A2 Psychology (AQA) Gender study card

A set of cards with everything you'll need to know for writing essays

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  • Created on: 16-06-11 13:33

The role of genes and hormones

The role of genes and hormones

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The role of genes and hormones

Imperato-McGinley (1979) - batista children

Money and Erhardt (1972) sex of rearing is more important than biological sex- and intersex individuals can be successfully raised as a girl or a boy.

Reiner and Gearhart (2004) studied 16 genetic males with almost no penis- 2 were raised as males, and remained male, and the other 14 were raised as females. By the age of 16, 8 of them had reassigned themselves as male.

Quadagno (1977) found that female monkeys who were deliberately exposed to prenatal testosterone later engaged in more rough and tumble play than other females.

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Evolutionary explanations of gender

Evolutionary explanations of gender

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Evolutionary explanations of gender

Waynforth and Dunbar (1995) - researchers used personal ads to assess what men and women were seeking and also what they were advertising because they represent the writers ideal bid in the lengthy process of mate selection. 44% of males sought a physically attractive partner compared with 22% of women; 50% of women offered attractiveness whereas only 34% of males did.

Ennis et al (2001) tested cortisol levels in males and females a week before an exam (low stress) and just before the exam (high stress). In males, there was a significant increase, whereas in females, there was a significant decrease, supporting the view that females respond to stress in a different way to males.

Stanford (1999) suggested that men used meat as a means of gathering female interest.

Baron-Cohen (2004) used a questionnaire that measured whether the interviewee was a systematizer or an empathiser. 17% of males had a female empathising brain, and the same percentage of females had a male systematising brain.

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The Biosocial Approach

The Biosocial Approach

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The Biosocial Approach

Eagly and Wood (1999) re-examined the data from Buss/s study of 37 different cultures, and suggested that the pattern of sex difference can be just as well explained by social roles- in all cultires, women seek men with resources. Women have had, generally speaking, less earning capacity, so it is no wonder that women seek men with resources.

Luxen (2007) argues that evolutionary theory can explain this and provides a simpler theory which is preferable for a number of reasons, such as selective pressure (behaviour is just as important as physical characteristicism, so selective pressures would act directly on behaviour to create psychological as well as physical sex differences), and sex differences without socialisation. Studies have shown that very young children and even animals display sex differences in their toy preferences. This suggests that preferences must be biological as sex role socialisation is unlikely to have occurred in really young children.

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Cognitive developmental theory

Cognitive developmental theory

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Cognitive developmental theory

Bem (1989) argues genital knowledge lies at the root of gender development, not gender constancy.She showed children three pictures,starting with a picture of a naked toddler. The children were asked to identify the toddlers sex when dressed gender inappropriately, and then appropriately. She found that 40% of 3-5 yearolds were capable of observing gender. Those who failed, 77% also failed a genital knowledge test. They just didn't know what opposite sex genitalia looked like.

Slaby and Frey (1975) asked young children 'were you a little boy or a little girl when you were a baby?' and 'when you grow up will you be a mummy or a daddy?' and found that children didnt recognise that these traits were stable over time until they were 3-4 years old.

Thompson (1975) found that 2 yearolds were 76% correct in identifying their own sex, whereas 3 yearolds were 90% correct.

Martin and Little (1990) found that children under the age of four showed no signs of gender stability let alone constancy, but did display gender stereotypes, showing they know about gender roles before Kohlberg suggested.

Martin and Halverson (1983) found that children under 6 were able to recall more pictures of gender-consistent roles (such as a male firefighter or a female nurse) than gender inconsistent ones (such as a male teacher or a female footballer)

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Psychological Androgyny and Gender Dysphoria

Psychological Androgyny and Gender Dysphoria

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Psychological Androgyny and Gender Dysphoria

Bem (1975) found that masculine and androgynous individuals showed lower conformity than feminine women (when judging humour in cartoons alongside someone ridiculing their choices),

Bem et al (1976) observed that feminine and androgynous individuals interacted more warmly with a baby and also with another student who was sharing personal problems, whereas male students were more constrained by gender roles.

Lippa (2005) says that these findings arent surprising- the M scales on the BSRI measure assertiveness and resisiting conformity, where the F scales measure femininity through nurturance and expressiveness.

Coates (1991) conducted a case study on a boy who developed GID. Coates suggested he developed this as a response to his mothers depression following an abortion when he was three. Coates reasons that this is a sensitive period regarding gender development.

Zhou et al (1995) looked at the BSTc in the hypothalamus, which is normally larger in males, and found it was female sized in male to female transsexuals. This could explain why sex-typed males may wish to become female.

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Social influences on gender role

Social influences on gender role

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Social influences on gender role

Williams (1985) studied towns in canada with varying levels of television signals. Notel, had no tv, unitel had access to one channel, and multitel had US channels. Williams found that children in notel and unitel had weaker sex-typed views than the children in multitel. TV was then introduced to notel, and 2 years later Williams found that sex-typed views had significantly increased.

Fagot (1985) Boys, like girls, react positively to members of their own sex. They are, however, subject to more negative criticisms for engaging in feminie-type play than females engaging in masculine-type play.

The media generally portrays males as independent, directive, and pursuing engaging occupations and recreational activities, whereas females are shown as dependent, unambitious and emotional.

Signorelli (1999) media enforce the status quo.

Lamb and Roopnarine (197) claim that peer reinforcement acts as a reminder of gender role stereotypes.

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Cross cultural studies

Cross cultural studies

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Cross cultural studies

Margaret Mead conbducted a study of social groups in Papua New Guinea, and found that the Arapesh men were gentle, responsive and cooperative; the Mundugumor men and women were violent and aggressive, seeking power and position. The Tchambuli men were emotionally dependent, and the women were more dominant and impersonal.

Williams and Best (1990a) gave 2,800 uni students in 30 different nations a checklist of 300 words, and were asked to decide for each adjective whether it was more frequently male-typical or female-typical. There was a broad consensus that males were more dominant, aggressive and autonomous, whereas women were more nurturant, deferent and interested in affiliation.

Williams and Best (1990b) The greater the socioeconomic development of a country, the less difference there is between male and female roles.

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