Psych of Gender

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Psych of Gender


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The Psychology of Gender : 

The Psychology of Gender Reference: Dr. Avidan Milevsky Kutztown University of Pennsylvania Copyright © 2009 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. All rights reserved. Psychology of Diversity at UCF—Western Region W. Steven Saunders, Psy.D.

Slide 4:

President Clinton on Gov. Sarah Palin : 

President Clinton on Gov. Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin: An Everywoman Qualified by What She's Done : 

Sarah Palin: An Everywoman Qualified by What She's Done The fact that Sarah Palin is a woman was an important factor in Senator John McCain's decision, but her story is far more compelling than her sex. Her accomplishments make her qualified. She has accumulated more interesting life experiences than have many politicians twice her age. She is governor of Alaska today not because she sought a career in politics. Rather, she is governor because she wanted to change the state. And she has done so while sustaining a loving marriage and raising five children. In fact, what makes her achievements so unique is the fact that she is everywoman, an average homemaker who cared enough to get involved in local politics and deal with everyday problems affecting everyday people.

Definition of Terms : 

Gender: social categories of male and female. Sex-related behavior: behavior that corresponds with sex without explanation of cause of the behavior. Gender roles: social position about males and females accompanied by set of norms or expectations (masculine, feminine and intrarole conflict). Definition of Terms

Definition of Terms, cont. : 

Gender identity: perception of self as psychologically male or female. Transgender & Transsexual Sexual orientation: preference to have other-sex or same-sex persons as partners. Heterosexual, Homosexual, & Bisexual Definition of Terms, cont.

Definition of Terms, cont. : 

Sex typing: process by which sex-appropriate preferences are acquired. Sex-typed Cross-sex-typed Androgynous Gender-role attitudes: personal view about how men and women should behave. Sexisms, sex-stereotype, sex discrimination: affective, cognitive and behavioral prejudice based on biological sex. Definition of Terms, cont.

Cultures with Multiple Genders : 

Some Native American cultures with four genders: Man Woman Woman-man Man-woman Cultures with Multiple Genders

Morocco : 

Very distinct genders. The distinction between males and females are exhibited in many aspects of society. Adorning of the Hijab and Djellaba for women in public. Use is seen by natives as liberating. Westerners may see the dress as oppressive. Morocco

The Agta Negrito : 

Society in the Philippines. Challenge the idea of males as breadwinners and females as homemakers. In this society, women hunt and are as successful as men. Women who hunt are also able to take care of children. The Agta Negrito

Tahiti : 

The roles of men and women are the same. A truly androgynous society. Women have the same status as men and have the same opportunities as men in domestic, occupational, and recreational spheres. People in this society seem to function without thinking about gender. Tahiti

Status and Culture : 

Throughout the majority of cultures, there are a number of indices of gender inequality. Gender inequality permeates many aspects of society: Preference for males Male privilege Masculine-dominated language Overall, boys and girls value being a boy more than being a girl Status and Culture

Philosophical and Political Issues Surrounding Gender : 

Philosophical and Political Issues Surrounding Gender Copyright © 2009 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. All rights reserved.

The Sex Difference Debate : 

Minimalists: people who believe the two sexes are fundamentally the same. Maximalists: people who believe that there are fundamental differences between men and women. Implications of debate manifests itself in the emphasis on the study of gender differences. The Sex Difference Debate

Should We Study Gender? : 

Differing approaches to inclusion of gender comparisons in research studies. McHugh, Koeske, and Frieze (1986) say results should not be reported unless a theoretical rationale exists. Eagly (1987) reports the results of sex comparisons. Baumeister (1988) says entire field of comparisons between men and women should be abandoned. Should We Study Gender?

