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PSYB1: GENDER
Concepts

Androgyny ­ People whose characteristics are a balanced mixture of masculine and feminine
Sandra Bem developed the Bem Sex Role Inventory (BSRI)
She suggested androgynous people were more psychologically healthy
Scale has been found to have good test-retest reliability
Whitely suggested high masculine score is more important…

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Though recent research confirms cross-cultural differences in behavior; Fromboise (1990)
investigated gender roles in Native American cultures observing men were not exclusively aggressors,
seeing `warrior' women too.

Nature VS Nurture

Extreme nature view ­ gender related behavior is entirely controlled by hormonal and genetic
factors
Extreme nurture view ­ gender…

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Social learning theorists would argue that gender is socially constructed rather than
biological



Social learning theory (pro-nurture)

1. Behavior is learnt as a result of observation
2. Imitation is dependent on the person's perception of their own ability and understanding of
likely consequences
3. Differs from traditional learning theory; doesn't…

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Doesn't explain emergence of new trends in gender-related behavior
Doesn't explain differences between same-sex siblings
Neglects biological factors but emphasizes role of cognitive factors in learning

Cognitive approach

1. Focuses on how the child understands gender
2. Focuses on the mental processes that enable a child to learn the appropriate…

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13. Research shows that children reject information inconsistent with their gender schema ­
Cordua (1979) showed that 5 & 6yr olds showed better recall when having watched a
stereotypical video than a non-stereotypical one



Evaluation of Cognitive approach

Doesn't explain why males have a more fixed understanding of their gender…

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have a penis so she converts the penis envy into a desire for a baby; `penis-baby'
project. Having now resolved the conflict the girl identifies with mother
5. Identification of boy with father and girl with mothers leads them to acquire gender identity and
appropriate characteristics
6. Female identification isn't…

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4. Golombok & Fivush - there is little evidence for Chodorow's theory that there are different
bonds between mother and daughter and mother and son but there is evidence for females
being more relationship orientated and males autonomous and independent what is what
Chodorow's theory would predict

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