exert influence - Psychobiosocial model shows the interrelation between biological, psychological and social influences EVOLUTIONARY THEORY AND SOCIOBIOLOGY - ET: applies the principles of evolution to the study of cognition and behaviour - Sociobiology: examines the biological origins of social behaviour (how it evolved) - Idea that different behaviours may have evolved in men and women because the differences were adaptive for survival—extension of Darwin’s theory Sexual Behaviour - Men and women face different challenges during pregnancy - Men challenged to establish paternity; women challenged to make it through pregnancy—behave in ways to increase paternity versus way to ensure survival - Women and men face different challenges to successful reproduction - Women need to find a stable and successful male; men need to sleep with lots of women and pick someone who is more likely to be fertile  Can explain different attitudes about casual sex however this theory is conflicted as these difference are not found within society  Cultural factors may have override evolutionary theory on sexual behaviour considering we have effective contraceptives Aggression - Sex differences in aggression are consistent over childhood and puberty - Aggression peaks in young adulthood, at a time when men are in competition with each other for women and for the opportunity reproduce - Crime stats show same-sex homicide is highest between age 18-20  Usually occur in the context of men trying to establish dominance or compete for status—Research shows competition over women is the precipitating factor - Evolutionary theory can be used to explain violence in families  A majority of homicides within families occur between spouses who are genetically unrelated to each other rather than between blood relatives  Women have a greater risk of being murdered when attempting to end relationships  Primary motive men have for killing their spouses is sexual jealousy  Young wives are more likely to be murdered - Evolutionary theory also applied to the study of violence towards children  Incidence of abuse or death is much higher among stepparents The Hunter-Gatherer Society - Evolutionary theory suggests this society developed from women’s stronger investment in children compared to men—women cared for children, men left to hunt - Linked to sex differences in both social behaviour and cognition - Social behaviour:  Men behaviour aggressively because aggression is required to hunt and feed family  Women are nurturant because it is a necessity when taking care of children  Women became emotionally expressive and sensitive to others needs  Men learned to conceal emotions; help them maintain stoic demeanor when hunting - Cognitions:  Men’s greater spatial skills and geographic knowledge stems from venturing far from home land  Women’s greater ability to locate objects stems from them having to keep track of objects close to form; foraging for food A final Note - People dislike these theories because they make sex-related differences seem unchangeable and view traditional roles as “natural” - Evolutionary theory is not deterministic but interactionistic - Limitation of evolutionary theory: inability to explain behaviours that do not maximize reproductive success (i.e., homosexuality, adoption of children or suicide)  It also doesn’t account for individual differences or cultural differences PSYCHOANALYTIC THEORY - Freud developed theory about personality; specifically focused on the unconscious mind - Articulated series of psychosexual stages of development, stage three focused on gender - The Phallic Stage: Developed between 3-6 years of age—boys and girls discover their genitals and become aware that only boys have a penis  Leads girls and boys to view girls as inferior  During this stage boys are sexually attracted to their mothers, they view their father as a rival for their mothers affect, and experience castration anxiety  Resolve feelings by shifting identification to their fathers, and perceiving women as inferior—basis for formation of masculine identity  Girls experience penis envy, making them feel inferior to men  Females are sexually attractive to their fathers, jealous of their mothers, and blame their mothers for their lack of a penis  Females handle their conflict by identifying with their mothers and focusing their energies on making themselves sexually attractive to men  Self-esteem becomes tied to physical appearance and sexual attractiveness - According to Freud, the ways in which males and females resolve their conflicts has implications for their sexuality and future interpersonal relationships - One limitation to gender-role acquisition theory is that it cannot be studied scientifically considering the ideas behind it are unconscious Karen Horney was a notable critic of Freud’s work - She did place emphasis on the unconscious however she believed social forces rather than biology influenced the development of gender identity - Believed girls’ penis envy reflected a desire for men’s power and status in society - Argued that men felt envy—envious of females breast and ability to bear children - Believed men perceive women as inferior as a way to elevate their own status Object-Relation Theory applied to acquisition of gender roles (Nancy Chodorow) - Emphasized the importance of early relationships in establishing gender identity - She believed the family structure and the child’s early social experiences determine sexuality - Believed mothers are responsible for the development of distinct gender roles as they are the primary relationship a child develops  This relationship affects their sense of self, future relationships and attitudes towards men and women - Girls acquire their gender identity by connecting with their mother—explains why females focus on relationships and define themselves through their connections to others - Boys acquire their gender identity by rejecting their mother—they learn to repress relationships and define themselves through separation from others - Boys define masculinity as “not being feminine” - Chodorow argues that women have a greater desire than men to be parents because they are more likely to have identified with a parenting role  This leads directly to the division of labour and the devaluation of women in society - Theory lacks empirical data SOCIAL LEARNING THEORY - Social environment plays a role in how women and men think and behave - We learn behaviour in two ways: 1. We learn behaviour that is modeled 2. We learn behaviour that is reinforced Observation Learning or Modeling - Modeling: tendency for a person to reproduce the actions, attitudes and emotional responses exhibited by real-life or symbolic models - This may occur from exposure to television, books, or people - Modeling and reinforcement interact to influence behaviour—child initially model’s peoples behaviour and than they will watch how people respond to their behaviour, if the behaviour is rewarded it will be repeated - Observation learning increases:  If there is a positive relationship between the observer and the model  If the consequences of behaviour are positive rather than negative  If the model is in a position of power  If the mode is of the same sex and behaviours in gender-role congruent ways - The link between SLT and aggression has been examined extensively  Aggression is modeled in movies—numerous cases of copycat killers in real world  It is also modeled in television and video games o 83% of male characters in video games are labeled aggressive  When faced with conflict aggressive behaviour may be more likely because it is a learned response that is cognitively accessible - SLT suggests that as norms change and role models change, sex differences also change - As nontraditional gender roles have become more widely acceptable, models of female and male roles have become more varied - Longitudinal study of 10-year-olds: Those who were involved in counter-stereotypical activities had less traditional attitudes toward gender and better grades in subjects deemed for appropriate for the opposite sex two years later—stronger for females than males - SLT linked to development of spatial skills  Experience with spatial activities is related to spatial skills  Experimental studies of spatial training improved spatial skills; men and women equal Reinforcement - We reward males and female for different behaviours - Consequences don’t actually have to occur to influence behaviour (i.e., boys know wearing lipstick with lead to negative consequences) - Less tolerant and more likely to punish cross-sex behaviour among boys - Aggression is a behaviour that is more likely to be reinforced in males GENDER-ROLE SOCIALIZATION - SLT believed to be basis for gender-role socialization theory - GRST: different people and objects in a child’s environment provide rewards and models that shape behaviour to fit gender-role norms - Boys are taught to be assertive and to control their expressions of feelings; girls are taught to express concern for others and control their asser
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