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PSYC 3480
Noreen Stuckless

2/3/2013 11:25:00 AM Gender typing: includes how children acquire their knowledge abt gender and how they develop their gender related personality characteristics like their skills, behaviours and self-concept Child’s behavior and skills that are related to gender. BACKGROUND ON GENDER DEVELOPMENT  Infancy: b.w birth and 18 months  Prenatal: time before birth Prenatal Sex Development rd  Sex chromosomes: 23 pair of chromosomes--determines gender  XX: female; XY: male Typical Prenatal Dev (four DEVELOPMENT STEPS are highlighted)  Until about 6 weeks after conception, male and females are the same o They both have the 2 sets of reproductive systems.  Mullerian ducts: early primitive (1) reprod system in a fetus that can eventually become female genitals  Internal male system: wolffian ducts o These appear in the 6 weeks after conception  After 6 weeks, Y of male will tell (2) gonads to enhance the male parts, the female parts will be created 8-10 weeks  By the 3 month, testes secrete androgen: male sex (3) hormone – high levels encourage the growth of the wollfian ducts and the (4) external genital (penis) o Also secrete a mullerian inhibiting hormone so that the Mullerian part shrinks  For females, ovaries start making estrogen (but doesn’t play a role in the dev of female organs)  More research about male development than female Atypical Prenatal Dev  Intersexed individual: has genitals not clearly male or female o Represent 2% of general popn (2 types are below)  Congenital adrenal hyperplasia: a female fetus receives as much androgen that a male would during prenatal dev (genitals look somewhat masculine) – surgery can remove this  Androgen insensitivity syndrome: males produce normal amounts of androgen, but a genetic condition makes them unresponsive to the androgen (external genitals look female; lack a penis, so they are usually labeled girls although they don’t have a uterus) o Usually discovered at time of puberty (no menstruation)  Question is why are they forced to either become full male or female – why is gender polarization so powerful; gender should not be limited to just two options.  Many intersexuals emphasize that infants’ sex organs should not be surgically adjusted  Physicians recommend surgery so that the genitals look like boy or girl. People’s Responses to Infant Girls and Boys Parental Preferences abt Sex of Children  Several decades ago ppl preferred a boy as their firstborn (more recent studies show no preference) Up till 1980 they wanted boys  Parents more happy if girl is born, but more proud if boy is born  Some cultures still have preference for boys – India and Korea o Female infanticide is common in China o In India, if sonogram of girl, then mother requests abortion People’s Stereotypes abt Infant Girls and Boys  Parents rate newborn girls as more feminine, weak and delicate than their newborn boy of similar weight and health. Boys are stronger  Parents think that their sons are larger and stronger than girls.  Strangers also judge infants differently based on what they perceive the infants gender to be o Differences in infants are largest when judged on activity level and physical characteristics o Differences were smallest when judged on personality characteristics and dev achievements o Infant’s label, may influence how people interact with the kid o Girls are usually commented on how sweet the baby is  Treatment on infants supports a social constructionist approach – tend to invent our own versions of reality based on our prior experience and beliefs Theories of Gender Dev Social Learning Approach: children learn gender related behaviours from other people (emphasize behaviour) Social learning theory proposes that gender typing occurs because children are rewarded for gender appropriate behaviour and punished for inappropriate.  Children are rewarded for “gender approp” behaviour; punished for gender inappro behaviour o Parents respond more +vely when children play gender consistently  They use modeling/observational learning of ppl of their own gender o Becomes active a little later than reinforcements do The Cognitive Dev Approach: children actively synthesize and create their own thoughts about gender (emphasize thought)  Children are active thinkers who seek info from their environment and try to make sense/organize info in a coherent fashion  Schemas: general concept used to organize our thoughts and attitudes abt a topic i.e. sorting ppl into groups  Gender schemas: organize info into male/female (starts occurring at a young age)  As children grow older, their schema becomes more flexible and complex  First step in gender dev is gender identity: when a child can start labeling themselves as a boy or girl (around 1 ½ - 2 ½) o Once an id is formed, they start classifying other ppl/toys – prefer activities and things consistent w. their gender General Comments abt Theories of Gender Dev  Determined that a child’s behaviours AND thoughts are important  Both theories work together in terms of dev of gender typing  Children behave BEFORE they think FACTORS THAT SHAPE GENDER TYPING Parents  Parents tend to have stereotypical rxns bc they cannot react based on the child’s unique characteristics. Once the kid has its own personal characteristics they can react to that plus their gender.  Parents encourage their kids to be gender typed but are even stronger for discouragement of activities that they think are gender inappropriate  They discourage inappropriate behaviour rather than encourage appropriate behaviour Gender-Typed Activities  Encourage gender typing when they assign chores; boys are likely to mow the lawn, girls are likely to wash the dishes (girls generally use more time for chores; boys get more time for schoolwork)  Girls are allowed more flexibility w. the toys they play w. compared to boys (sign of gay tendencies or less masculine) o Male adults show these signs more then female adults Conversations abt Emotions  Parents talk more abt other ppl and emotions to their daughters  Mothers talk more abt sadness/fear w. daughter, and anger w. sons Pressure boys to avoid expressing sadness or dear  Fathers are more will get most mad about doing stuff that is gender inappropriate Attitudes abt Aggression  Discourage aggression more w. daughters than their son  Fathers may use physical intimidation to assert power. Kids than associate power with “boy things”  Adult females are more likely than adult males to spend time thinking about why they are sad  Adult males are more aggressive than females. Parents are likely to encourage these tendencies by showing gender differences in their own behaviour which the children will imitate Attitudes abt Indepdence 
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