PSYC 3480 Chapter Notes -Physical Attractiveness, Social Class, Social Learning Theory

14 views6 pages
Published on 17 Apr 2013
School
York University
Department
Psychology
Course
PSYC 3480
Page:
of 6
Chapter Three Notes
Psychology of Women
Gender typing: how children acquire their knowledge about gender and
how they develop their gender related personality characteristics,
preferences, skills, behaviour’s and self-concepts
BACKROUND ON GENDER DEVELOPMENT
Important components of gender such as sex characteristics and hormones
develop during the prenatal period the time before birth
Culture conveys messages about gender during infancy period between
birth and 18 months (1.5 years)
Prenatal Sex Development
At conception, female egg (23 chromosomes) combines with male sperm (23
chromosomes) to form embryo containing 23 chromosome pairs
The 23rd chromosome is called the sex chromosome and determine whether
the embryo will be genetically male or female
The other 22 chromosomes are responsible for the rest of the characteristics,
such as hair colour eye colour height etc.
When determining gender, the egg from the mother always supplies an X,
however, the sperm from the father can either supply an X or a Y
Therefore females are genetically XX and males are genetically XY
Males determine gender of child @ conception
Typical Prenatal Development
Embryos, either male or female are virtually identical until about 6 weeks
after conception
Initially, each embryo contains two primitive reproductive systems
however, one will eventually disappear depending on the gender of the child
The female reproductive system is called the Mullerian ducts (which will
eventually develop into a uterus, egg ducts and a vagina)
The male reproductive system is called the Wolffian ducts which will
eventually develop into the prostate gland and vesicles for semen
Gonads are the sex glands as noted above, they are identical in the embryo
until about 6 weeks
At the third month, hormones encourage further development of either male
or female sex differentiation
Testes secrete two substances: the Mullerian inhibiting hormone shrinks
the Mullerian ducts. Also, androgen one of the male sex hormones which
encourage the development of the Wolffian ducts, as well as external
characteristics like penis etc.
Females secrete estrogen one of the female hormones, however it is believed
that estrogen does not play a part in the development of the female organs
We know much less about female development versus male development
Atypical Prenatal Development
Occurs when prenatal development takes a different pathway
RESULT: intersexed infant who is neither biologically male or female
An intersexed individual has genitals that are not clearly male or female,
they do not have clear male or clear female hormones, nor do they have clear
male or female reproductive systems, external genitalia etc.
Fausto Sterling estimated that 2% of population is are intersexed individuals
Examples of atypical development:
Congenital adrenal hyperplasia: genetic females XX receive as much
androgen as a genetic male would and thus develop somewhat masculine
genitals at birth modern solution: surgery to become more female
Androgen insensitivity syndrome: genetic males XY produce normal
androgen however their body is not receptive to the hormone, thus tubercle
does not grow into a penis and they look female externally (a shallow cavity
for a vagina) no reproductive system and notice this when they do not
begin to menstruate
Big question why does our culture force individuals into only two
categories? Male and female. Why not add another category? Why do we
have to conform to these roles? Reason: gender polarization
Peoples Responses to Infant Girls and Boys
Our society places a great importance on the gender of an individual “male or
female”
Why do pregnant women obsess about knowing the gender of their baby
prior to birth?? To prepare should the nursery be blue or pink? GENDER
SOCILIZATION
Parental Preference About Sex of Children
Several decades ago, people tended to prefer males over female babies
However, now, research shows no clear preference
Study examined 386 news paper postings about births and found that
people were more likely to express pride with the announcement of a boy
and happiness following the birth of a girl
Other cultures (China, India and Korea) have very strong preference for boys,
so much so that in India and Korea, they will request an abortion with the
news of a girl during pregnancy
China 120 boys per 100 girls many boys will be without a mate as they
mature
People often respond differently to females versus males
Peoples Stereotypes About Infant Girls and Boys
Study conducted on new parents 10 days after newborn either male or
female born to see responses regarding their new child
Results parents of boys consistently said their sons were strong whereas
parents of girls said they were weak and fine-featured
Choosing gender appropriate room colors and toys
Adults who live in a “liberal community” are less likely to follow these gender
norms
Adults treatment regarding the different gender of a child support the social
constructionist theory we tend to construct or invent our own versions of
reality based on prior experiences and beliefs
Example: if we are told the infant is female, automatically we justify seeing
delicate features and sweet characteristics
Ideas about gender typing come from parents, schools, teachers, peers and
institutions etc.
Theories of Gender Development
Early explanation Freud’s psychoanalytic theory, however no longer
supported
Now, we focus on: social learning approach and cognitive developmental
approach
Social learning is behaviour based while cognitive learning is thoughts
based
Social Learning Approach
Explains how girls learn to act feminine and boys learn to act masculine
First, children are rewarded for gender-appropriate behaviour and often
discouraged or punished for gender inappropriate behaviour
Second, children imitate or model (also called observational learning)
behaviour from people of their own gender
Example: little boy receives negative reactions for playing with a tutu,
however, positive reactions for playing with a truck
Example: little girl see’s her mother receive positive reactions from others
after cooking a delicious meal, little girl more likely to imitate/model that
behaviour
Cognitive Developmental Approach
Argues that children are active thinkers who seek information from their
environment, then try to make sense of this information and organize it into
coherent ideas/knowledge

Document Summary

Gender typing: how children acquire their knowledge about gender and how they develop their gender related personality characteristics, preferences, skills, behaviour"s and self-concepts. Important components of gender such as sex characteristics and hormones develop during the prenatal period the time before birth. Culture conveys messages about gender during infancy period between birth and 18 months (1. 5 years) At conception, female egg (23 chromosomes) combines with male sperm (23 chromosomes) to form embryo containing 23 chromosome pairs. The 23rd chromosome is called the sex chromosome and determine whether the embryo will be genetically male or female. The other 22 chromosomes are responsible for the rest of the characteristics, such as hair colour eye colour height etc. When determining gender, the egg from the mother always supplies an x, however, the sperm from the father can either supply an x or a y. Therefore females are genetically xx and males are genetically xy. Males determine gender of child @ conception.