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GENDER

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ella letang

on 27 May 2014

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Transcript of GENDER

S
In an
American
study,
Carter and McCloskey
investigated the development of
children's conceptions
of and
reactions
to
cross-gender behaviour
in their peers.
N
D
N
This theory over emphasizes the role of
nurture
in influencing our gender identity, when there is equally convincing evidence that it is determined by our nature, for example our
genetics
or
evolution
.
R
50 male
and
50 female 4-6 year-olds
were divided into
high
and
low

gender consistency
groups. They either saw a
commercial
of a
gender neutral toy
being played with by
2 boys
or
2 girls
; or they saw
no commercial
(control).
It was found that
high
gender constancy children were more
differentially affected
by the sex role information in the commercial than the low gender constant children. That is to say,
high
gender constancy children who saw
opposite-sex children
playing with the toy in the commercial were more likely to
avoid
it and
state verbally
that it was
not appropriate
for them, compared to children in the other 2 conditions.
GENDER
Primary Sexual Characteristics -
biological characteristics that we are
born with
which make us male or female, i.e. the
reproductive system
- a male has a
penis
and
testes
while a woman has a
vagina
and
uterus
.
Supporting evidence
Children
between the ages of
2 and 5 years
old were assessed for gender consistency, and it was found that when played a
film
of an adult
male
and an adult
female
(one on
either side
of the screen) performing various activities, those with
'high' gender consistency
payed
more attention
to
same-sex role models
than
'low' gender consistency
children.
2. Gender Schema Theory
Schemas are
mental frameworks
which help people
organize
and
understand
information; they also allow you to predict
what to do
in certain
situations
.
Definitions
Sex
- The
biological
and
physiological
characteristics that define men and women (
male/female
)
Gender
- The
socially constructed
roles
,
behaviours
,
activities
and
attributes
that a given society considers
appropriate
for men and women (
masculine/feminine
)
Gender Identity
- Your
identity
as it is
experienced
with regard to your
individuality
as male or female.
Awareness
normally begins in
infancy
and is
reinforced
during
adolescence
Gender role
- a set of
social
and
behavioural

norms
that, within a specific
culture
, are widely considered
appropriate
for individuals of a
specific sex
Secondary Sexual Characteristics
- traits that develop
after puberty
such as development of
breasts
and
wider hips
in women and growth of
facial hair
and
deepening of voice
in men.
1. Kohlberg's Cognitive Developmental Theory
According to Kholberg, children play an active role in establishing their own gender identity through cognitive processes which develop as the mind matures. He says that children cannot be influenced by gender roles until they understand gender identity.
Psychological explanations of gender:
Stage
Child recognizes that he/she is a girl/boy
Description
Gender consistency (constancy)
Gender Stability
Gender Identity
7+
3-7
2-3
Age
Awareness that gender is fixed. Males remain males and females remain females.
Children recognize that superficial changes in appearance or activities do not alter gender. I.e. even when a girl plays football or a boy has long hair, their gender stays constant.
Evaluation of theory
:-(
Evidence
Martin and Little
IDA
This theory explains gender identity development through
pre-determined stages
, suggesting that the individual has
no control
over their behaviour. This is
problematic
because it
ignores
the possibility that humans have
free will
to control their behaviour and this could lead to,for example,
children falsely assuming
that they have
no control
over their
toy choices
so may only play with stereotypically gender appropriate ones, leading to
more stereotyping
in society. So we should be
cautious
in accepting this theory as the sole explanation of gender identity.
Supporting evidence
This confirms that
children
with
higher gender consistency
(i.e. in a more mature stage of gender development) will
identify
more with
same sex role models
because they can
recognize
that their gender
matches
the model, whereas children in the
immature
stages of gender identity are
less concerned
with
same sex models
because they are
unable to consider
that they will, one day, be
similar
.
grounding
Ethics
- evidence is based on research with
children
which could be seen as unethical because they cannot give
informed consent
.
Little experimental realism
- research is based on children watching
videos
... .
Contradictory evidence
- the
Gender Schema Theory
states that children are influenced by gender stereotypes much
earlier
that Kohlberg would suggest, and this is supported by evidence such as
Martin and Little
who found that
3-5 year olds
had
little understanding
of
gender
but displayed
gender appropriate behaviour
because they were influenced by
stereotypes
.
Unscientific
- this theory
describes
gender identity processes
rather than explaining
them. It relies on
quasi-experimental
research which prevents us from making
causal inferences
as to
why
the different stages of gender identity develop.
:-)
Piaget

