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Psychology 320: Gender Psychology Lecture 9. Invitational Office Hour Invitations, by Student Number for October 1 st 11:30-12:30, 3:30-4:30 Kenny 2517. 13556071 37591104 42847079 68220060 70158092. History of Research on Gender Psychology.

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Psychology 320: Gender PsychologyLecture 9


Invitational Office Hour Invitations, by Student Number for October 1st11:30-12:30, 3:30-4:30 Kenny 2517

13556071

37591104

42847079

68220060

70158092


History of Research on Gender Psychology

  • What theories and research characterize the history of gender psychology? (continued)


By the end of today’s class, you should be able to:

1. describe major shifts in theory and research on sex and gender between 1982 and present day.

2. describe contemporary measures of gender.

3. discuss the relationship between gender (e.g., femininity, masculinity) and psychological adjustment.


4. describe the “masculine superiority effect.”

5. discuss changes in gender across time in North America.


What theories and research characterize the history of gender psychology? (continued)

E. 1954 – 1982: Sex Typing and Androgyny (continued)


PAQ: Correlations Among M, F, and Adjustment Measures (Spence et al., 1979)

*p<.01, **p<.001


Correlations Among M/F, Self-Esteem, and Ego Strength (Woo and Oei, 2006)

*p<.001


  • Research (e.g., Holt & Ellis, 1998) supports the validity of the BSRI and PAQ among contemporary populations.

  • Cross-sectional data collected between 1970 and 2000 (e.g., Leuptow et al., 2001; Spence & Buckner, 2000; Twenge, 1997) demonstrate:

  • Cross-sectional data collected between 1970 and 2000 (e.g., Leuptow et al., 2001; Spence & Buckner, 2000; Twenge, 1997) demonstrate:

(a) consistent sex differences on femininity.

(b) reduced sex differences on masculinity.


Correlation Between Women’s BSRI-M Scores and Year of Study Publication (Twenge, 1997)

5.4

5.2

5.0

4.8

4.6

4.4

1970

1975

1980

1985

1990

1995


F. Study Publication 1982 – Present: Gender as a Social Category

  • Since 1982, research on sex, gender, and psychology has proliferated.

  • Two trends are apparent in this research:


1. Gender as a multidimensional construct. Study Publication

  • Many contemporary theorists argue that gender is not adequately represented by a two-dimensional model (e.g., instrumental vs. expressive traits).

  • Rather, masculinity and femininity reflect highly diverse content, including traits, physical characteristics, and interests.

  • Consistent with this view, many contemporary theorists view masculinity and femininity as prototypes: as abstract sets of features commonly associated with masculinity and femininity.


Feminine prototypeTraits: Caring, soft-spoken, social, delicate, shy.Physical characteristics: Well dressed.Interests: Concerned with appearance, likes art.

Masculine prototypeTraits: Self-confident, dominant.Physical characteristics: Muscular, tall, hairy face.Interests: Likes sports, fitness, cars, concerned with work.


  • GD scores indicate levels of masculinity and femininity on the basis of the individual’s traits, physical characteristics, and interests.


  • GD scores that approach 0 or 1 suggest relatively high levels of femininity and masculinity, respectively.

  • GD scores are not highly correlated with scores on the BSRI or the PAQ.


2. Social influences on gender. individual’s scores on several indices of masculinity and femininity (e.g., preferred occupation, hobbies, level of aggressiveness).

  • Consistent with the social constructionist view, there is increasing emphasis on the social factors that contribute to sex differences in behaviour.

  • Recognition of the social influences on gender has resulted in research on gender-role strain.


History of Research on Gender Psychology individual’s scores on several indices of masculinity and femininity (e.g., preferred occupation, hobbies, level of aggressiveness).

  • What theories and research characterize the history of gender psychology? (continued)


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