Social Construction of Gender : 

Constructionist approach: Gender cannot be divorced from its context Gender is created by the perceiver Impossible to view the world objectively Gender is a social construct that is constantly changing The study of gender ignores variability in gender Social Construction of Gender

Women’s Movements : 

Women’s movements began in the United States in the 1800s. Greater respect for domestic role. Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique. Independent Women’s Forum National Organization for Women. --Seeks to promote a Left-wing social agenda Women’s Movements

Men’s Movements : 

Variety of groups with differing agendas. Communal organizations: The National Organization for Men Against Sexism (AKA, Leftist’s Cry-baby’s of America) Religious organizations: Promise Keepers GodMen Men’s Movements

Slide 21: 

Three approaches to the study of gender: Sex as subjective variable The study of psychological differences between men and women Sex as a stimulus or target variable Focus on relationships and health

Attitudes Toward Men’s and Women’s Roles : 

Attitudes toward gender can be classified as traditional, egalitarian, or transitional. Gender-role attitudes have become less traditional over time; however, most people fit into the transitional category. Nevertheless, there is a growing emphasis that “traditional” Gender-roles have wisdom. To understand cultural differences in gender-role attitudes, one needs to understand what the expectations for men and women are in the particular culture. Attitudes Toward Men’s and Women’s Roles

Traditional Versus Modern Sexism : 

Traditional sexism: endorsement of traditional roles for men and women. Traditional sexism reflects an open disregard for the value of women. Modern sexism: includes the denial of any existing discrimination toward women. The two sexism scales are positively correlated. Of course, spelling ability and shoe-size is also positively correlated. Traditional Versus Modern Sexism Or How the Political Left views the debate

Hostile Versus Benevolent Sexism : 

Hostile sexism: feelings of hostility toward women. Benevolent sexism: reflects positive feelings toward women, including a prosocial orientation toward women. Hostile Versus Benevolent Sexism

Sexism Toward Men : 

“Ambivalence Toward Men Inventory”: developed to distinguish feelings of hostility and benevolence toward men. Sexism toward men is not as well-studied as sexism toward women, and is more accepted in some sense than sexism toward women. --Dr. Saunders “case of the Baby needing help.” Women score higher than men on hostile sexism toward men, whereas men score higher than women on benevolent sexism toward men. Sexism Toward Men

What Is a Gender-Role Stereotype? : 

Gender-role stereotypes: features we assign to men and women in our society, not assigned due to biological sex but due to the social roles that men and women hold. Usually have a function for the betterment of society. Gender-role stereotypes differ from many other stereotypes because gender is a category that is activated immediately upon meeting someone. What Is a Gender-Role Stereotype?

Components of Gender-Role Stereotypes : 

Male characteristics focus on competence, rationality, and assertion. Female characteristics focus on warmth and expressiveness. Male characteristics were more highly valued than the female characteristics. People of different ethnic backgrounds have some commonality in gender-role stereotypes. However, gender-role stereotypes appear to depend on age, race, and class. Components of Gender-Role Stereotypes

The Structure of Gender-Role Stereotypes : 

Stereotypes consist of traits, behaviors, roles, and interests. Knowing people’s status on any one of these stereotype dimensions allows us to infer their status on the other dimensions. In fact, people use one stereotype component to infer someone’s status on other stereotype components. The Structure of Gender-Role Stereotypes

Subcategories of Gender-Role Stereotypes : 

As men’s and women’s roles have changed, we have created multiple categories for men and women. There are subcategories of gender-role stereotypes. Subtyping may be seen as beneficial because it detracts from the power of the overall stereotype. However, subtyping is merely a way to create an exception and leave the overall stereotype intact. Subcategories of Gender-Role Stereotypes

Do Gender-Role Stereotypes Serve Any Function? : 

On the one hand, stereotypes are helpful; they simplify information processing. However, stereotypes may be harmful. Stereotypes may foster a self-fulfilling prophecy: expectations about people can influence how we behave toward them in such a way that they confirm our initial expectancies. Do Gender-Role Stereotypes Serve Any Function?

Altering Gender-Role Stereotypes : 

Stereotypes are difficult to alter. When confronted with information that disconfirms a stereotype, we typically ignore the information, fail to recall it, make a situational attribution for it, or create a subtype. A way to change a specific aspect of people’s gender-role stereotypes is to present them with an example of someone who disconfirms the stereotype on one dimension but otherwise fits the stereotype. Altering Gender-Role Stereotypes

Do Stereotypes Reflect Reality? : 

It is difficult to determine whether our stereotypes of men and women are accurate because of the shifting standard. The shifting standard represents the idea that we view the exact same behavior differently when displayed by a male or a female. Do Stereotypes Reflect Reality?