- this theory is supported by Piaget's cognitive development theory which states that
children become more logical

as they mature
, and his conservation theory is similar to Kohlberg's in that it states that around the age of 7-12, children become aware that a volume of liquid stays constant no matter what container it is in, like how they know gender stays constant (despite non conventional appearances) at 7+
Determinism -
Psychological explanations of gender:
Gender Schema Theory argues that gender identity develops through both
cognitive
and
social

processes
and unlike Kohlberg's theory does
not
suggest that children need to know that gender is
permanent
or
constant
to develop a gender schema.
According to this theory, a child develops its schema at around
2/3 years
as soon as it notices
differences
between
boys
and
girls
and can
label
the two groups
reliably
. Having developed the schema, the child then
looks for evidence
to back it up.
There are
2 types
of gender schemas: the
'in-group out-group'
and the
'own sex'
schema.
So, a girl may begin by thinking
'dolls are for girls
(in-group),
trains are for boys
(out-group)'. and then think
'dolls are for girls.i am a girl. dolls are for me.'
(own sex)
Such
generalizations
are made in schemas in order to
simplify
the world around us and help us
manage
all the
information
that we receive as children
This theory also states that a child's schema is appropriate to its
culture
so schemas will vary.
Found that
3-5 year olds
had
little understanding
of
gender
but displayed
gender appropriate behaviour
because they were influenced by
stereotypes
.
Hence only basic gender understanding is needed to influence a child's behaviour, which is what this theory would predict.
Evidence
Martin, Eisenbud and Rose
Found that children aged 4-5 only wanted to play with toys labelled gender appropriate for them by the researchers (i.e. girls wanted 'girl toys' and boys wanted 'boy toys'). This shows how gender schemas can affect behaviour.
Other evidence also seems to show that gender schemas become more
flexible
as we get
older
:
Martin
found that when
predicting
the masculine or feminine
toy
preferences of
characters
from a
story
,
younger
children based it on the characters'
gender alone
but
older
children also took into account their
stated likes and dislikes.

3-4 year old children justified their toy preferences not by gender stereotypes but by describing the features of the toys and why they were fun to play with.
"i like the train bcos its fun to see it go round"
Contradictory Evidence -
IDA
Nature/Nurture
Slaby and Frey -
Ruble et al. -
Biological influences on gender
Hormones and genes
Up until 6 weeks, every fetus begins life with identical gonads which contain 2 separate systems that could potentially become internal reproductive organs:
If the fetus is
XY
(male), at
6 weeks
the Y chromosome secretes a
protein
which causes it to form
testes
. These testes then begin to produce male hormones (androgens)
Testosterone
and
Mullerian Inhibiting Substance
, meaning that the Wolffian system becomes the
vas deferens
&
seminal vesicle
(part of the male reproductive system) and the Mullerian system
degenerates
.
If the fetus is
XX
(female), it does
not
produce androgens so the Wolffian System does not develop and the
Mullerian System
becomes the
ovaries
,
uterus
,
fallopian tubes
and
vagina
.
The Wolffian System
The Mullerian System
The 2 androgens responsible for masculinisation are
testosterone
and
dihydrotestosterone
.
Pre-natally it is thought that these hormones make the
sexually dimorphic nucleus
twice as large in males as in females, and also speeds up the
right hemisphere
of the brain, which might explain why
men
seem to be better at
spatial tasks
while women are better at verbal ones (language centre is in left side of the brain).
This is key because it explains the role hormones play in GENDER development, not sex development.
Post-natally
they are responsible for activating the sex organs during
puberty
.
Pre-natally
they influence the
developmen
t of
male sex organs
and masculinise the
brain
.
Evidence
Females with
androgenital syndrome
(exposed to high levels of
testosterone
in the womb) show more
tomboyish
and
rough and tumble
play than females without the syndrome.
Money and Ehrhardt
Diamond
Injected
pregnant rats
with
testosterone
; the female offspring had
genitals
that were
male like
in appearance and they
attempted to mate
with
other female
rats.
Gorski
(1980) repeated Diamond’s study and found that the female offspring had a
sexually dimorphic nucleus
the
size
of
male
rats.
et al showed that
female monkeys
who were exposed (through experimental manipulation) to
male hormones
in their
pre-natal
development tended to show more
rough and tumble
play compared to a control group of females not exposed to male hormones in this way.
Young
The Batista Family
In this family from the

