Gender flashcards

What is the definition of sex?
The biological differences between males and females influenced by chromosomes and hormones as wells as differences in anatomy
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What is the definistion of gender?
The psychological and cultural differences between males and females its partly environmentally dtermined
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What are sex-role stereotypes?
A set of beliefs and preconceived ideas about what is expected or appropriate for males and females in a given society
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What is gender identity disorder?
Where their biological sex and gender do not correspond
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What is androgyny?
Displaying a balance of masculine and feminine characteristics in one's personality
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What is Bem's sex role inventory?
An attempt to measure androgyny using a rating scale of 60 traits 20 masculine, 20 feminine and 20 neutral to produce scores of two dimensions: masculinity-femininity and androgynous-undifferentiated
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What is a positive of Bem's sex role inventory?
It was devloped byy asking 100 male & female judges to rate 200 traits it was then piloted with over 1000 students suggesting it is high in validity. There was also a follow up study which produced similar results (test retest reliability)
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What are some negatives of Bem's sex role inventory?
Based on western society, oversimplifies a complex concept, developed over 40 years ago low in temporal validity, measuring gender identity on questionnaires
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What is the role of chromosomes on sex and gender?
Female is ** and male is XY. Baby is a boy if the sperm carriers a Y and it will be a girl if it carriers a X.
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The Y chromosome carriers a gene called the sex determining region. What does this gene do?
It produces testes in biological males which in turn they produce androgens (male sex hormones) without androgens the embryo would become female
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What is a hormone?
A chemical substance circulated in the blood which controls and regulates the activity of certain cells or organs.
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What are the 3 major hormones involved in sex and gender?
Testosterone, oestrogen and oxytocin
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What is testosterone?
An androgen which controls the development of male sex organs, it has notable links to aggression.
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What is oestrogen?
Female hormone that determines female sexual characteristics and menstruation. Ha notable links to PMS
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What is oxytocin?
A hormone which causes contraction of the uterus during labour and stimulates lactation. Seen in both men and women but women have larger amounts. Reduces the stress hormone cortisol. Both sexes produce equal amounts during sex.
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What is some evidence of the role of chromosomes and hormones on gender?
Case of david reiner. Prison population, inmates with higher levels of testosterone were more likely to have comitted violent or sexually motivated crimes. Transgender individuals who were going through treatment male to female showed less aggression
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What is some contradictory evidence for the role of chromosomes and hormones on gender?
Males were either given testosterone or a placebo, no significant differences were found between the 2 groups.
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What is an atypical sex chromosome pattern?
Any sex chromosome pattern that deviates from the usual **/XY formation
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What are the 2 atypical sex chromosome patterns?
Klinefelter's and Turner's
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What is Klinefelter's syndrome?
Affecting males. Have an extra X = XXY.
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What are the physical symptoms of Klinefelter's syndrome?
Reduced body hair, some breast development, soft body contours, long limbs, underdeveloped genitals, clumsiness, more susceptible to generally female conditions such as breast cancer
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What are the psychological symptoms of Klinefelter's syndrome?
Poorly developed language skills and reading ability, passive shy and lack interest in sexual activity, respond well to stressful situations but have problems with memory and problem solving
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What is Turner's syndrome?
Abscene of one X chromosome = X0
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What are the physical characteristics of Turner's syndrome?
Have no menstrual cycle, ovaries fail to develop and so they are sterile, no breasts, broad chest, webbed neck, high hip to waist ratio
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What are some psychological symptoms of Turner's syndrome?
Higher than average reading ability, math and memory skills are lower and are socially immature, they find difficulty fitting in.
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How are individuals with these syndromes useful to the nature-nurture debate?
By comparing those with these syndromes with typical individuals we can start to see differences
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What are some faults within the classification of symptoms of the syndromes?
Some of the psychological symptoms may just be a result of how they are treated in their environment. For example social immaturity may just arise from them being treated immaturely.
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What are some faults in using the syndromes for the nature-nurture debate of gender development?
There is a lack of generalisability because it is such a small sample of people
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What is Kohlberg's cognitive developmental theory of gender?
A child's understanding of gender develops as they get older. Gender devlopment progresses through 3 stages: 1. Gender identity 2. Gender stability 3. Gender constancy
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What is gender identity?
Around the age of 2 the child can identify that they are a boy/girl and can label others as such.
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What is gender stability?
At 4 the child realises that their gender is fixed however are confused by external changes in appearance. They believe people can change their gender depending on their role such as a female builder would be a man
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What is gender constancy?
Around 6 the child realises that gender is consistent and they begin to identify with people of their own gender and begin to behave in gender-appropriate ways
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How do role models influence gender development?
During gender constancy the child seeks out gender appropriate role models, most likely of the same gender, to identify with and imitate their behaviour.
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What is some evidence for Kohlberg's theory?
When children were presented with a split screen, one of a woman and one of a man, the younger child spent the same amount of time looking at both images whereas the child in gender constancy looked longer at the model that was the same sex as them.
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Is Kolhberg's theory universal?
Yes, a futher study conducted in Kenya and Nepal
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What is some evidence showing that Kohlberg's theory is not supported?
Many children show gender appropriate behaviour before gender constancy
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Are there any issues within Kohlberg's method?
Yes it was developed using interviews which is tricky when with children
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What is a gender schema?
An organised set of beliefs and expectations related to gender that are derived from experience. Such schema guide a person's understanding of their own gender and gender-appropriate behaviour.
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What is the cognitive explanation: gender schema theory?