What Is the Status of Stereotypes Today? : 

What Is the Status of Stereotypes Today?

Behavioral Component: Sex Discrimination : 

Sex discrimination: the differential treatment of persons based on their sex. It is sometimes difficult to evaluate the equal treatment of men and women when they do not have the same positions in society. When people think of sex discrimination, they typically think of women as being treated unfairly compared to men, especially with regard to employment situations. Behavioral Component: Sex Discrimination

Genes : 

Twin and adoption studies conclude that genes play a role in sex differences in cognition and social behavior, as well as gender-related behavior, but that role is far from 100%. It is difficult to partial out environmental influences in many studies. Genes

Hormones : 

Sex hormones are linked to sex-related behavior. Links are stronger for social behavior than cognition, and stronger among women than men. Strongest evidence lies in the relation of prenatal exposure to male hormones to male gender-role behavior in women. The major problem with studies is that they are correlational; thus, cause and effect cannot be established. Hormones

The Brain : 

Studies of the brain reveal some sex differences in structure, but the meaning of those differences is unclear. The question remains as to whether these differences in brain anatomy or structure have any functional significance. The Brain

Psychobiosocial Models : 

Psychobiosocial Models

Sexual Behavior : 

Because males and females face different challenges in ensuring the survival of their genes, sex differences in sexual behavior and mate selection have evolved. Males prefer to have sex with as many fertile women as possible, and females prefer to have sex with a male who can provide economic resources to ensure the survival of their children. Sexual Behavior

Mate Selection : 

In line with sexual behavior patterns, women place a greater value than men on financial success in a partner. This finding has been replicated in 37 cultures around the world (Buss, 1989). Men, by contrast, emphasize reproductive fertility in their selection of mates. Mate Selection

Aggression : 

Majority of homicides within families occur between spouses who are genetically unrelated to each other, rather than between blood relatives. Women, but not men, are at greatest risk for being murdered when they try to end a relationship. Consistent with evolutionary theory, the primary motive men have for killing their spouse is sexual jealousy. Aggression

The Hunter-Gatherer Society : 

Evolutionary theory suggests that the hunter-gatherer society developed from women’s stronger investment in children as compared to that of men. With women caring for children, men were left to hunt. The hunter-gatherer society has been linked to sex differences in both social behavior and cognition. The Hunter-Gatherer Society

Psychoanalytic Theory : 

Psychoanalytic Theory Copyright © 2009 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. All rights reserved.

Slide 44: 

Copyright © 2009 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. All rights reserved.

Psychoanalytic Theory : 

Sigmund Freud was a physician and psychoanalyst who developed a theory of personality that is most notable for its emphasis on the unconscious. Psychosexual stages of development. During the third stage, the Phallic Stage, girls experience penis envy and thus feel inferior to boys. Self-esteem in women becomes tied to their physical appearance and sexual attractiveness. Psychoanalytic Theory

Social Learning Theory : 

Social Learning Theory Copyright © 2009 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. All rights reserved.

Observational Learning or Modeling : 

A central tenet of social learning theory is that the child is a passive agent upon whom society impacts. Social learning theory states that we acquire gender-related behavior because gender-congruent behavior is modeled and reinforced by society. We are more likely to imitate same-sex models, especially when they display gender-congruent behavior, models who are reinforced for their behavior, and models we like. Observational Learning or Modeling

Reinforcement : 

Society is filled with models of male aggression who are reinforced for their behavior. As models of appropriate behavior for males and females change, the behavior of males and females may change. Boys are more likely than girls to be punished for gender-incongruent behavior. Boys are more likely to be rewarded by parents, teachers, and peers for aggression. Reinforcement

Gender-Role Socialization : 

Gender-Role Socialization Copyright © 2009 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. All rights reserved.