Dominican Republic,
four
of the ten children in the Batista family were born with normal
female genitalia
and
body shape
and were
raised as females
, but, when they were
12
, their vagina healed over, two
testicles
descended, they grew full-size
penises
and became muscular
men
.

The Batistas are just one of
23 affected families
in their village in which
37 children
have undergone this change. All these families had a
common ancestor
who passed on a
mutant gene
which only shows when carried by both parents.

The children are born with the
XY
chromosome so testosterone causes them to develop
male internal organs
, but the mutant gene causes
dihydrotestosterone
to be
withheld
so the fetus maintains
female external anatomy
. The change that then occurs at
puberty
is due to the
flood of testosterone
which, in turn, produces enough
dihydrotestosterone
to give the
normal male appearance.

These boys all went on to take on
male roles
, do traditional
men’s jobs
, have
married women
and are
accepted as men
in spite of the fact they were reared as girls for the first 10 years of so of their lives, supporting the theory that
male hormones influence
gender
identity.

David
(born 'Bruce')
Reimer
was a twin who got his penis burnt off in a
botched

circumcision
as a baby.
David Reimer
Within months
of learning the truth, Brenda
changed his name
to
David
,
cut his hair
, began wearing
masculine clothing
and underwent a number of
surgeries
to give him a more
masculine body
.
Brenda
rebelled
about the surgery; she threatened to
commit suicide
if she was forced to visit Dr. Money again. His
parents
then decided to
tell him the truth
about everything. While Brenda was
shocked
, she was also somewhat
relieved
, later saying, “Suddenly
it all made sense
why I felt the way I did”.
By the time that Brenda reached
puberty
she had begun to develop a
thick neck
and
shoulders
. It was around the same time that
Money
had begun to
pressure
the Reimers to take the
final step
, and have surgery to construct a
vagina
for Brenda.
However
, the transformation did not go smoothly. Brenda
did not really fit in
as a girl, she preferred
stereotypical male play
and was often
made fun of
for her
male mannerisms
, being called names such as
caveman
,
freak
and
it
.
Brian
felt that the
only difference
between he and Brenda was that Brenda had
longer hair
. Brenda reported feeling increasingly
lonely
and no longer wanted to
attend

school
. When Brenda reached the age of
nine
, the Reimers began having
serious doubts
about their decision.
Money
felt that the transformation was a
success
. He published an article arguing this point, at which time the case became widely known as the
John/Joan case
.
Money
stated 'The child’s
behavior
is so clearly that of an
active little girl
and so different from the boyish ways of her twin brother'.
The Reimers decided to take Money’s advice and at the age of
21 months
, Bruce’s
testicles
were
removed
and he was renamed
Brenda
. He was dressed in
skirts
and taught how to use
make up
.
Dr Money
believed that gender was a result of
nurture
as opposed to nature and so
suggested
to the Reimers that they
raise him as a female
.
Because
Bruce and Brian
were
twins
who shared not only
genes
, but family and
environments
as well, they were considered
valid subjects
for further exploring the
social learning
concept of gender identity.
CASE STUDIES CANNOT BE GENERALISED!
This theory
advocates
the use of

