Psychology- Gender

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  • Created by: FireDwarf
  • Created on: 13-09-13 18:44
What is sex?
Sex is a biological term. It is the physical biology of a person which decided whether they are male or female, for instance a male has a penis while a female has a vagina.
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What is gender?
Gender is a psychological term. Gender refers to a persons behaviour and characteristics which will define whether they are masculine, feminine or androgyny
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What is androgyny?
It is when a person displays both strong masculine and feminine characteristics and traits.
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Whats an inventory?
List of statements used to test for certain characteristics.
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Who completed the best known inventory of characteristics?
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What was it called?
Bem Sex Role Inventory (BSRI)
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Construct an inventory to measure masculinity, femininity and androgyny
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Fifty males and fifty females judged 200 traits for how desirable they were for men and women. Based on their ratings, 20 traits were chosen for a masculine scale and 20 chosen for a feminine scale.
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Examples of traits?
masc: Ambition, athleticism, self sufficiency, aggression Fem: Compassion,sympathy, warmth, shyness, gullibility
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Proven reliable by over 1000 students as their results matched their own descrption of their gender identity.
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Men scored higher on masculine scale, while females scored higher on feminine scale. There were more androgyny people then the extremes and some people scored low on both traits and were labelled " undifferentiated"
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Replied on people having insight into their own personality which not all people have. People may also lie or exaggerate their claims based on social desirable answers, but was confidental reducing this.
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What did it prove?
- Males tended to score higher on the masculine scale and vice versa. That there were more androgyny participants then the extremes. - There was also a small group who scored little on both. - There are diffrent scales of how masculine/feminine.
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What is wrong with this?
Gender is very subjective and not easy to measure it precisely.
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What is gender identity?
A persons own perception of their masculinity/femininity.
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What does Transsexual mean?
A person who desires to be of the opposite sex.
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What is the case study that looks at how a persons gender role and identity can change?
Imperato- McGinley et al
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To demostrate that a person can change their gender role and identity
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Studied 18 males in a remote village in the Dominican Republic. Found that they were raised as girls due to their outer genitallia looking like a female. This was due to a hormone deficiency.
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As they descented into puberty, they got the correct hormone levels and their male genitalia descended. They had no issue adopting a female gender identity and the majority easilly adapated to their new gender identity also.
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He found that the males in the majority easilly adapted from their original gender role to their next following their biological change.
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Sex and gender are not directly linked. Their sex did not change, they were always male, but the actually people themselves changed from a feminine role to a masculine role. It demostrates that gender is flexible.
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Small sample size due to only 18 males. In addition, in the society, males are dominant and therefore they may of been pleased to become males and therefore accepted the gender identity change more easilly. In other cultures this may be diffrent.
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Investigate the hetrosexual mates preferences of men and women
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37 countries- asked to rate the importance of a wide range of traits in a potential mate
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men rated good looks, youth and chastity for women, women rated wealth, industrialness and dependibility high in men
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Used pre-set traits and used western based traits
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Investigate similarities and differences across gender roles in different countries
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detailed ethnographic study by living with various tribes in New Guinea.
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Arapesh tribe- both were feminine and considered to bear a child
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Mundugamor tribe- both masculine- detested child care
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Tchambuli tribe- Reversed compared to western society
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Gender roles based on culture and therefore not nature but nurture
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May of been too involved and too subjective
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Best et al
Looked into child play with parents in france, Italty and Germany. F and I males play with children more then F. Germans not true.
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Native americans acknowledged 3 genders as a gender had both M and F traits
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Sugihara and Katsurda
Used BSRI to measure the characteristics of Japanese students- found that both scored high on the F
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Demostrate that sex-role sterotypes are used as part of British television advertising
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Samples of tv adverts taken across the day over 1 month- 200 adverts analysed- looked for the sex of the central figure, product advertised, humour, sex of voice over etc
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Men presented as celebrities, professionals and Women in family roles. Men in leisure or work and Women in a domestic setting.
