sex differences and gender-role development

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Sex Differences and Gender-Role Development. Why do people react differently to males and females? Possible explanations: Biological differences, societies expectationsGender typing: process by which children acquire gender identity, and motives, values, and behaviors considered appropriate in their culture for members of their biological sex..

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1. Sex Differences and Gender-Role Development Chapter 13 Dr. Pelaez

3. Categorizing Males and Females: Gender-Role Standards Gender-role standard: Value, motive, or a class of behavior that is considered more appropriate for members of one sex than the other. Girls are typically encouraged to assume expressive role:being kind, nurturant, cooperative and sensitive. Taken together, a society’s gender-role standards describe how males and females are expected to behave and reflect the stereotypes by which we categorize and respond to members of each sex. Taken together, a society’s gender-role standards describe how males and females are expected to behave and reflect the stereotypes by which we categorize and respond to members of each sex.

4. Categorizing Males and Females: Gender Role Standards Boys are encouraged to adopt instrumental role: role of providing for the family and protecting it from harm. Achievement and self-reliance more strongly encouraged in young boys. Nurturance, responsibility and obedience more encouraged in young girls. Although some change has occurred, adolescents and young adults still endorse many traditional stereotypes about men and women. Although some change has occurred, adolescents and young adults still endorse many traditional stereotypes about men and women.

5. It appears the first goal of civilization is to encourage children to acquire these traits that will enable them to become contributing members of society. A second goal is to “gender type” the child by stressing relationship-oriented attributes for girls and individualistic attributes for boys

6. Some Facts and Fictions About Sex Differences Small but reliable differences between females and male Verbal ability, Visual spatial abilities, Mathematical ability, Aggression

7. Verbal ability Girls have greater verbal abilities than boys. Girls acquire language and develop verbal skills at an earlier age. Girls display small but consistent verbal advantage on tests of reading comprehension and speech fluency.

8. Visual/Spatial Abilities Boys outperform girls on tests of visual/spatial abilities: the ability to draw inferences about or to mentally manipulate pictorial information. Not large difference, but detectable as early as age 4 and persists across life span.

9. Mathematical Ability Boys acquire more mathematical problem-solving strategies that enable them to outperform girls on complex word problems, geometry, and the SAT math portion. more males than females are exceptionally talented in math.

10. Aggression Boys are more physically and verbally aggressive than girls, starting as early as age two. 10 times more likely to be involved in antisocial behavior and violent crime during adolescence. Girls display more covert forms of hostility such as undermining or ignoring.

11. Other possible differences Other researchers have provided more possible differences: Activity Level Fear, Timidity, and Risk Taking Developmental Vulnerability Emotional Expressivity/Sensitivity Compliance Boys are more physically active than girls. Girls appear to be more fearful as early as the first year of life in uncertain situations. Most girls are more cautious and less assertive, and take less risks. Boys are more physically vulnerable to prenatal and perinatal hazards. Boys display more developmental problems. Females appear to be more sensitive and nurturing, but when studies in naturalistic settings, boys appear about equal. Finally, girls are usually more compliant than boys. Boys are more physically active than girls. Girls appear to be more fearful as early as the first year of life in uncertain situations. Most girls are more cautious and less assertive, and take less risks. Boys are more physically vulnerable to prenatal and perinatal hazards. Boys display more developmental problems. Females appear to be more sensitive and nurturing, but when studies in naturalistic settings, boys appear about equal. Finally, girls are usually more compliant than boys.

12. Cultural Myths Maccoby and Jacklin (1974) proposed that many gender-role stereotypes are “cultural myths” that have no basis in fact Gender-role stereotypes are well-ingrained cognitive schemes that we use to interpret and often distort the behavior of males and females. People even use these schemas to classify the behavior of infants. A 9-month old child was introduced as either a girl or a boy. A the students observed the child play, they were asked to interpret the child’s reactions to toys. Impressions of the infant’s behavior clearly depended on his or her presumed sex. If the child was perceived to be a boy, anger was used to label his behavior. The presumed girl was labeled as “fear.”People even use these schemas to classify the behavior of infants. A 9-month old child was introduced as either a girl or a boy. A the students observed the child play, they were asked to interpret the child’s reactions to toys. Impressions of the infant’s behavior clearly depended on his or her presumed sex. If the child was perceived to be a boy, anger was used to label his behavior. The presumed girl was labeled as “fear.”