biological treatments

for gender disorders and rejects
pressuring
people to
accept
a
gender
role which they do
not
feel
comfortable
in (like Dr
Money
did)
IDA
He
married a woman
named Jane and fathered their
three children
. While David was
much happier
with his reclaimed gender, he still struggled with
depression
, especially following the death of his twin brother. David
committed suicide
at the age of
38
.
Evaluation
PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS -
This theory is
reductionist
because it reduced a
complex
issue (gender development) which lasts
well

beyond birth
down to
pre-natal biology
. This is problematic because in doing this, it
ignores
the role of
cognition
and
socialization
in the development of gender.
Evolutionary explanations of gender
1.
The Parental Investment Theory
Parental investment
is anything a parent does to
increase the chance
that their
offspring
will
survive
and
reproduce
.
The
minimum
parental investment time for the
father
is the
length of time
that it takes to
knock up a bird
(a few minutes)
For a
bird
, the
minimum
parental investment time is
9 months
(the amount of time she's knocked up for)
These differing levels of parental investment go on to
affect gender roles
such as
parental care
,
mate selection, infidelity
and
sexual jealousy...
parental care -

women
do
more parental care
because (evolutionarily) they are obliged to
breast-feed
until about
2 years
. Also kids are born pretty
immature
compared to other species's so they are very
dependent
on their
carer
, and seeing as the woman has
already wasted so much time
and
energy
it is
adaptive
for her to be the
main carer.
mate selection - men
need women who are
fertile and faithful
, so that they can have
lots of kids
and be
sure
that they are
his own
. They need someone who is
attractive
,
young
and
healthy
, which is why according to this theory men spend effort on
courtship
(wooing), whereas
women
don't because they just choose
any old randomer
and be done with it.
women
need men with
resources
(that they will invest in their
children
to ensure
survival
).
Infidelity
- since
men
can father a virtually
limitless amount of kids
, it is in their
evolutionary interests
to
fuck around
, so they are
less likely
to be
faithful
to one partner.
Women
in evolutionary terms have
less to gain
from fucking around so are
more likely
to be
faithful
.
Sexual jealousy
- To be a good
protector
and
provider
(and to
ward off competition
), men have to be more
aggressive
than women. Likewise, unlike women, they can
never really be sure
that the
children
they are investing in are
their own
, so show more
sexual jealousy
as a
technique
of guarding the
faithfulness
of their bird.
The
man
could be
knocking up loads of other birds
during these
9 months
so
women
have more of a
vested interest
in ensuring the
survival
of their
offspring
because they
don't have so many chances
as producing offspring.
2.
The empathizing - systemizing theory
The
male brain
is predominantly hard-wired for
systemizing
(
understanding and building systems
) which refers to skills such as finding out how systems work, predicting them or inventing new ones. Many things can be systems, such as a
pond
, a
house
, a
farm
since they all
follow
their own
set rules
.
The theory states that the
female brain
has been predominantly hard-wired for
empathy
, which is the cognitive skill of
identifying another person‘s emotions and thoughts
, and
responding
to these with an
appropriate emotion.
You cannot really systemize a person in the sense that individuals do not follow a set pattern, so
empathy
is more helpful for
day-to-day interaction
than systemizing, whereas
systemizing

predicts nearly everything
but
people.
Baron-Cohe
n theorizes that systemizing and empathizing depend on different regions in the brain. Incidentally, Baron-Cohen describes
autis
m as the
extreme male brai
n because autism involves
minimal empath
y and
maximum systemizing.

The theory hypothesizes that
systemizing
gave an
evolutionary advantage
to
male hunter gatherers
and
empathizing
gave an
evolutionary advantage
to
female carers.
Evidence
(1989) carried out a survey across
37 cultures
on more than
10,000
participants using
questionnaires
.
Respondents were asked to
rate
a number of factors such as
age
,
intelligence
and
sociability
, according to how important they thought they were in a
sexual partner.
They found that
men
valued
physical attractiveness
more that women, whereas
women
thought that
good earning power
and
high occupational status
were more important.
In
all cultures
both men and women preferred the
man to be older.

