Social Influences as Explanations of Gender

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  • Created by: rhallett
  • Created on: 21-09-15 18:11
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  • Social Influences as Explanations of Gender
    • Gender is something learned from the environment
    • Operant Conditioning; Parents & Peers
      • Gender approp. behaviour is rewarded, thus repeated - cross gender play is criticised/ punished
      • Process begins from v. young ag; gradually shapes child's gender; inc. things like toys and clothes
      • Evidence
        • Lytton & Romney - meta analysis - 27k children - boys and girls encouraged to do different activites; boys outdoors and girls domestic
          • Massive sample was used thus much data collected
        • Durkin - peers are more important in shaping gender than parents - children as young as 3 criticised cross gender play
        • Smith & Lloyd - Baby X - people treated babies on the basis of their gender - if a girl (given fem. name and clothes) people talk in more soothing way and are less physically stimulating
          • Differential reinforcement may generally shape gender
    • Social Learning Theory; Albert Bendura
      • Occurs when children are exposed to role models which they observe and imitate; highly selective and in choosing dominant and powerful ones to imitate
      • More likely to imitate those whose behaviour is rewarded - Vicarious reinforcement
      • Media; TV is full of gender stereotypes - Evidence
        • Canadian remote town - Notel; no TV - compared with town that had number of channels - Multitel - Notel had fewer stereotypes - After Notel got TV, children developed more stereotypes
          • Measured using questionnaire
        • Morgan - children who watch more TV have more gender sterotypes
          • Correlation does not equal causation; other factors involved
          • Natural experiment; low levels of control


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