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Chapter 1

Psychology for Women Chapter 1.docx

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PSYC 3480
Noreen Stuckless

Psychology for Women Chapter 1  Central concepts: o Sex:  narrow term; referring to those inborn biological makeup relating to reproduction; sex chromosomes and sex organs determinant o Gender:  Broader term; referring to psychological characteristics and social categories that human cultures create. o Doing gender:  We express our gender when we interact with other ppl;  We also perceive gender in these other ppl  Ex: you provide gender messages by your tone of voice, conversational style  EX: you are also likely to change ur response to male than females  Emphasizes that gender is an active dynamic process rather than something stable/rigid  Scope of social biases: o Sexism:  Should be genderism  Bias against ppl based on basis of their gender  Ex: ‘’women can’t be good lawyers’’  Many forms  Social behaviour  Media rep.  Job discrimination  Can be blatant, but also more subtle as using the word girl for a older woman  Usually one category is deemed normal while the other deficient  I.e.: racism is against certain ‘’deficient’’ groups  Sexism/ racism combine in complex ways  Classism: bias based on social class defined by income, occupation, education  Effects on ppls health and expected life span  Ableasim: bias against ppl who are disabled  Heterosexism: bias against lesbian, gay, bisexuals  Policies, legal system  Only male-female is ‘normal’ and therefore other have less rights  Ageism: bias on age, elderly  Hiring, insurance etc...  Feminist approaches: o Principle that women should be highly regarded as human beings o Belief that women’s ideas/ experiences valued and that o Should be same socially, economically, legally o Life of philosophy, worldview, blueprint for justice’ o Does not exclude men; they can be too o Feminism is high regard for women, not antagonism to men o Four different approaches to feminism:  1. Liberal:  Focuses on goal of gender equality, giving women and men same rights  Same in passing laws  Emphasize that gender differences are quite small; smaller if given same opportunities  Everyone benefits if reduce rigidity of cultures ‘gender roles  2. Cultural:  Emphasized positive qualities in women as opposed to men  Focuses on gender differences that value women higher  Society should be restructured to emphasize cooperation not aggression  3. Radical :  Basic cause of women’s oppression lies in the entire sex/gender system rather than in some superficial laws/policies  Emphasize that sexism permeates our society from personal level to national levels  Dramatic change policy on sexuality; violence changes absinth women  4. Women of colour:  Emphasize colour in the above 3 types...  Psychological approach to gender similarity/difference: o Usually favour similarities/difference o Similarity perspective:  Believe that men/women are generally similar in intellectual/social skills  Social forces may create temporary differences  Favour liberal feminism  Reduce gender roles and increasing rights will increase the similarities o Social constructionism  Individuals and cultures construct or invent own versions of reality based on experiences , social interactions and beliefs  Can never objectively discover reality because our observations will always influenced by our beliefs  We tend to perceive and think abt gender in a way that exaggerates the differences o Difference perspective:  Argues that men and women and very different in intellectual and social abilities  Emphasize women’s positive characteristics that have been undervalued  Care giving, better relationships  Essentialism:  gender is a basic, unchangeable characteristic that resides within an individual  ALL women share same psychological characteristics, diff from men  Psychological traits are universal  Occur in every culture  More concerned than men abt care giving because of inherent nature  History of psych for women o Some believed that academic work would be ‘developed at expense of reproductive power’  Early studies of gender comparisons: o Early research conducted with flagrant bias, unfounded assertions, drivel o Researchers of time fashioned in accordance to their biases o 1900’s Men and women has similar intellectual abilities; earned higher on some memory and thinking tasks o Argue that women and men should have equal access to college education o Menses had minute effects in intellectual abilities  Emergence of study: o Association for women in psych in 69, o Society for psych of women 73 largest division within APA o 70’s research expanded o Studying achievement, violence, sexual harassment, other topics which were ignored o 70’s problem: didn’t realize that gender was more complicated  Attributing to one factor tough  Women were sometimes blamed for own low status  1. Not assertive  2. Afraid of success  Trace problems to personality rather than stereotypes  Shifted to gender differences and discrimination/sexism o Today have journals and many articles o Today are increasingly aware that other things like race, social class come into play in gender  Women and ethnicity o White as normative view: white ppl take for granted o Believe that Latinos, Asian Americans are all part of ethnic groups, but European Americans are not o Black:  Constitute the third largest ethnic group in US  Differ in regards to residential community and family history o Asian:  Stere
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