Buss
Anderson
et al (1999) looked at the
willingness
of
men
to
pay
for their children’s
college
education as a means of assessing paternal investment. They found that
men did not discriminate
financially between a
child
who was born to their
current partner
from a
previous relationship
and
their own child
from a previous relationship. This
contradicts
the evolutionary theory, which would predict that
men
would
only

pay
for their
own kid.
Evaluation of Parental Investment Theory
This theory cannot explain the behaviour of:
-Promiscuous females
-Monogamous males
-People who don't want kids
-Homosexuals

Therefore it's dumb
Connellan and Batkti
found that baby girls spent longer looking at a human face than a mechanical object (mobile) whereas boys did the opposite.

Baron Cohen and Wheelwright
developed
questionnaires (EQSQ)
designed to assess people’s Empathizing Quotient (EQ) and Systemizing Quotient (SQ). They found that
males
tend to score
higher
on the
SQ
and
females
score
higher
on the
EQ
.
además, the male-female autism ratio is 4:1
S
SSR - this theory is socially sensitive because it could lead to further negative gender stereotyping in society, for example women could be obligated to do all the childcare (when the theory may be incorrect!)
D
Determinism - even if the theory is correct, we don't necessarily
have
to act on our evolution (some people argue we have free will to choose our behaviour, but this theory ignores that possibility)
Applications - evolutionary theories have very few practical applications.
THE EVOLUTIONARY THEORY
IDA
Biosocial influences on gender
AO1
: The Biosocial approach
A baby is born either
male
or
female
There is an
innate subtle difference
in the new-born female and male babies’ behaviour. (
Calm
or
boisterous
)
The innate behavioural differences
lead carers
and other adults to
treat
the children
differently
. For example, a
passive

female
baby with have
calmer interactions
with adults.
This
differential treatment
then
shapes
the child’s
up-bringing
. For example, they are given
different toys
to play with. A boisterous
male
baby is more likely to be given
hammers
, or
toy vehicles
to play with, thus
reinforcing gender stereotyped behaviour
and
sets the path
for a
traditional male role.
A brief summary of the Biosocial approach to gender development:
Smith and Lloyd
conducted a piece of research that showed adults treating babies according to the gender the adults perceived them to have. Using a sample of
6 month old infants
, the researchers
dressed
and
named
some of them as the
opposite sex
. They then asked
adults
unknown to the babies to
play
with them. They found the adults used the
cues
associated with
name
and
clothing
to prompt their
interaction
and
toy choice
. Babies perceived as
boys
were more likely to be given a
squeaky hammer
to play with, whereas those perceived as
girls
were given
dolls
.
Supporting evidence:
Contradicting evidence
David Reimer
- he was brought up as a girl but it was his
biology
that
prevailed
in determining his gender identity.
GENDER DYSPHORIA


Crucially
for the biosocial approach, it is
how
these children are
socialized
that affects
whether

gender dysphoria
does or does not
develop
.

For instance, if a
parent recognises
that their
daughter
appears more
boisterous
or
masculine
this would
affect
the
way
they are
socialised
– the daughter may be
encouraged
to play in a more
masculine
way and to have masculine interests. According to the biosocial approach, this would then
lead to gender dysphoria.

Culture
also affects the way the child is socialised and therefore the consequences of the initial hormonal differences. For instance in the
UK
now there is recognition of gender dysphoria and
sex realignmen
t is a logical outcome;
parents’ awareness
of this may
alter
the
way
that they
raise
their child. In
Thailand
sex realignment from male to female is
more common
and
socially accepted
than it is here, so a boy who shows feminine characteristics when a baby may be raised quite differently, with gender dysphoria as the result.

The biosocial approach argues that
gender is flexible
, so it may be an
ideal
theory to explain
gender dysphoria.

