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PSYC 3480 (233)
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Chapter 1

PSYC 3480 Chapter 1: Psych of Women - Chapter 1

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PSYC 3480

Chapter 1 o Gender roles cultural beliefs applied to individuals on the basis of their socially assigned sex o Gender the meanings societies and individuals give to female and male o Sex classification of individuals as female or male based on their genetic makeup, anatomy, and reproductive function Similarities Approach (beta bias) Men and women are basically alike in their intellectual and social behaviours Any differences that do occur are small and inconsistent and produced by socialization, not biology Most feminist theory and research dealing with gender differences has retained this similarities approach Differences Approach (alpha bias) Emphasizes differences between men and women Historically, these differences have been thought to arise from essential qualities within the individual that are rooted in biology this concept is known as essentialism Early psychologists often equated womens differences from men with inferiority and otherness Contemporary feminists behavioural differences between genders are not inborn but are socially constructed Some feminists have added a twist to the differences approach cultural feminists celebrates the positive qualities historically associated with women (e.g. concern for other people) Nancy Chodorow, Carol Gilligan Feminism o Diversity among feminists, although they are united in their belief that women are disadvantaged relative to men, feminists differ in their beliefs about the sources of this inequality and the ways to enhance womens status o Liberal Feminism women and men should have the same political, legal, economic, and educational rights and opportunities Advocate reform Stress the similarities between females and males Contend that gender differences are a function of unequal opportunities o Cultural Feminism men and women are different, womens special qualities such as nurturance, concern about others, cooperativeness, should be valued
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