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GENDER DIFFERENCES. Gender Role: culturally expected behaviour for males and females. Socialization: acquisition of cultural norms, through parents, peers, school, media, etc. Children who watch more hours of TV have more stereotypical views of gender roles. GENDER DIFFERENCES.

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gender differences
GENDER DIFFERENCES
  • Gender Role:
    • culturally expected behaviour for males and females.
  • Socialization:
    • acquisition of cultural norms, through parents, peers, school, media, etc. Children who watch more hours of TV have more stereotypical views of gender roles.
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GENDER DIFFERENCES
  • Gender Schema:
    • cognitive set associated with gender roles. Internalized cultural expectations.
  • Stereotype:
    • generalized views about a group of people, usually rigid.
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GENDER DIFFERENCES
  • Gender differences in sexual behaviour are mostly culturally induced.
  • Cultural expectations in patriarchal societies:
    • interest in sex: males high/females low
    • sexual experience: males positive/females negative
    • initiators: males
    • sexual gatekeepers: females
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GENDER DIFFERENCES
  • Read Sandra Byers’ research in NB. Which of the above were supported? Which were not?
  • Male/females psychological differences:
    • level and type of aggression
    • communication style
    • emotional expressiveness
    • decoding non-verbal cues
  • But also within group variability.
  • These gender differences will affect sexual behaviour. However, if cultural expectations change, these differences tend to disappear.
bogus pipeline technique
Bogus Pipeline Technique

Used in self-report studies to assess degree of veracity

  • Bogus pipeline condition: use of a polygraph (in reality not working) but makes participant believe a lie will be detected
  • Anonymous condition: experimenter won’t see the answers
  • Exposure threat condition: experimenter could see answers.

In 1. sex differences were negligible

2. moderate differences

3. greatest differences

So: self-reports can be misleading

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GENDER DIFFERENCES

Gender Differences in Sexuality:

1. Masturbation:

  • Largest difference. Practically all men, but less than 60% women (NORC survey)

2. Casual Sex:

  • Second largest difference.
  • Women: sex as part of relationship
  • Men: self-satisfaction
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GENDER DIFFERENCES

Gender Differences in Sexuality (Cont’d):

3. Response to sexual stimuli:

  • Both men and women are most aroused by heterosexual sex.
  • Both men and women most aroused by tapes of female-initiated sex.
  • Women often (50%) not aware of their own arousal.
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GENDER DIFFERENCES

Gender Differences in Sexuality (Cont’d):

4. Orgasmic Consistency:

    • 75% men vs. 29% women (NORC) during intercourse (80/60 by masturbation).
  • Possible explanations:
    • Anatomical differences: men more obvious and accessible.
  • Physiology:
    • Pelvic vascularization differences in women pre- and post-pregnancy.
  • Hormones:
    • NOT! Women don’t need 10 times the testosterone to become aroused.
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GENDER DIFFERENCES

Gender Differences in Sexuality (Cont’d):

  • Culture:
    • religious legacy
    • Victorian legacy
    • gender stereotypes
    • literature (XIX century)
    • media (XX century)
    • other cultures (past and present) women same sex drive
    • our culture: still double standard, conflicting messages.
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SEXUAL RESPONSE

AGE

GENDER DIFFERENCES

Gender Differences in Sexuality (Cont’d):

  • Fear of pregnancy.
  • Ineffective stimulation by partner.
  • The age variable:
    • changes in sex drive, arousal speed, orgasmic capability, frequency and duration of refractory period (men).
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GENDER DIFFERENCES

Gender Differences in Sexuality (Cont’d):

  • Role of early masturbation:
    • men learn what gives them pleasure, many women don’t.
  • Person-centered vs. body-centered sex:
    • male/female opposites (Reiss, Kaplan).
  • Read Male Sexuality (Zilbergeld).
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GENDER DIFFERENCES

Gender Differences in Sexuality (Cont’d):

  • Androgyny (Sandra Bem)
    • An androgynous person has both masculine and feminine psychological characteristics and will use either according to situational demands. Androgynous women, compared to ‘feminine’ (stereotypical) women:
      • orgasm more often
      • report higher sexual satisfaction
      • are more comfortable with sex
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GENDER DIFFERENCES

Gender Differences in Sexuality (Cont’d):

  • Gender dysphoria:
    • unhappiness with own gender.
  • Behaviourally:
    • transsexual.
  • No details of sex change surgery.
  • Male-to-female vs. female-to-male:
    • 3:1 ratio
  • Causes unknown:
    • prenatal hormones? early learning?
  • No questions re. testing for biological sex.
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GENDER DIFFERENCES

Gender Differences in Sexuality (Cont’d):

  • Criticisms:
    • Most important:

many people feel they are in the wrong-sex body because the gender stereotypes are too narrow.

  • Gender dysphoria can also be caused by sex reassignment surgery.
  • Male babies born with very small or unformed penises have been surgically turned into girls, and reared as such even though genetically XY.
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GENDER DIFFERENCES

Gender Differences in Sexuality (Cont’d):

  • A few cases have been, so far, relatively successful, but the majority have caused many problems, even suicide.
  • The majority of these “girls” feel and act like boys, and many choose to be reassigned as boys when they are older.
  • Like with transsexuals, these intersex individual have different environments which partly account for either positive or negative outcomes.
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GENDER DIFFERENCES

Examples of cultures and sanctioned intersex:

  • Zapotec in Oaxaca, Mexico: the muxes (MOOshess) are biological men who consider themselves women from childhood on.

Cultural acceptance: there were cross-dressing Aztec priests and Mayan gods that were both male and female.

Most muxes dress as women, others as men. They are believed to have special intellectual and artistic gifts.

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GENDER DIFFERENCES

Examples of cultures and sanctioned intersex:

  • Rural Northern Albania: many wars and feuds, men die. Some women take on the male role – but they have to forsake sex, marriage and children. Since women not allowed to be heads of households or own property, the solution is to turn into men, sanctioned by the culture: male clothes, gestures, customs, male friends.