Hormonal imbalances
from the
womb
may make babies
behave
more
in line
with the
opposite physical sex
, so hormonal imbalances are the initial
biological foundation
of gender dysphoria.

For example,
additional hormones in the mother’s system
(for
females
with gender dysphoria) or by the foetus’s
insensitivity
to the hormones, known as
androgen insensitivity syndrome
(for
males
with gender dysphoria) could cause the
BSTc
(bed nucleus of the stria terminalis central subdivision!) to
develop
in line with the
opposite gender
to the child’s biological sex.
The
BSTc
is located in the
hypothalamus
and is
fully developed
by about
5 years of age
. It is thought to influence sex differences in behaviour and gender identity. It is larger in men.
I D A
Nature/Nurture
Although it is good that the biosocial approach addresses both the role of nature and nurture in the development of gender identity, it may be flawed because it suggest that if a person with a BSTc appropriately sized for the opposite sex was socialized as their own sex, gender dysphoria would not result. This emphasizes the role of nurture but there is a lot of evidence suggesting that biology if the main factor in gender identity.
Social implications:
This theory is good because if it is true, parents would be encouraged not to treat their children in a gender stereotypical way, allowing them the freedom to choose their own destiny, away from the constraints of their biological sex.

Interactionist theor
y - This approach focuses on the
interactio
n between
biologica
l and
social /cultural factor
s in explaining gender development.
Biolog
y is the
foundatio
n on which
social factor
s are
buil
t, but the biosocial approach emphasises the
social factors
as the
caus
e of
gender differences.

The biosocial approach therefore argues that a
child’s gender identity
is
consistent
with the way that the child has been
raised
, and
how
they are
raised
is usually subtly
different
for boys and girls.
The approach does acknowledge that
gender is flexible
, and what it means to be male or female
changes
over
time
and from
culture
to culture. Therefore how the gender of a child is constructed can
vary
greatly according to time and place (era dependent). The biosocial approach recognizes that a child brought up in current Western culture may have had a very different gender identity if raised within another culture.
So for gender dysphoria an
XY
person would have a
female sized BSTc
and an
XX
person would have a
male sized BSTc.
So in children with
gender dysphoria
, their
sex
(as determined physically by the gonads and genitals) could be
male
, while the
gender
(as determined by the brain) could be
female
, and vice versa.
Social influences on gender
The obvious theory when discussing social influences on gender is
Social Learning theory
. Bandura first described SLT in terms of aggression, but it can be applied with other topics. The basic theory suggests that people acquire new behaviours through
observing
what other people do, forming a
mental representation
of this and then
modelling
this behaviour. The behaviour of a
role model
is more likely to be learned and repeated if the model is rewarded for the behaviour (
vicarious reinforcement
).
Modelling:
Bandura recognised that for gender to develop, a child must first
understand
that
males
and
females
are
distinct groups
, recognise
appropriate behaviour
for each gender, and
store
these in their
memory
in order to
guide
their
own behaviour.
Enactive representation:
Bandura recognises that children will have
experiences
and
interactions
in which they are not passive observers but
active participants
. This increases the number of
social reactions
from those around them, that would act as
reinforcers
of their
gender stereotypical behaviour.
In other words, if a
girl
acts in a
feminine
way, the
positive reaction
from others will
reinforce
this behaviour.
Direct Tuition:
These are
explicit instructions
about gender appropriate behaviour. This
begins
when children acquire
linguistic skills
, so that they can be
told
what is
appropriate
behaviour for
boys
and
girls
. The direct tuition comes from
Parents
and
teachers
, among others.
Social Cognitive Theory:
Bandura
developed
his ideas further in the 1990s to emphasise
cognitive factors
and used this to explain gender role. He claimed that
gender role development
is
subject
to
three
major
modes of influence

modelling
,
enactive representation
and
direct tuition
.