13. Do Cultural Myths Contribute to Sex Differences in Ability (and Vocational Opportunity?) Women are over represented in fields that call for verbal ability, and seriously under represented in fields such as science and technology. Why? Actual differences, or self-fulfilling prophecy? When asked to judge the merits of several scientific articles that were attributed to a male author or to a female author, female participants judged the articles written by a male to be of higher quality than those by the female, even though the manuscripts were identical in every respect. Young women reflect the belief that girls and women lack the potential to excel in either math or science. When asked to judge the merits of several scientific articles that were attributed to a male author or to a female author, female participants judged the articles written by a male to be of higher quality than those by the female, even though the manuscripts were identical in every respect. Young women reflect the belief that girls and women lack the potential to excel in either math or science.

14. Cultural Myths Home Influences: Parents may often contribute to sex differences in ability and self-perceptions by treating their sons and daughters differently. Scholastic Influences: Teachers also have stereotyped beliefs about the relative abilities of boys and girls. Parents, influenced by gender stereotypes, expect their sons to outperform their daughters in math. Children begin to internalize their parents views so that boys feel self-confident, whereas girls are somewhat more inclined to become anxious or depressed and to underestimate their academic abilities. Unfounded beliefs about sex differences may lead to underrepresentation of women in the sciences. Parents, influenced by gender stereotypes, expect their sons to outperform their daughters in math. Children begin to internalize their parents views so that boys feel self-confident, whereas girls are somewhat more inclined to become anxious or depressed and to underestimate their academic abilities. Unfounded beliefs about sex differences may lead to underrepresentation of women in the sciences.

15. Developmental Trends in Gender Typing Gender identity- knowledge that one is either a boy or a girl Gender-role stereotypes-ideas about what girls and boys are supposed to be like Gender-typed patterns of behavior-child’s tendency to favor same-sex activities over those of opposite sex. First step in development of gender identity is to discriminate males from females. By 4 months infants have already begun to match male and female voices with faces.First step in development of gender identity is to discriminate males from females. By 4 months infants have already begun to match male and female voices with faces.

16. Development of the Gender Concept By 4 months, infants have already begun to match male and female voices with faces. Between ages 2 and 3, Children begin to correctly use labels such as “mommy” and “daddy”. Between 5 and 7 children realize that gender is unchanging.

17. Development of Gender-Role Stereotypes Sex differences in toy preference develops even before a child has established a clear gender identity. By age 10 to 11 children’s stereotyping begins to rival that of adults. Early adolescents develop increased intolerance of cross-sex mannerisms and behaviors. Young boys found that other boys who played with toys for “girls” such as Barbie dolls, were acting inappropriately. Boys felt other boys should play with GI Joe. Also, boys may have more pressure to conform to gender roles. Girls who participated in boys activities were not looked upon nearly as poorly as boys who wore lipstick. In early adolescents, there is an increased intolerance of cross-sex mannerisms and behaviors, largely because of gender intensification. This is a magnification of sex differences that is associated with increased pressure to conform to gender roles as one approaches puberty. Young boys found that other boys who played with toys for “girls” such as Barbie dolls, were acting inappropriately. Boys felt other boys should play with GI Joe. Also, boys may have more pressure to conform to gender roles. Girls who participated in boys activities were not looked upon nearly as poorly as boys who wore lipstick. In early adolescents, there is an increased intolerance of cross-sex mannerisms and behaviors, largely because of gender intensification. This is a magnification of sex differences that is associated with increased pressure to conform to gender roles as one approaches puberty.