Gender-Role Socialization : 

According to gender-role socialization, different people and objects in the child’s environment provide rewards and models that shape behavior to fit gender-role norms. The objects in the child’s environment may include parents, other relatives, teachers, friends, and neighbors. Gender-Role Socialization

The Influence of Parents : 

One way parents treat boys and girls differently is in providing sex-typed toys and sex-typed environments. Parents also communicate differently with sons and daughters, particularly with respect to emotion. Differences are more likely to appear on objective than subjective measures. Differential treatment of boys and girls is more likely to occur among younger than older children. The Influence of Parents

The Influence of Other People : 

Because parents have the opportunity to acquire individuating information about their children, it is possible that other people (e.g., neighbors, peers) and other things (e.g., television, books) socialize children to behave in gender-stereotypical ways. The Influence of Other People

Other Features of the Environment : 

Boys and girls play with different toys. It is more acceptable for girls to play with stereotypical boy toys than it is for boys to play with stereotypical girl toys. As the presence of women has increased in all forms of media, females are increasingly portrayed in non-stereotypical roles, but not at the expense of giving up traditional roles. There has been less change in the portrayal of men in the media. Other Features of the Environment

Social Role Theory : 

Social Role Theory Copyright © 2009 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. All rights reserved.

Social Role Theory : 

Social role theory states that the roles that society assigns men and women are responsible for gender roles. Men’s role to work outside the home fosters agency, whereas women’s role to work inside the home fosters communion. Cross-cultural research shows that boys and girls are assigned different roles as children and that these roles lead to sex-typed behavior. Social Role Theory

Cognitive DevelopmentTheory : 

Cognitive DevelopmentTheory Copyright © 2009 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. All rights reserved.

Cognitive DevelopmentTheory : 

Cognitive development theory emphasizes the role that the child plays in interpreting the world. The child is an active agent in gender-role acquisition. There is a series of stages that children move through to acquire gender roles, starting with gender identity and proceeding to gender constancy. Social cognitive theory: recognizes that the child and the environment interact with one another to produce gender roles. Cognitive DevelopmentTheory

Gender Schema Theory : 

Gender Schema Theory Copyright © 2009 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. All rights reserved.

Gender Schema Theory : 

Gender schema theory combines elements of both social learning theory and cognitive development theory. It examines how the content of gender schemas are acquired and suggests that people use those schemas to guide their behavior. People who are gender schematic divide the world into masculine and feminine categories and allow the gender category to influence how they dress, behave, and think. Gender Schema Theory

Gender Schema Theory, cont. : 

According to Bem (1981), a person who is gender aschematic relies on other categories besides gender to interpret the world. When Bem first put forth her theory of gender aschematicity, she reasoned that someone who is not constrained by the gender category would be likely to develop both masculine and feminine traits—androgyny. However, Bem advocated a gender-aschematic society rather than an androgynous one. Gender Schema Theory, cont.

Considering the Context:Deaux and Major’s Model : 

Considering the Context:Deaux and Major’s Model Copyright © 2009 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. All rights reserved.

Perceiver : 

Unlike the other theories in this chapter, the Deaux and Major (1987) model emphasizes the more proximal causes of sex differences, highlighting the impact of the situation. Perceivers influence whether sex differences are observed through cognitive confirmation—we see what we want to see—and behavioral confirmation—the process by which a perceiver’s expectation actually alters the target’s behavior. Perceiver

Target : 

The target in an interaction is the person whose behavior is of interest. The target of an interaction influences whether he or she displays behavior consistent with stereotypes about sex differences by two processes: self-verification—our concern with behaving in ways consistent with our self-concept—and self-presentation—our concern with how our behavior appears to others. Target

Situation : 

Features of the situation that influence the observance of sex differences are behavioral constraints, whether the situation calls for self-presentation, and the strength of one’s views on the subject of interest. Situation

Constructionist andPostmodern Perspectives : 

Constructionist andPostmodern Perspectives Copyright © 2009 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. All rights reserved.

Constructionist andPostmodern Perspectives : 

The constuctionists have difficulty with the subject of comparing men and women. They view gender as a dynamic force rather than a static, individual difference variable. Men’s and women’s behavior does not exist in a vacuum; it always occurs in a specific place and time. Thus, the constructionists argue that sex comparisons cannot be made with empirical methods. Constructionist andPostmodern Perspectives

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