Parents
Research:
investigated
responses
of
mothers and fathers
to their
children’s play
with stereotypically
opposite gender toys
, i.e. boys playing with a doll.
Mothers
showed
equal warmth
towards their sons or daughters regardless of how or what they played with. However,
fathers
were
more disapproving
of cross gender play,
especially
of it was their
son
playing with a
‘girls’ toy.
Tannenbaum
observed
parent-child interaction
during visits to
museums
,
cinema
,
shopping
etc. She found
fathers
were far more likely to use
complex

terms
at helping their sons understand
scientific concepts
compared with
basic explanations
given to
daughters
.
Mothers
showed
little difference
to either sex.
Hagan and Kuebli
Jacklin et al
observed
54

male and female

45-month-olds
at
home
in
free play
sessions. An array of both
sex-stereotyped
and
neutral toys
were available. Behavioural
observations
were recorded for a variety of
parent
,
child
, and
dyadic
(2 people) behaviours, including
initiations of sex-typed play, total sex-typed play
, and
rough-and-tumble play.


Children initiated sex-typed play
and
played with sex-appropriate toys
.
Father-child
and
mother-daughter
dyads were more likely to engage in
thematic play appropriate
to the
child's sex
, while in
mother-son
dyads equal amounts of
masculine
and
feminine
play occurred. In addition
father-son
dyads displayed the
highest levels
of
rough-and tumble
play and
arousal
of child by parent. The results suggest that
fathers
are the
discriminating

influence
on sex-appropriate play.
Langlois and Downs
examined how
parents
influence
sex differences
in young children’s
physical risk taking
behaviours.
Eighty
3 and 4 year old

children
climbed
across a
five-foot high catwalk
and
walked
across a
three-foot high beam
under their mother or father’s supervision. Both of these activities posed potential threats to pre-schoolers’ physical safety without proper parental monitoring.
Fathers of daughters monitored
their children
more

closely
than did
fathers of sons
. In
contrast
,
mothers
of daughters and mothers of sons monitored their children
similarly
. Differential treatment of preschool-aged girls and boys in risk taking situations is discussed as a contributor to sex differences found in children’s physical risk taking and unintentional injuries.
Peers
Teachers
Bigler
conducted a
field experiment
in which classroom
teachers
were asked to use
gender
as a
category
to
divide
children into groups.
Control classes
were divided into
colour groups
(red/green) or were given
no explicit instructions
about grouping.
Four weeks later
the children in the
gender groups
showed
more gender stereotypical views
compared to the
control groups
and their
own pre-test scores.
Pankhurst
found that there is an
expectation
that
boys
will
misbehave
in class,
belittle girls
and
dominate
situations. However,
more

boys
are
considered

gifted
than girls,
despite achievement records
to the
contrary
.
Stanworth
, in a study of American schools found that
high school teachers
could
identify
the
boys
in their classes shortly after the start of their academic year and could
describe
their
individual characteristics
. It took
longer
for them to learn the
girls’ names
and for them to be
identified
as
individuals
.
Practical applications
This theory can be used to
change the way society treats children
in order to
reduce gender stereotyping
and pressure to conform to gender roles.
IDA
However, this theory is also
Socially Sensitive
because it could actually encourage people to
force children into conforming to gender stereotypes
, and if the theory is
incorrect
this could cause extreme psychological discomfort for children with
gender dysphoria.
Cultural influences on gender
Studies have revealed that there are
some similarities
and
some differences
between cultures. For example,
evolutionary psychology
would suggest that
men
, rather than women are more likely to be
hunters
, as
women
are better designed to
look after children
, and looking after children is incompatible with hunting.
In some cultures
however, the
women
are the
hunters
, such as the
Agta
in the
Philippines
and the
Aka

Pygmy
in
Central Africa
. This would suggest that socialization can influence gender role, and we should not assume that hunting is exclusively a male trait.
Research

Wood and Eagly
used data (recorded
observations
) from
thousands
of various types of
cultures
all over the world and coded them using
content analysis
to discover any similarities or differences in gender role activities performed by men and women.

