A2 Psychology (AQA) GENDER - Sample essay

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  • Created by: Hannah
  • Created on: 10-06-11 08:04

Discuss explanations of psychological androgyny and gender dysphoria, including relevant research. (25 marks)

Androgyny is a concept that suggests gender is a set of 2 continuums between masculine and feminine, so an individual doesn't have to e at either end of the male/female spectrum. Bem (1975) suggested it is better to be androgynous and have a mixture of masculine and feminine characteristics, than conform to gender roles. Bem then reformed her theory in light of the gender schema theory, to suggest that androgynous people are 'aschematic', that is, in a particular situation, an androgynous individual is able to respond without conforming to the norms of their gender schema. She suggests that androgynous societies allow people to be who they want to be without judgment.

This suggests that gender is a far more complicated concept than previously thought, and also far more complicated than gender schema theory and therefore needs more holistic research as it would be unreliable to rely on one approach to try and explain it.

Bems theories, however, are based on a gender scale that she invented- the BSRI (Bem Sex Role Inventory)- so it doesn't have much reliability in the sense there are no other forms of measuring androgyny that would be able to support her theories. This could be known as research bias.

Also, her theory suffers from culture bias- the studies…

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