18. Development of Gender-Typed Behavior Gender segregation- Girls prefer to play with other girls, and boys prefer to play with other boys. Macoby believes that this largely reflects differences in play styles-an incompatibility that may stem from boy’s heightened levels of androgen. By age 61/2 children already are spending more than 10 times as much time with same-sex companions. In studies, boys seemed to boisterous and domineering for girls, who tended to withdraw from the males. Cognitive and social-cognitive development contributes to the increasing gender segregation children display. Once children label themselves, the come to favor the group in which they belong.By age 61/2 children already are spending more than 10 times as much time with same-sex companions. In studies, boys seemed to boisterous and domineering for girls, who tended to withdraw from the males. Cognitive and social-cognitive development contributes to the increasing gender segregation children display. Once children label themselves, the come to favor the group in which they belong.

19. Theories of Gender Typing and Gender-Role Development Several theories have been proposed to account for sex differences and the development of gender roles. Some theories emphasize the role of biological differences between the sexes and others emphasize social influences. Some emphasize how society influences children, others the choices children make and their consequences.

20. Theories of Gender Typing And Gender-Role Development Money and Ehrhardt’s Biosocial Theory: states that biological and social influences interact to determine a person’s behaviors and role preferences. First critical event occurs at conception, when the infant receives the X or Y chromosome. Once a child is born, social factors immediately come into play.

21. Evidence for Biological Influences Genetic influences: may contribute to some sex differences in personality, cognitive abilities, and social behaviors. Hormones and congenital defects can have great effects. However, it appears that at least half of the variability in people’s masculine and feminine self-concepts is attributable to environmental influences. Congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH)- a genetic defect that causes the adrenal glands to produce unusually high levels of androgen. Androgenized females more likely to be tomboys, date and marry late, and be homo or bi sexual (37%). Testosterone promotes heightened activity, a readiness to anger, and, hence, a predisposition to behave aggressively. Congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH)- a genetic defect that causes the adrenal glands to produce unusually high levels of androgen. Androgenized females more likely to be tomboys, date and marry late, and be homo or bi sexual (37%). Testosterone promotes heightened activity, a readiness to anger, and, hence, a predisposition to behave aggressively.

23. Social-Labeling Influences Parents and other people label and begin to react to the child based on his or her genitals. Puberty, combined with one’s earlier self-concept as a male or female, provide the basis for an adult gender identity and gender role preference. Money and Ehrhardt found that adroginized girls who were labeled and raised as boys, were able to adjust to being a girl if the change was made before 18 mo. After age 3, gender reassignment is exceedingly difficult because these genetic females have experienced prolonged masculine gender typing and have already labeled themselves as boys. Money and Ehrhardt found that adroginized girls who were labeled and raised as boys, were able to adjust to being a girl if the change was made before 18 mo. After age 3, gender reassignment is exceedingly difficult because these genetic females have experienced prolonged masculine gender typing and have already labeled themselves as boys.

24. Freud’s Psychoanalytic Theory Freud believed that one’s gender identity and preferences for a gender role emerge during the phallic stage. Said that boys identify with father’s out of fear of being castrated, thus resolving their Oedipus complex. Girls, in trying to please their father’s incorporate their mother’s feminine attributes. In phallic stage, children begin to identify and emulate with their same sex parent. Before this, the boy is said to desire his mother, and feel jealousy toward his father. Girls are said to envy their father’s for having a penis, and choose him as a sex object in the hope that he will share with her this valuable organ that she lacks. In phallic stage, children begin to identify and emulate with their same sex parent. Before this, the boy is said to desire his mother, and feel jealousy toward his father. Girls are said to envy their father’s for having a penis, and choose him as a sex object in the hope that he will share with her this valuable organ that she lacks.

