AQA GCSE Psychology - Sex and Gender

Sex and Gender

Sex identity and gender identity, Psychodynamic theory of gender development, Social learning theory of fender development, Gender schema heory of gender development.

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Sex and Gender Identity

Male = Testosterone, XY, Females = Oestrogen **

Gender identity is psychological term identified by attitudes and behaviour and can be masculine or feminine

Sex identity is a bioligical term identified by hormones and chromosomes and is male or female.

Freud believed there are 5 stages of development, 3rd valled phallic stage (ages 3-5). In this stage chils unconsiously desire the opposie sex parent and is jealous of the same sex parent. Boys called oedipus complex and in girls called the Electra complex. Freud aim: investigate little hansd phobia,  Method hans developed phobia of horses biing him or falling down. Results expieriencing odepius complex. Related horses with his dad because of similar facial features i.e. beard. Horse biting him = fear of castration. horse falling down = desire to see dad dead.  Conclusion support idea of oedipus.

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Sex and Gender Identity continued

Gender development in a lone parent household - is in lone parent house will have poor gender idenity because they do not expierience oedipus/electra complex.

Evaluation of psychodynamic throey of gender development - Freud ideas are difficult to test because they are based on unconscious thoughts and feelings. Little evidence to support the idea of the oedipus/electra complex. Little hans study ccarried out on one child and so findings cannot be generalised.

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Social Learning theoury of gender development

Social learning theory believes that gender is learnt from watching and copying the behaviour of others e.g. modelling and imitating and vicarious reinforcement. modelling using role models these are normally people who are similar, powerful, loving and caring. imitation means that the child copies the behavior shown by the modelVicarious reinforcement means that the child acts as a role model when the model carries out a particular behaviour if model rewarded the child more likely to immintate and visa versa.

Perry and Bussey Aim show children imitate behaviour carried out by same sex role model. Method 1st condition boy play one activity, girls play one activitie. 2nd condition boy and girls play one activity, girls and boys play one activity. Results 1st conditionchildren imitated same sex role models by chosing their activity. 2nd condition no difference in the activities the boys and girls chose. Conclusion when children in an unfamiliar situation children imitate same sex models. Evaluation well supported by research. not explain why 2children of same sex in same huose with same models one will be more masculine.

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Social Learning theoury of gender development cont

Media and gender development Media provides models for gender behaviour. 

Williams Aim to investigate effects of tv on gender ddevelopment. Method observed two villages in canada one with Tv other without which was now being provided with tv. measured attitudes of children at beginning and the end of the study. Results Children who now had tc were more sex stereotyored in their attitudes. Conclusion Gender is learnt by imitating attitudes and behaviour seen on the TV. Evaluation this approach believes gender is learnt which ignors biological defferences between males and females.

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Gender schema theory of gender development

Gender schemas are mental building blocks of knowledge that contains information about each gender. Once children are aware of the different sexes they learn about gender from  ehat they see and expierience.

Martain Aim to show children understanding of gender becomes less stereotyped as they get older. Method Children heard stories about the toys that males and females played with  they played with gender stereotyped activities others played with non gender stereo typed activties. Children then asked to predict what toys each gender would choses to play with. Results The younger children used sex to decide what they would play with e.g. boys with trucks. The oilder children considered both the sec and the toys the others played with e.g. for a girls who liked playing with trucks less likly to play with dolls. Conclusion Older children have a more flexible view of gender.


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Gender schema theory of gender development continu

Individual differences in gender development Children develop gender schemas differently. Children who are stereotyped look for information to support their isead and ignor the information that does not support it.

Levy and Carter Aim To show individual differences in the way children think. Method Children shown pictues of two toys could be both masculin, both feminine, one feminine and one masculine. Asked to high and low fender schematised children. Results highly gender schematised children cose quickly when one of each and longer when just one gender. Less gender scematised chose on basis of personal preference and took same amount of time on all of them. Conclusion Highly gender scaematised children choose toyes on basis of sex. low GS on prefernce.

Evaluation of theory does not explain why some children are more highly gender schaemetised, why gender begins to develop at 2, why some children choses same sex frinds and gender appropriate toys before able to correctly identify themselves as male or female.

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A lovely summary of sex and gender identify, social learning theory and gender schema theory in easy-to-use flash card format.

Tom the destroyer


"Gender schema theory of gender development continu"

How ironic

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