psychological androgny essay plan


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Psychological Androgyny Essay Plan
· Def - to possess a high level of both masculine and feminine traits
· Recently thought that to only possess a high number of either masc/fem traits
restricts a personality and ability to successfully adapt to environment
· Bem (1974) expression of traits may depend on "situational appropriateness"
· Adaptability of androgynous person compared to non-androgynous makes them
more psychologically healthy and gives them higher self esteem
· Based on how a person views themselves, not a gender schema - may have a fully
formed gender schema yet still display traits of opposite sex. Means their self
schema may vary from their gender schema
· Not about ambiguous physical appearance but rather recognising traits of both
sexes with oneself
· Androgyny measured on Bem's Sex Role Inventory
· Characterised as male (high masculine traits, low femenine); female (high feminine
traits, low masculine); Androgynous (high masculine and feminine traits);
undifferentiated (low masculine and feminine traits)
· Culturally biased as based on what would be more desirable in a man or women in an
American Culture
· Attempts to measure gender objectively yet it is flexible and can change over time
· Those categorised as androgynous responded well to situations to facilitate either
masculine or feminine traits. Able to adapt to situation rather than confined to sex
role stereotype - Bem (1975)
· Very little evidence before age 10 as sex roles are still very rigid until then.
· Martin and Halverson (1981) learn behaviour appropriate for both yet only display
those behaviours which are reinforced. Therefore it opposes GST which states a
lack of knowledge about those behaviours stops them being performed
· Nature / nurture - flexibility in gender behaviour only occurs if non-stereotypical,
inappropriate behaviour is learned and stereotyping is not easily changed once
established even if exposed to new contradictory evidence.
· Possible schemata become more flexible with experiences. Grow and become more
cognitively mature add to their self schema. Traits could be either masculine or
feminine and so gender rules become more blurred.
· CRITICAL POINT ONE - child must be of age which allows flexibility of thinking
· CRITICAL POINT TWO - appropriate reinforcement must be available in environment
if child is to display behaviour inappropriate to their sex
· Nature / Nurture; Bem (1983) on considering role of society on gender, she believed
eliminating cultural influences on gender could slow down formation of network of

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· Nature / Nurture; Huston (1983) stereotypical sex typed behaviour may be result of
processes much more complex than society - biological/evolutionary. Shown
through recognition of gender from very young age without little direct instruction.
· Ethical Issues; Bem criticised approach to create androgyny as they would have to
be seen to be successful as both masculine and feminine therefore giving them two
sources of inadequacy opposed to one.…read more


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