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Women would sell household products while Men auto-mobile products. Males more likely to be humorous. Voice overs, 70%male
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Fitted the steryotypes of western society- Men incapable of looking after the home and Women unable to sell products via voice overs.
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People may not neccessarly be influenced by what they see on the advert- analysis open for interpretation
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Effect of Parental behaviour on gender role development
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Obsereved 24 families in their homes. Half had young sons, other half had young daughers. Observed for 5 seperate one-hour periods.
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The parents reacted more favourily when the child engaged in gender-appropriate behavior.
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Parents reinforce certian behaviour through socialisation by sex-role steryotyping their sons/daughters
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Being observed- reacting diffrently- Not valid Outdated research (1978) and therefore ideas have changed.
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What are the 4 approaches that focus on gender develolment?
Biological, cognitive, psychodynamic and SLT
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Which one is strong towards biological?Which one is halfway but stronger to biological?
Biological, Psychodynamic
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Which is more nuture? Which one is halfway but stronger to nurture?
SLT, Cognitive
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Why are females and males innately diffrent?
They have diffrent choromosones which may trigger diffrent levels of certian homrones. Homromal diffrences can cause diffrences in behaviours. Therefore, diffrent levels of hormones (controlled by sex) can cause diffrent behaviours, which can be
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assosiated to genders.
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What is the chromone which controls gender? How many chromosones are there?
23rd pair, 46 Male- XY Female- **
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How do gonads develop?
Same at birth, however the Y chromosone will trigger the gonads to turn into testes at six weeks. Absence, they develop into ovaries.
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How does this cause hormones to br released?
Once testes and ovaries develop, they release sex horomes. Androgens (male) and oestrogens (female0
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What is the psychological effect of hormones?
The diffrent levels of hormones have effects on pre-natal development of the brain. Brains could therefore develop diffrently. This could account for pschological diffrences.
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Connellan- Baby boys display more intrest in mechanical objects while females in faces.
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How did that study prove it?
Too young to be due to socialization.
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Which part of the brain is diffrent between sex's?
The Hypothalamus & the cerebral hemispheres.
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What are the two regions of the hpyothalamus effected? How are they diffrent?
SDN-POA & BST, Larger in hetrosexual males then hetrosexual women.
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What does this suggest?
it suggests this diffrence may cause diffences in the sexual intrest between the two genders.
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Cerebral hemispheres? What does the diffrence suggest?
Why females are better at language skills, emotional and fine-motor. Why males are better at ivisual-spatial skills, maths skills.
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How does andrenogenital syndrone help support the arguement that hormones have an effect on behaviour?
Exposed to excess androgens from andrenal glands. Causes them to consider themselves tom boys. This therefore suggests that hormones have a pre-natal effect and therefore affter gender-related behaviour.
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Van gooen study
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To identify whether sex homrones have an effect on adult behaviour
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Used a method to study transexuals of both sexes undergoing homronal treatment. They tested them before and 3 months afterwards.
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Found that females to males had incresed aggression and increased visual-spatial skills, while secreased verbal fluency. Male to females was the oppsete.
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That sex homrones do effect gender-related behaviours.
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Results could of been afected by the participants being biast, and their own expectations causing these behaviours.
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Critisisim of all findings?
Critisims of how to measure these skills (agression etc), Hormone affects can also be diffrent across population and therefore cannot always be generalized.
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What is a atypical chromosone pattern?
Chromosone pattern which is not assosiated to a usual gender (eg : **Y instead of **)
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How do atypical chromosone patterns help identify if chromosones have an effect on gender-development?
If they have a atypical chromosone pattern you could identifiy how their gender-related behaviour is diffrent from a person with typical patterns. if its diffrent, then chromosones have an effect.
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Turners Syndrone?
XO Chromosone pattern- idetified as females.
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No ovaries, sterile, dont menstrate. No breasts, short. short webbed neck and low set ears.
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Higher then average verbal abiltity, Lower set of spatial abilities, visual and maths. Difficulty relating to peers.
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Klinefelters syndrone?
XXY- Identified as males.