Understanding of gender increases with age and children actively structure their own learning rather than observing. At gender identity the child will begin to search the environment for info that will encourage development of the gender schema.
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What is a schema?
Mental constructs that develop via experience and are used by our cognitive system to organise knowledge around a particular topic
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What are ingroups and outgroups?
Children have a much better understanding of schemas that are appropriate to their own gender (ingroup) Children pay more attention to info relevant to their gender identity rather than that of the opposite sex (outgroup)
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What is some evidence that supports gender schema theory?
Children under the age of 6 were more likely to remember pics of gender-consistent behaviour than inconsistent they also changed the sex of the person in the inconsistent photograph (male builder even though it is a female)
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What is the psychodynamic explanation of gender development? (Freud's psychoanalytical theory)
Children pass through 5 psychosexual stages. The 3rd stage (phallic) is where gender development occurs. Prephallic they have no gender identity. At this stage the children have focus on pleasure from the genitals. The 2 complexes occur.
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What are the 2 complexes?
Oedipus and Electra
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What is the Oedipus complex?
Boys develop incestuous feelings towards their mother. Habour a feeling of hate toward the father. Boy recognises father is more powerful and has castration anxiety. The boy gives up love for mother and identifies with the aggressor (father)
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What is the Electra complex?
Develop a double-resentment for their mother 1. because they didn't give them a penis 2. because the mother has the father. Substitute penis envy for the desire to have children, identify with the mother as a result
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We have spoken about identification but Freud also suggested that internalisation occurred as well. What is internalisation?
The children taking on board the gender identity of the same sex parent.
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What is a case study that provides evidence for Freud's theory?
Little Hans, fear of being bitten by a horse. Freud's interpretation was that this was a fear of castration. Little hans had transferred his fear onto horses (displacement)
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What is some research against the Oedipus complex?
It states that sons of harsh fathers should go on to have robust sense of gender identity but evidence shows the opposite. Boys with more liberal fathers have a more stable gender identity
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Why was Freud's theory androcentric?
There was not much research on females
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What is a negative of this theory?
It cannot be used on single parent families
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What is the social learning theory explanation of gender development?
States that all behaviour is learned from observing others through direct and indirect reinforcement, identification and modelling.
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What is direct reinforcement in gender development?
Children are praised for displaying gender appropriate behaviour
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What is indirect reinforcement in gender development?
If consequences of another's behaviour is praised then it is more likely to be imitated
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Describe the process of identification and modelling in gender development:
Identification - child attaches themselves to someone who they think are like them and develop role models from this and the child tends to model the behaviour of the role model
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What are the mediational processes of gender development according to social learning theorists?
Attention Retention Motor reproduction and Motivation
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What is supporting evidence for the social learning theory of gender development?
When 4-6 month old babies were dressed in the opposite gender's clothes were encouraged to play with gender appropriate toys respective to the clothing showing that gender appropriate behaviour is stamped in at a young age.
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What is a negative of this theory?
It has age limitations within the mediational processes as younger children may not be able to model some behaviours
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What is some research that has shown cross cultural differences within gender development?
Mead's research into tribes on New guinea. They found that the Tchaambuli women were dominant and organised
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What are some criticism's of mead's research?
Observer bias
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Mead's research has imposed etic, what is this?
The idea that western ways of doing research are assumed to be universal
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What is some research that has shown cross cultural similarities within gender development?
Munroe found that among most societies men were breadwinners and females were nurturers
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What is some research into media's influence in gender development?
A study on TV adverts showed that men were more likely to be shown in professional contexts and women occupy domestic contexts which shows that media shows rigid stereotypes. Also children that had more exposure to the media tend to display gender st
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Explain the brain sex theory of gender identity disorder:
GID is caused by particular brain structures that are incompatible with the person's sex. Bed nucleus of the stria terminals are 40% bigger in males than females. In post mortems of male to females this was the same size as a females.
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What is some contradictions within the brain sex theory?
The transgender individuals may have hormone surgery and this can affect the size of the structure of the brain.
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Explain the genetic influence on gender identity disorder?
Evidence from twin studies showed that 39% of mz twins were concordant for GID whereas none of the DZ twins were concordant
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What is a problem with twin studies in gender identity disorder?
Difficult to separate nature and nurture and it is hard to generalise when you are only conducting it on a small sample of twins only. It also oversimplifies a complex concept
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What is the psychoanalytical theory of gender identity disorder?
GID in males is caused by separation anxiety so the child fantasies about symbiotic fusion with the mother and the child develops a female identity
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What is an issue with the psychoanalytical theory?
Only applies to male transgender individuals
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What is the cognitive explanation of gender identity disorder?
Two pathways of gender development: 1st pathway - development of the gender schema which directs gender appropriate attitudes 2nd personal pathway - how the child's gender attitudes are affected by their activity.
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What is an issue with the cognitive theory?
It is descriptive rather than explanatory of the behaviour. For example the second pathway is caused by them becoming interested in the opposite gender toys but it doesn't explain why they become interested.
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What is the definistion of gender?


The psychological and cultural differences between males and females its partly environmentally dtermined

Card 3


What are sex-role stereotypes?


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Card 4


What is gender identity disorder?


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Card 5


What is androgyny?


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