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Adolescence and Gender. Defining Sex vs Gender Chromosomal Hormonal Gonadal Sexual Orientation Gender Identity (mind) Gender Roles (behaviors) Gender is what defines us, our masculinity and femininity, not sex or sexual reproduction or sexual behavior. Differential Gender Socialization.

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adolescence and gender
Adolescence and Gender
  • Defining Sex vs Gender
  • Chromosomal
  • Hormonal
  • Gonadal
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Gender Identity (mind)
  • Gender Roles (behaviors)
  • Gender is what defines us, our masculinity and femininity, not sex or sexual reproduction or sexual behavior
differential gender socialization
Differential Gender Socialization
  • Parents treat males / females differently
    • Girls treated less physically, more verbally
  • Out-role behavior is heavily punished by peers
  • Middle childhood, rules become more flexible
  • During puberty, though, rules become more rigid again
  • Mostly imposed by peers
  • Traditionally, males have received more attention in school, but recent research shows girls feel more accepted and encouraged than males
cognition and gender
Cognition and gender
  • 1. Kohlberg’s cognitive-developmental theory of gender
  • Gender identity develops around 3
  • Gender Permanence develops around 5
  • Then M/F select roles – self-socialization
  • Adolescents abstract the essence of feminine and masculine from many different examples
  • 2. Gender schema theory – mental organization of facts – we selectively process information based on our gender – and then conform our behavior to that template
female socialization
Female socialization
  • Womanhood just happens – not achieved
  • Need to be sheltered from work – physical exertion would weaken the uterus – Narrow gender socialization (traditional cultures)
  • Should shelter her developing sexuality – would entice males (who we know can’t be controlled) – Narrow sexual socialization, traditional and modern cultures). Only in modern times are girls typically informed of menarche.
  • Typically work with mother, and remain close to her, throughout life – modified by marriage
  • Techniques for enhancing appearance – makeup, corsets, hose (foot binding in China)
male socialization
Male socialization
  • Manhood must be earned – demonstrated
  • Communal manhood – historical, nontraditional - join the tribe – it is the males who run the community – males need to demonstrate desire & ability to believe in and carry on the traditions – inherit the rules and the farm – modern Fraternities
  • Provide, Protect, Procreate
  • Develop character qualities of diligence & stamina, courage and fortitude
  • Man judged by his character – maturity, ability to be strong (physically, mentally, emotionally)
  • Modern societies today – Self-made manhood – economic
  • Passionate manhood – be passionate, fiery, aggressive, a lover
american history
American History
  • Industrial rev. brought in new ideals – become independent – leave home
  • E.g., inception of YMCA, YWCA
  • Develop morals, physical ability – recall that the I.R. was a very unhealthy time – needed to re-emphasize health
  • Gender socialization in traditional cultures becomes BROAD for boys
  • Other cultures – tribal – e.g., Italian males live at home until they marry
  • Western cultures today - passionate manhood – self-expression and self-enjoyment more accepted today (but will this last in our new time of conservative values?)
  • Today, broad gender socialization for girls, and narrow sexual socialization
  • Narrow gender socialization for boys, and broad sexual socialization
gender intensification hypothesis
Gender Intensification Hypothesis
  • At puberty, males and females accentuate their gender differences, both externally (physically) and internally (mentally)
  • Hold rigid gender stereotypes
  • Intense socialization pressure
  • Self-conscious about appearance
  • NORC data show gender role stereotypes have become less rigid
media and gender
Media and Gender
  • Teen magazines relentlessly promote gender socialization of girls toward traditional feminine characteristics and behaviors
  • Physical appearance, how to appeal to boys
  • Also trying to influence teens to buy products – clothes for girls, electronics for boys
  • Main topic on careers for girls was modeling
  • Girls more likely to develop a negative body image
  • Leads to dieting and eating disorders
  • Males socialize each other to become more aggressive – ridicule each other and women
  • Establish a dominance hierarchy
masculinity femininity androgyny
Masculinity, Femininity, Androgyny
  • Judith Gibbons’ cross-cultural study of gender ideals
  • Ideal man & woman = kind & honest
  • Low value = money and popularity
  • More important for a man to have a good job
  • More important for a woman to be good looking
  • Bem SRI – most desirable M F traits
  • Expressive traits – Instrumental traits
  • During adolescence, higher self-image is realted to female androgyny than male androgyny
Androgyny may be healthier – more flexible
  • In adolescence, androgyny more healthy for girls than boys
  • Acceptance by peers is highest for androgynous girls and masculine boys
  • So in modern cultures there is a narrow gender socialization in gender traits for boys, but a broad gender socialization in traits for girls
gender socialization as a source of problems
Gender socialization as a source of problems
  • Gender Role Strain
    • Success, power, competition
    • Restrictive emotionality (Alexithymia)
    • Restrictive closeness with other men, including sons
    • Conflict between work and family relations
  • Males, gender role difficulties usually include aggression (dominance hierarchy), competition, suppress emotions, pain, injury, 4 times more likely to commit suicide
  • Increases risk-taking behaviors – which lead to accidents and diseases
  • Sexual harassment and abuse
  • Girls – focus on physical appearance – causes stress, pressures girls to define the self in terms of attractiveness, and perhaps contributes to eating disorders
  • Pressure from boys AND girls
american minority groups
American Minority Groups
  • African American females are more likely to have qualities that are typically thought of as more “masculine”
  • Self reliance, assertiveness, perseverance
  • Not as vulnerable to eating disorders
  • A-A males are perhaps more likely to accentuate hypermasculine characteristics
  • Latino – F submissive, M machismo
gender stereotypes in emerging adulthood
Gender stereotypes in emerging adulthood
  • Stereotypes about work roles, still present, but fading
  • Why do stereotypes exist? Motivation to BE different.
male female circumcision
Male / Female circumcision
  • Much more restrictive for females
  • Cultural focus & meaning – interpretation of female sexual needs & purposes
  • No basis in medical science for necessity of either male or female circumcision
discussion questions
Discussion questions
  • Emotions
  • Roles
  • Peer Pressure
  • Media influences
  • Portrayal of men and women in media
Sexual socialization
    • Males – Broad socialization
    • Females – Narrow socialization
      • Exception: bisexuality
  • Gender socialization
    • Roles
      • Males
        • Traditional – broad
        • Modern – “narrow”
      • Females
        • Traditional – narrow
        • Modern - broadening
    • Emotional
      • Males – narrow
      • Females - broad