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Undesended testes, undersized penis. Breast deveopment at puberty. Little body hair, clumsy, long limbs.
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Lack of intrest in sexual activites, passive and shy, Poor language, poor judgment, poor stress handling, Higher then normal gender-identity confusion.
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Evaulation- Positive
Identified that chromosones cause diffrent levels of hormones, which can effect gender-related behaviour (Van goozen study), can already tell it effects pre-natal brain development (effects behaviour), study of atypical chromosones
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why is it valid?
Scientific method is used, therefore reliable.
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Too reduced, thinking of humans as diffrent parts and not as a whole. They ignore parts of the body they cannot understand (thought proccess), determistic (no free will), use of animals.
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What does cognitive focus on regarding gender development?
We look at what is happening in the mind during gender development. The proccesses which form our gender identity are therefore important.
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Two key cognitive theories of gender development?
Kohlberg cognitive- developmental theory, gender schema theory
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Childrens mind develop in set stages relating to age. He belived that a persons understanding of their gender will increase along side the increase in cognitive abilities.
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The 3 stages?
Gender identity (2-3), gender stabibility (3-4), gender constancy (4-7)
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Gender identity?
Children can label their own sex. They can also identity other peoples sex. Gender is just a label and does not mean anything, they also can re-assign peoples sex'es by being fooled by outward apperance.
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Gender stabiblity?
Understand their own sex is fixed. Their gender is now stable. They are however egocentric and therefore do not apply this same rule to others, so can still be confused by outward apperances of others.Peoples behaviour (masc or fem may fool them)
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Gender constancy?
They begin to de-center and as a result appriciate the view of others. They know that changing outward appearnce doesnt change their sex. They are able to conserve that outward apperance doesnt change sex in others. They will know some gender related
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behaviours and find ones who do not participate in the correct ones to be odd but they wouldnt think their gender has changed. They use genitals to tell their sex cant change.
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Case study for Kohlberg?
Marcus and Overton
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To show that as children get older, they develop gender consistancy.
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fix to six group, six to seven group and seven to eight group. Shown a puzzle with a male and female charcter on. It was possible to change the hair and clothings of the charcter. Did diffrent combos.
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As well as this, they also super-emposed the childrens faces onto the charcters bodies, asking if they thought their own sex had changed.
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Younger children showed consistancy for their own gender (eg the girl who saw herself saw females with short hair still as females) but younger children showed lower levels of gender consistency for the charctes. Older had high for both.
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Younger chilren under the age of consistancy could not identity that other peoples sex shouldnt change but could their own. Older had undergone the consistancy and could therefore identity that others does not change.
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Lack of ecological validity.
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gender schema theory?
children activily seeking gender related infomation. After they have their own gender identity (2-3) they search the enviorment for infomation to allow their own gender schemas to develop. It will therefore help form the basis for gender roles and
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gender behaviour. Children form sterotypes of activites assosiated to each sex.
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How does it disagree with Kohlberg?
it says that children begin to seek out infomation before they achieve gender consistancy.
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Gender scripts?
A set of actions which are related to females and to males. (Making dinner, diy etc).
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Therefore overall?
overall the children form steryotypes of each gender,assosiating gender related behaviours into their own schemas and scripts. If the infomation is consistant, then it will be assimilated. They wont encode infomation that isnt consistant.
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Research study for gender schemas?
Martin and Halverson
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Demostrate that children distort inconsistant infomation relating to gender schemas.
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Fix-six year olds were shown pictures of people carrying out activites. Some were schema-consistant while others were not. They asked them to recall them and came back a week later.
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The schema-consistant pictures were remembered generally better then the non-consistant, or they thought the gender consistant was doing it.
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That children use schemas to organise infomation, in this case information relating to gender- appropiate activies. Inconsistant infomation to these schemas are not encoded.
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lack of ecological vaildity
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Evaluation- Positive with biological?
That they state that gender development is based upon the age of the person (Kohlberg), biological would agree but state that the children do not activitly form gender, but is pre-determinded.
