Where do gender roles come from? How big an impact does personality play? Are sex differences in children more a result of personality or situational factors, in your opi

1. Where do gender roles come from? How big an impact does personality play?

2. Are sex differences in children more a result of personality or situational factors, in your opinion?

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    PersonalityGenderPsych.ppt

Male – Female Differences

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Gender-Role Standards and Stereotypes

  • This field continues to be very controversial.
  • This is a prime example of a politically sensitive area–i. e., one where the attitudes of the scientists have to be scrutinized
  • Defining sex and gender
  • Gender: masculine or feminine behaviors
  • Sex: biological and physical attributes
  • Gender typing: culturally assigned roles

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Gender-Role Standards and Stereotypes

  • Defining sex and gender
  • Gender-based beliefs: expectations
  • Gender stereotypes: based on beliefs
  • Gender roles: distinct behaviors displayed
  • Gender identity: perception of self
  • Gender-role preferences: desires

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Gender-Role Standards and Stereotypes

  • Gender socialization begins at birth:
  • Parents have a role in socializing gender: Dress boys and girls differently, select toys based on gender, and often react negatively if they behave in ways they think are gender inappropriate.
  • Gender stereotypes
  • Males: controlling, dominant, independent, controlling and manipulating the environment; assertive, dominant,
    competitive.
    Females: relatively passive, loving, sensitive, and supportive in social relationships,
    especially in their family roles as wife and mother.
  • Warmth in personal relationships, the
    display of anxiety under pressure, and the suppression of overt aggression and sexuality
    as more appropriate for women than men.

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Gender-Role Standards and Stereotypes

  • These stereotypes are true cross-culturally as well.
  • This implies that the origins of these stereotypes does not lie in local cultures.
  • But there are some variations.
  • Culture
  • Generation

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Gender-Role Standards and Stereotypes

Sex stereotypes that men are more aggressive than women and women more interpersonally sensitive than men are very robust, even among more educated people, both sexes, all social classes.

-Keep in mind that male/female distributions overlap.

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Gender-Role Standards and Stereotypes

  • Some recent findings
  • Age differences: Young children are especially rigid in gender stereotyping; children between ages 3-6 are more gender stereotypes than adults. This reflects a general tendency for young children to have rigid, absolutist sense of rules. (This is also the case in moral reasoning where young children allow no exceptions to rules like "stealing is bad.")

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  • NOTE: There are overlaps in all of these areas so that, for example, some girls are more physically aggressive than some boys. Physical Sex Differences:
  • Girls more advanced physically throughout childhood; they mature earlier and their development stops sooner.
  • Boys have larger lungs and heart, and they are superior at activities involving gross motor activities and strength; males more likely to suffer a wide range of developmental disorders (speech defects, ADHD, mental impairement)
  • Girls tend to have a few intimate friends
  • Boys have a larger number of "pals"—guys they hang out with but don't have close, intimate, confiding relationships.

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  • Cognitive Sex Differences:
  • Girls superior at verbal abilities (vocabulary, reading comprehension, verbal creativity) during early to middle childhood. These differences become attenuated as children get older, and disappear by adolescence.
  • Boys have greater visual-spatial ability beginning around age 10. (Visual-spatial ability is involved in manipulating objects in two- or three-dimensional space, reading maps, aiming at a target.)
  • Boys also excel at mathematics beginning around age 12.
  • Girls superior in Conscientiousness: Focused attention, responsibility, dependability, delay of gratification.
  • Conscientiousness is strongly correlated with school success.

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  • Social Sex Differences:
  • Boys more aggressive, especially physical aggression and direct verbal assault. (Girls use indirect forms of aggression such as exclusion, negative gossip.)
  • Boys more into risk-taking and sensation seeking as well as curiosity and exploratory behavior; boys attracted to physically dangerous occupations
  • Girls more compliant with demands of parents and teachers. (Conscientiousness)
  • No sex differences in attachment classification. However, Girls more nurturant and dependent. (Affectional System) Infant girls more attracted to faces and may recognize mother's face earlier.
  • Girls more fearful of possible personal threats and dangers. No sex differences for social phobias, or possibly more common among boys.

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  • 15- to 36-month-old toddlers have clear preferences for toys that are "gender appropriate"; but girls are more likely than boys to choose "gender inappropriate" toys.
  • In general, the male role is more clearly defined: there is a narrower range of activities considered appropriate for males.
  • Based on survey data, boys in the US like guns, boxing, wrestling and karate, team sports, and fixing and making things more than girls.
    Girls prefer dolls, sewing, cooking, dancing, and looking after younger children more than boys.
  • Parents encourage these patterns by, for example, assigning household tasks.

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Stability of Gender Typing

  • Masculinity and femininity develop early and are stable personality characteristics.
  • This is not surprising, since many of the traits that show sex differences are linked to personality systems.
  • There is some change in later adulthood as men become more nurturant and expressive, especially in old age.
  • Probably due to less testosterone.
  • Becoming a parent results in a divergence of gender roles.
  • Even among egalitarian couples who are committed to sharing household tasks equally, the onset of parenting means a return to traditional gender roles. 

