Complete A2 gender notes

Overview of A2 psychology - gender

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  • Created on: 10-06-12 16:00
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Cognitive Development Theory
Kohlberg's gender constancy theory
-Developed from Piaget ­ young people cannot distinguish between appearance and reality.
McConaghy ­ under 5 year olds labelled stick drawing of person with male genitals + dress as
Stage Age Findings Evidence (A02)
Gender Identity 2­3½ Base gender on appearance Thompson ­ Two year
Change label as appearance olds ­ 76% correct ­ 3
changes. year olds 90% correct
Pre-operational ­ lack identifying their sex.
internal logic.
Gender Stability 3½-5 Recognise gender is Slaby + Frey ­ `Were you
constant over time but not a little boy or girl?' `Will
situations ( boys = men but you be a mammy or a
if a man does something daddy?'
considered feminine they Did not recognise these
turn into a woman) . traits were stable until
Still swayed by outwards 3-4.
Gender constancy 5-7 Realise gender is constant Slaby + Frey ­ children in
across time and situations. higher stages showed
Learn about gender more interest in same
appropriate behaviour. sex models = increasing
sense of constancy.
Sandra Bem ­ It is genital knowledge rather than gender constancy which lies at the root
of gender development. Showed a picture of a toddler naked then in clothes - 40% of 3-5
year olds understood gender stays the same despite the clothes. 77% of those wrong also
failed genital knowledge test.
Deterministic ­ Sticks to 3 stages ­ no allowance for free will or indv diff.
Lacks Holism ­ Does not consider nurture just cognitive
Reductionalist ­ Ignores others e.g. biological

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Cultural bias ­ Doesn't allowed for cultural differences- Diff cultures see gender differently.
Gender Schema Theory
Schemas Ingroup/Outgroup Resiliance
A01 Children develop Children are Explains why children
organised clusters of interested in have fixed gender
info about gender. schemas relating to attitudes.
Learn these from their gender. They ignore info that
interactions e.g. is not constant with
barbies + pink = girls. their in group
schema e.g. male
nurse.…read more

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Bruce and Brenda
-Twin boys were taken to be circumcised at the age of 6 months but one circumcision went
wrong and the whole male genitalia were cut off.
-Dr. John Money advised the parents to bring him up as a girl, called Brenda Which they did.
The twins frequently visited Dr. Money to be studied. Money claimed the gender
re-assignment was successful but Brenda was an outcast all of her life and eventually her
parents told her about her life.…read more

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Geschwind + Galaburda ­ Suggested that sex differences may be cause by the effects of
testosterone levels on the developing brain. Male brains are pre-natally exposed to more
testosterone than females leading to the development of a masculinised brain. If the brain
of a female is exposed to testosterone it may be partially masculinised.
-Quadagon et al- found female monkeys who were deliberately exposed to testosterone
during prenatal development later engaged in more rough and tumble play than other female
monkeys and were more aggressive.…read more

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Mate choice adaptive to max reproductive success
Men look for partners who are physically attractive and healthy with glossy hair and a thin waist
which are all indicators of fertility.
Women also look for signs of fertility but more concerned about the resources a partner provides.
So women try to enhance their physical attractiveness and men advertise their status.…read more

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General evaluation
Shows why more divorces today since we're not all acting in the way we have evolved to.
Used to outline rape as weaker men more likely to rape to continue on their genes. Controversial as
condones rape by saying it's expected.
Meat shearing hypothesis
Stanford (1999) - Men became the hunters used meat to attract females. Supported by modern
hunter-gatherer societies.(Hill and Kapian (1988))
NATURE NOT NURTURE--Evolved with genes, not due to upbringing.…read more

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Prenatal hormone levels may be effected by genetic conditions = mismatch between
hormones and genetic sex e.g. AIS. May lead to an intersex condition where external
genitalia do not match genetic sex = individual may be labelled the wrong sex at birth.
A02 - Vregden ­ boys born to mothers exposed to dioxins (can promote oestrogen)
displayed feminised play.
Hormonal abnormalities ­ Zhou ­ Looked at BSTc (sex centre of the brain) which is
normally larger in males.…read more

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­ money + Ehrhardts some research done e.g. genetic females exposed to
male hormones prenatally due to the mother taking drugs, may not be relevant to
understand normal gender development.
Social role theory
-Eggly and wood
Evolved physical differences -Men are assigned social role -Psychological differences
between men and women of hunter. then emerge from these
-Women are assigned social social role assignments.
role of home maker
Men are strong agggressive
Women have babies Caring
e.…read more

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Hormonal differences between men and women may be the outcome of social roles and
psychological sex differences rather than the cause
- more testosterone = aggression , competitive etc
A02 - Nature and nurture considered
- Alpha bias ­ exaggerating differences between males and females.…read more

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Reactions important sources of information for gender role development.
Direct tuition
- Refers to explicit instructions about appropriate gender behaviour.
- Begins as child gets linguistic skills and informs about conduct styles.
- Instructions can act contradictorily to teaching which weakens message.
SLT based on Bobo Doll Study showing effect of adult model on children.
Children imitate same-sex mod as long as conforming to gender stereotypes.
So modelling effects limited by existing stereotypes.…read more


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