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While both agree that role models help form the gender of the person (SLT through vicarious reinforcement, while cognitive through schemas based off other peoples behaviours and consistancy) SLT believe that Cognitive focuses too much on the
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individuals play in the development rather then the role models.
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too much studying the concious element . Both however agree that it is in stages, dependant upon age.
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-Rather describes what occurs in gender development and not why, doesnt explain gender inappropiate behaviour (schemas), experimental conditions, gender consiastancy not objective, cant express their development due to limits of language.
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The use of scientific method and the fact that they do not pay attention to factors not controlled by the individual limits the approach.
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What is social learning theory?
Learning through both our own interactions in the envrioment as well others through vicarious learning . If we indentify with other people we may motor reproduce their actions, and internalise them if they are reinforced.
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What is a model?
Someone who displays a type of behaviour, positive or negative, which a person can observe. They can be both real and symbolic.
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When do we copy role models behaviour?
If we identify with them- identification is when we assosiate with a persons qualities or characterisitics.
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who do we identify with the best?
Same gender, people whoare wealthy, popular etc.
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What is motor reproduction?
when a person reproduces a behaviour as long as they have a certian level of self-efficacy.
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The behaviour is reinforced if the child has observed other people getting rewarded for it. They also will be reinforced if they recieve direct reinforcement. This reinforced interaliseses behaviour and therefore it is assimilated. If reinforcement
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is not met, it will not be interanlised. If it is punished then the behaviour will be exthingshed. If they also see other people being punished for it, they will not complete the action as they lack the motivation to reproduce it.
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Why does SLT show gender is a social contruct?
because behaviours people demostrate and are interalised can be changed by what people deem appropiate and therfore reinforce it.
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How does it show gender steryotypes?
People will form steryotypes because the behaviours they display are appropiate behaviours people reinforce. Therefore whena child displays behaviour (motor reproduce) behaviour which is steryotype, they will be met with
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reinfrocement and therefore it will be internalised. Furthermore, the child will also see others behaviour being reinforced and therefore motor reproduce it.
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Limits to explaning certian behaviours- why do people who get raised identicily have diffrent prefrences for gender-related behaviour? why do kids who get raised non-steryotypes still display gender-typical behaviour?
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Biological- would aruge it is pre determined Cognitive- gender is stages while SLT believes it can occur at any point dependant on interaction with enviorment. Psychogynamic- one swoop.
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SLT experimental, lack of ecological validity. What about gender- inappropiate behaviour? Not being encouraged- how occur? where did original beaviour come from?
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Pschodynamic- what is gender like in anal and oral stages? when does it develop?
Flexible- gender identity not yet establoshed. Phallic stage (3 years - 6).
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How does gender identity form?
resolution of oedipus and electra complex?
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Oedipus complex?
Passionate desire for mother- jeleously of father- fear father will find out- therefore fear castration (cas anxiety)- due to mother not having penis threat seems real. Lust for M and hate for F.
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Identity with the father and develop a superego, taking their morals and principles & G role & G identity. Repress their feelings for M and F into unconcious and reduced therefore the anxiety and allows for identification.
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Electra compex?
Feel cheated they lack penis- blame mother for their castration- penis envy- subsitute desire for penis with a baby- daddys baby- Fear mother finding out and them losing her love.
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Identify with mother- retain their love. Potentially copying her role to still marry her father.
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why dont sons with stricter fathers be more masculine? Disproved by rutherford ans Mussen. Infant sexuality , unlikely to occur (subjectve).
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- Support that nature elements contribute (driven by the instricts) but would aruge the method used by Freud isnt scientific.
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SLT- NOT ALWAYS SEX SEX PARENT NEEDED FOR HEALTHY DEVELOPMENT OF GENDER. Would also aruge not just parents form it, symbolic models. Furthermore, not set stage- dependant on influences.
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stages- agreed- concious more important.
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What is gender?


Gender is a psychological term. Gender refers to a persons behaviour and characteristics which will define whether they are masculine, feminine or androgyny

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What is androgyny?


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Whats an inventory?


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Who completed the best known inventory of characteristics?


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