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Biological Factors in Gender Differences: HORMONES AND SOCIAL BEHAVIOR

  • Women have small amounts of the male hormone testosterone and men have small amounts of female hormones like progesterone and estrogen. In childhood, the differences are quite small, but they increase markedly in adolescents and adults.
  • There are two surges of hormones, prenatally and during adolescence.
  • The surge of hormones prenatally affects behavior in childhood, and the surge during adolescence activates and enhances the early predispositions created by the prenatal surge.
  • These are critical periods for the effects of hormones on later behavior.

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Biological Factors in Gender Differences: HORMONES AND SOCIAL BEHAVIOR

  • NOTE: Levels of testosterone are also influenced by the animal's experience. Animals that have been repeatedly defeated in fighting have lowered testosterone, and winners have elevated testosterone as a result of their experience.
  • This also occurs with humans: Winning an athletic event results in a surge in testosterone.

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Biological Factors in Gender Differences: HORMONES AND SOCIAL BEHAVIOR

  • HORMONES AND COGNITIVE SKILLS
  • There is evidence for a critical period for brain organization and hemisphere lateralization (males more lateralized).
  • Testosterone surge prenatally is responsible. This surge makes females process verbal information better and males process spatial information better.

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Cognitive Factors in Gender Typing

  • A.) KOHLBERG'S COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENTAL THEORY
    a.) Child notices physical and behavioral clues, and classifies herself as a girl;
    b.) the child then finds it rewarding to behave in gender-appropriate manner and imitate same-gender models.
    EXAMPLE: A girl says, "I am a girl because I am more like my mother and other girls than like boys; therefore I want to dress like a girl, play girl games, and feel and think like a girl."

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Cognitive Factors in Gender Typing

  • Kohlberg’s THREE STAGES:
    1.) Gender identity: Recognizing that you are a boy or a girl; this then organizes incoming information.
  • This occurs between age 2 and 3. Recent research:
  • Even in early infancy, babies male and female faces as being in different categories; but they don't think of themselves as being in one category or the other.
  • By age 2, they identify traits as being male or female (men wear ties), but they do not see themselves as a belonging to a gender category until about age 3.

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Cognitive Factors in Gender Typing

  • Kohlberg’s THREE STAGES:
    2.) Gender stability: Child accepts the idea that males remain male and females remain female; e.g., a girl will no longer think she will grow up to be like her father or Batman.
  • This occurs between ages 4 and 5. Children of this age still have some gaps in their understanding. Two 4-year-olds:
  • Jeremy wears a barrette to nursery school. Another boy accuses him of being a girl because "only girls wear barrettes." Jeremy pulls down his pants to show that he really is a boy. The other boy replies, "Everyone has a penis; only girls wear barrettes."

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Cognitive Factors in Gender Typing

  • Kohlberg’s THREE STAGES:
    3.) Gender constancy: Recognizing that superficial changes in appearance or in activities will not change a person's gender.
  • A boy who wears a dress is still a boy; a girl who plays football is still a girl.
  • A child who understands gender constancy would not suppose that wearing a barrette makes one a girl.
  • This theory has been empirically confirmed cross-culturally.

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Cognitive Factors in Gender Typing

  • B.) GENDER-SCHEMA THEORY: AN INFORMATION-PROCESSING APPROACH
  • Children develop schemas or naive theories that help them organize gender differences and gender roles. They tell children what kinds of information to look for in the environment and how to interpret this information.
  • EXAMPLE: 5- and 6-year-old children shown gender-consistent (boy playing with train) or gender-inconsistent (girl sawing wood). A week later, children distorted the information from the gender inconsistent pictures: They said that they had seen a boy sawing wood. Memory for gender consistent pictures was better, and children were more sure that they remembered it correctly. Boys who have gender constancy pay more attention to TV characters of the same sex.
  • Gender schemas are more important for younger children because their schemas are more rigid. Some people are more "gendered" in their thinking than others.

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Evolutionary Psychology: Theory of Sex

  • 3.) ECONOMICS 101: WHEN YOU HOLD VALUABLE RESOURCES, YOU DON'T GIVE THEM AWAY.
  • FEMALES EXPECTED TO BE SELECTIVE, DISCRIMINATING MATERS
  • FEMALES WANT:
    MALES WHO WILL INVEST IN OFFSPRING,
    MALES WITH GOOD GENES, HIGH SOCIAL STATUS, ETC.

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Evolutionary Psychology: Theory of Sex

  • 4.) ECONOMICS 101: MALES DO NOT HOLD RESOURCES. THEREFORE THEY MUST COMPETE IN ORDER TO GET THEM. THIS RESULTS IN THE PREDICTION THAT MALES WILL BE MORE AGGRESSIVE.
  • IN GENERAL, MALES MUST COMPETE FOR FEMALES, AND THE MAIN OBSTACLE IS OTHER MALES:
  • ELEPHANT SEALS: DEFEATING MALES IN COMBAT
  • SUCCESFUL HUNTERS in hunter-gatherer societies;
  • RICH MEN SEEN AS ATTRACTIVE TO FEMALES

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Evolutionary Psychology: Theory of Sex: Predictions

  • Male sexual jealousy more directed at ensuring paternity confidence.
  • Female sexual jealousy more directed at ensuring continued affection as a sign of continued support.

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