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Chapter 4

Psychology for Women Chapter 4.docx

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PSYC 3480
Noreen Stuckless

Psychology for Women Chapter 4  Adolescence: o Defined as a transition phase b.w. childhood n adulthood o Begins at puberty  (when a young person becomes physically capable of reproduction)  When menarche begins(menses)  Puberty and Menstruation o Puberty:  Between ages of 10-15; average age for menses at 12  Black and Latinas earlier  Asian later  Media focuses on menses in a negative fashion  Negative reactions from family members too  Secondary sex characteristics:  Breast development and pubic hair  Biological aspects of menstrual cycle: o Hormone structure:  Hypothalamus is crucial to menses because it levels estrogen levels  Pit gland makes 4 hormones:  1.follicle-stimulating hormone o Acts on egg holders within ovaries o Produces estrogen and progesterone  2. luteinizing hormone o Develops the ovum(egg)  3. Estrogen o Stimulates development of uterine lining  4. Progesterone o Regulates system when level of luteinizing hormone  Ovaries contains follicles which hold ova or eggs, which produce estrogen and progesterone; one of the eggs break out of its follicle holder; moves from ovary to fallopian tube into uterus(endometrium) where fetus develops; lining of uterus fertilizes egg o Menstrual cycle:  1. In response to low estrogen level; hypothalamus signals pit gland  2. Pit gland respond by releasing follicle stimulating hormone, matures follicles, signals ovaries to increase estrogen production  3. This increase in estrogen stimules development of endometrium lining also stops follicle stimulating hormone  4. Pit gland stop follicle stimulating hormone; produces luteinizing hormone  5.this hormone suppresses growth in all follicles except one; therefore only one egg reaches maturity  6. Follicles releases ovum, on 14 day, called ovulation  7. Empty follicle turn into corpus(secrets estrogen and progesterone)  8. Prostergrone level inhibits luteinizing lining hormone; corpus decomposes  9. Then estrogen and progesterone decrease; endometrium passes out through vagina  10. Low estrogen signals new cycle to start  Menstrual pain: o Dysmenorrhea: cramps in abdomen o Prostaglandins: produce high amounts before menstruation; cause severe cramps o High anxious ppl have more pain reportedly  PMS: o No clear cut systematic definition o Myth of ‘raging hormones’ o Medium: biologically driven to extent and psychologically-culturally  Mood swings: o Ppl believing they had pms did not have more negative emotions premensturally than did women who reported no pms o Psych-culture explanation: our current culture accepts it as real; although it cannot be documented systematically o Sometimes encourages women to view self’s with a chronic illness o Men endorsing pms may hesitate to hire o Premenstrual problems:  1.psychological factors such as anxiety and string endorsement of gender roles  2. Cultural acceptance of pms as a fact  Coping with pms: o Ppl who frequently experience depression or anxiety are more likely than other women to report that they have pms  Menstrual joy: o Some report high energy and excitement in it o Reaffirms their positive feeling of being female  Cultural attitudes towards menses: o Some have taboo against contact with menstruating women(creek Indians) o Most European Americans have negative attitudes towards it o Not only negative but rarely spoken about o Media tells that menses should not be talked about and concealed  Self concept and identity during adolescence: o Identity: refers to individual self rating of personal characteristics along with biological/psychological/and social dimensions  Body image and physicality: o Cute little girls often privileged o Irrelevant for little boys o Some have adopted life-threatening disorders o Media encourage slender beauty o Young women’s general self-concepts are often shaped by whether they believe they are attractive or not o Appearance strongest predictor of self-worth in females o Males it’s athletic competence o Women athletes have higher self esteem than non athletic peers  Feminist identity: o Belief women’s ideas are valued o Ppl are reluctant to claim a ‘feminist social identity’ o Ppl supporting feminists are more advance in ego-development  Ego development: Kind of psychological growth in which ppl develop more complex view of themselves and of their relationships with other ppl  Some ppl claim that older women are much more likely than the current generation of adolescents to call selves feminist  Ethnic identity: o Ppls sense that they belong to an ethnic group as well as their attitudes and behaviours toward that group o Young European American women are not concerned about their ethnic identity o White as normative attitudes are striking in beauty contests  Self esteem: o Measure of how much you like/ value yourself o Reported that adolescents m/f have similar self esteems at least under some conditions o Meta analysis:  statistical method for integrating numerous studies on a single topic  locate all appropriate studies on that topic  perform statistical analysis combing results  yields a single number that tells us whether a particular variable has an overall affect o real studies:  found that gender differences are minimal in childhood, early adolescence, later adulthood;  during late adolescence ppls gender differences are larger  gender differences in self esteem are large for euro-Americans;  blacks are generally more similar  young African women develop strategies to face discrimination  Young women’s experience in middle school/ high school: o Bodies are changing; preoccupied with physical appearance o Tempted to thin out o May cause low self esteem time o When it isn’t a friendly environment they will study less and pursue less c
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