25. Social Learning Theory According to Banduras children acquire gender identities and gender-role preferences in 2 ways: Direct tuition-children rewarded or punished for behaviors Observational learning- in watching others children adopt attitudes and behaviors. Parents encourage gender-appropriate activities and discourage cross-gender play during second year of life. Parents who show the clearest patterns of differential reinforcement have children who are relatively quick to 1) label themselves as boys or girls, 2) develop strong gender-typed toy and activity preferences, 3) acquire an understanding of gender stereotypes. Parents encourage gender-appropriate activities and discourage cross-gender play during second year of life. Parents who show the clearest patterns of differential reinforcement have children who are relatively quick to 1) label themselves as boys or girls, 2) develop strong gender-typed toy and activity preferences, 3) acquire an understanding of gender stereotypes.

26. Kohlberg’s Cognitive-Developmental Theory Gender-role development depends on cognitive development; children must acquire certain understandings about gender before they will be influenced by their social experiences. Children actively socialize themselves; they are not merely passive pawns of social influence. Kohlberg suggests that children first establish a stable gender identity and then actively seek out same-sex models and other information to learn how to act like a boy or girl. Kohlberg suggests that children first establish a stable gender identity and then actively seek out same-sex models and other information to learn how to act like a boy or girl.

27. Kohlberg’s Cognitive Development Theory Basic gender identity- By age 3, children have labeled firmly themselves as boys or girls. Gender stability-child recognizes that gender is stable over time. Gender consistency-child recognizes that gender is invariant despite changes in activities or appearance. Major problem with Kohlberg’s theory is that gender typing is well underway before the child acquires a mature gender identity. Kohlberg overstates the case in arguing that a mature understanding of gender is necessary for gender typing to begin. Major problem with Kohlberg’s theory is that gender typing is well underway before the child acquires a mature gender identity. Kohlberg overstates the case in arguing that a mature understanding of gender is necessary for gender typing to begin.

28. Gender Schema Theory Martin and Halverson claim that establishment of gender identity motivates a child to learn about sexes. Child incorporates information into gender schemas-organized sets of beliefs and expectations about males and females First children acquire simple in-group/out-group schema that allows them to classify some objects, behaviors and roles as “for boys” or “for girls.” Then children construct an own-sex schema, which consists of detailed information they will need to perform various gender-consistent behaviors. For example, a girl who learns that sewing is a female activity, so she gathers information on sewing and ignores other activities, to be consistent with her own self-concept.First children acquire simple in-group/out-group schema that allows them to classify some objects, behaviors and roles as “for boys” or “for girls.” Then children construct an own-sex schema, which consists of detailed information they will need to perform various gender-consistent behaviors. For example, a girl who learns that sewing is a female activity, so she gathers information on sewing and ignores other activities, to be consistent with her own self-concept.

29. Psychological Androgyny: A Prescription for the Twenty-First Century? Androgyny-individual incorporates both masculine and feminine attributes into his/her personality. Bem demonstrated that these people act more flexibly than more traditionally gender-typed individuals. Androgynous people do seem to be more highly adaptable, and androgynous children seem to enjoy higher self-esteem. A male or female who has many desirable masculine traits and a few feminine ones is said to be a masculine gender-typed person. One who has many feminine and few masculine-stereotyped traits is defined as a feminine gender-typed person. Androgynous people do seem to be more highly adaptable, and androgynous children seem to enjoy higher self-esteem. A male or female who has many desirable masculine traits and a few feminine ones is said to be a masculine gender-typed person. One who has many feminine and few masculine-stereotyped traits is defined as a feminine gender-typed person.

30. Applications: On Changing Gender-Role Attitudes and Behaviors How can we reduce sexism? Parents must: 1)teach that biological sex is unimportant outside domain of reproduction 2) delay children’s exposure to gender stereotypes by encouraging cross and same-sex play, and by dividing household (mom mowing lawn; dad cooking). If androgyny is not modeled in the home, there are some useful interventions. However, these interventions have not shown to be effective in adolescents. In fact, it has a boomerang effect with 9th grade boys. The earlier the intervention, the more effective it is. If androgyny is not modeled in the home, there are some useful interventions. However, these interventions have not shown to be effective in adolescents. In fact, it has a boomerang effect with 9th grade boys. The earlier the intervention, the more effective it is.

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