Sex and Gender Unit 2

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  • Sex and Gender
    • Sex and gender identity
      • Male hormone: testosterone
      • Female hormone: oestrogen
      • Male chromosome: XY
      • Female Chromosome: **
    • Psychodynamic theory (Freud)
      • The 5 psychosexual stages
        • The phallic stage (6 yrs old)
          • Oedipus complex
            • A boy generates a desire for the mother and fears his father will castrate him. To resolve this, the boy identifies with his father and internalises male characteristics; acquiring a male indentity
            • Little Hans (phobia of horses)
          • Electra complex
            • A girl generates a desire for the father and experiences penis envy. She fears losing her mother's love. To resolve this, she identifies with her mother and internalises female characteristics; acquiring a female identity
      • Gender disturbance (lone-parent household)
        • According to Freud, a child will experience a poorly developed gender identity
          • Because they do not resolve the Oedipus/Electra complex
        • Carl (boy with feminine identity)
        • Rekers and Moray (boys without a father)
      • Evalutation
        • Difficult to test because it's based on unconscious thoughts and feelings
        • Little evidence to support
        • Psychologists have shown that a wide range of people influence a child's gender development
        • As the number of children raised by lone-parent increases, the number of homosexuals is not affected
    • Social learning theory
      • Gender is learnt from watching and learning the behaviour of others
        • Example: Amir watches his father painting the fence. Amir's mother tells his father that he is doing a good job. Amir then starts imitating his father and painting the fence. He has learnt through vicarious reinforcement
      • Examples of models: friends, same-sex parent, teachers, older siblings
      • Perry and Bussey (role models)
    • Media
      • Provides models for gender behaviour
      • Television shows men and women stereotyped
        • Example: Women are shown as housewives, secretaries and nurses
        • Example: Men are shown as doctors, police officers and business managers
      • Williams (television gender roles)
      • Evaluation
        • Theory is well supported by research. Large number of studies.
        • Does not explain why children brought up in lone-parent households do not have any difficulty developing their gender
        • Does not explain why same sex siblings can behave differently
        • This theory believes that gender is learnt. It ignores biological differences between males and females
    • Gender schema theory
      • mental building block of knowledge that contains information about each gender
        • contains information such as behaviours, clothes, activities, personality traits and roles
      • Martin (flexible views in older children)
      • At a young age, children have rigid and stereotyped ideas of gender. But as they get older, their gender schemas become more flexible
      • At age 6, children know a lot about their own gender but not much about the opposite sex.
        • They concentrate more on the things that are appropriate for their own gender.
      • Children who are stereotyped look for information to support their ideas and ignore or remember wrongly information that does not fit with their schema
      • Levy and Carter (highly gender schematised)
      • Evaluation
        • Detailed and supported by evidence
        • Has intuitive appeal (fits in with our experiences)
        • Does not explain why some children are more highly gender schematised than others
        • Does not explain why gender begins to develop at age 2
        • Does not explain why children choose same-sex friends and gender-appropriate toys before they are able to correctly identify themselves


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