Gender In Psychology

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  • Gender in Psychology
    • Sex-Role Stereotypes and Androgyny
      • Sex- Role Stereotypes: These tell us what is appropriate for male and female behaviour. These are learnt from birth and are related to cultural norms. Via implicit modelling, explicitly taught.
      • Androgyny: masculine and feminine psychologically more healthy (Bem). BRSI - personality traits identified by 200 undergraduates 20 masculine, 20 feminine, 20 neutral adjectives. femininity and masculinity measured independently; total score shows masculine, feminine and androgynous and undifferentiated type. Bems gender schema theory - androgynous person has a different cognitive style, freer to choose behaviours.
      • Evaluation: support for parental influence - choice of gender-matched toys made by mothers (Smith and Lloyd). Androgyny and psychological health-masculinity scores negatively correlated with e.g. depression and anxiety, femininity scores positively correlated except if the score was high (Prakash et al).Real-world applications - parents adopt gender - neutral child-rearing, still regarded as unhealthy by some. Reliability (Bem) - test-retest high, split-half improved by removing socially undesirable terms (e.g. gullible). Validity- correlation may be due to self-esteem rather than androgyny rather than androgyny, or due to response bias to select higher ratings (Liberman and Gaa), and adjectives may have low temporal validity (Hoffman and Borders).
    • The Role of Chromosomes and Hormones in Sex and Gender
      • The Role of Sex Chromosomes: usually genetic sex determines external genitalia - all fetuses start off with female genitalia. Genes determine genitalia and also which hormones, in turn leads to gender behaviours. Atypical sex chromosomes - Kleinefelter's syndrome (**Y), low levels of testosterone mean less body hair, infertility, taller than average, less muscular co-ordination. Turners syndrome (XO) - Underdeveloped ovaries, short stature, no monthly periods, may have other unusual physical characteristics, e.g. small lower jaw.
      • The Role of Hormones: Hormones govern gender development. Testosterone effects - XYs insensitive to testosterone and then born with no penis (classed as females) and in **s exposed prenatally to testosterone who show masculine behaviour (Berenbaum and Bailey). Oestrogen - not require to direct prenatal genital development, may lead to smaller brain size (Shi et al), important for female secondary characteristics e.g. breast development. Oxytocin - contentment and bonding, released when breastfeeding and at ******, moderates stress response (tend and befriend, Taylor et al)
      • Evaluation: challenging biological determinism - Money's sex-of-rearing view important but evidence shows that genetic sex most significant (Case studies: David Reimer and males born with no penis - Reiner and Gearhart.) Importance of other factors - no simple formula e.g. CAH individuals are ** but exposed to male hormones, many content with the gender assigned with at birth.  Role of Culture - Batistas (Imperato-McGinley et al) boys  sex-typed as girls but adjusted to male role when male genitalia appeared because culture had more fluid notion of gender. Real-world Applications - avoid early surgery (Intersex Society), give hormone supplements e.g. for Turner's syndrome, Olympic Games Committee uses physical characteristics (Bown). Effects of Hormones - on brain development: female monkeys showed more rough-and-tumble play when exposed to testosterone (Quadagno et al) but Eisenegger et al, showed expectations might explain human behaviour better.


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