*
A qualitative method which involves precise recording of observations of people in various societies.
Research
Mead’s research has been much criticized for
observer bias
and
cultural bias
. She may have
over-emphasized
the role of
nurture
over nature because of her
own beliefs
, so she may
not
have been
objective
.
Evaluation
Cook
studied an unusual case of role reversal on the Island of
Margarita
, off the coast of
Venezuela
.
Women
were
largely traditional
in their roles i.e.
nurturing children
and they have very
little
actual
power
within their community. The
men
are often
away
for
large periods
of time
hunting
for food and they held largely traditional roles. However, the women differed from what may be expected in one key way...

The women exhibit high levels of
aggression
, often physical with other women and occasionally with men.
Research
General evaluation
A researcher, investigating culture fair IQ tests, was studying the Kpelle people in Liberia. There were given items to sort into piles. Food, tools, clothing, and various other objects. It is likely that if you were given this task, you would organise them into neat categories. All the food in one pile, all the tools in another etc. The Kpelle didn’t, they would put things together that had a functional role, such as a potato with a knife. When asked why they would do this, they said that this is how a wise person would do it. When the researcher asked how a fool would categories the objects, they placed them in the neat and tidy categories that Westernised people would.
Another important point is that much
cross-cultural research
is conducted using
Western educated researchers
, using
Western ideology
and
tests
of measurement developed in the Western World. Some critics argue that to compare different peoples using these tests are meaningless, and encourage psychologists to be less
culturally biased
when researching. For example:
This theory is part of the social approach and argues that
culture can have an influence on gender roles.
Aka pygmies
The data was gathered using an
ethnographic approach*
. They found across various
non-industrialised
cultures
men
generally contributed more than women to
providing food
and
women
contributed more to
child care
, especially in infancy. This suggests that gender is influenced by
nature
.
However,
other research
shows that gender roles are
not consistent
across cultures.
Margaret Mead
was an early researcher here who also used an
ethnographic approach
to studying cultures which involved her
immersing herself
within a culture, conducting participant
observation
and
interviews
.
In
1935
she described the cultures of
three
different
‘pre-industrialised’
societies in
New Guinea
: The
Arapesh
, the
Mundugumor
and the
Tchambuli
.

The Arapesh
were described as having gender roles that were
similar
between men and women with childcare a
shared responsibility.
Both males and females were
sensitive
and had a
peaceful
temperament.

The Mundugamor
by contrast showed
masculine traits
in
both genders
, they were
aggressive
and
insensitive
.

With
the Tchambuli
the roles were
reversed
with
men
displaying
artistic
traits and
social sensitivity
, showing
concern for others
and
staying home to rear children
. The
women
were
assertive
and
practical
.

Older children
reported that they would
react more negatively
toward
cross-gender
displays of
activity
(e.g. girls climbing trees) and
friendship preferences
than did younger children. Moreover, children reported they would react
more negatively
toward
males
than toward females exhibiting
cross-gender friend
and
toy
preferences.
80 elementary-school children
at kindergarten, second, fourth, and sixth grades were
interviewed
about their attitudes toward
hypothetical peers
who
violated
child-generated
norms
for
sex-typed behaviour
in each of four categories (
traits
,
toys
,
activities
, and
friendship preferences
).
While younger children were unable to generate sex-typed traits reliably,
older children
were and reported that they would
respond

negatively
toward children with
cross-sex-
typed
traits
.
Finally, although the
vast majority
of children at all ages indicated that
cross-gender behaviour
in their peers was
not wrong
, they also indicated that they would
prefer not to associate
with
children
who
violated sex-role norms
. The results supported the notion that
children
are
strict enforcers
of
sex-role norms
and suggest that children's beliefs about their peers' reactions toward cross-gender behaviour may
limit
the
expression
of
sex-inappropriate behaviour
during the
elementary-school
years
This damages the validity of Mead's study because the
same results could not be found twice.

Gewertz
observed the
Tchambuli
in the
1970s
and found that
males
were
more aggressive
than
females
. He argued that
Mead
studied these tribes when they were facing a
change in their lifestyle
and were forced to behave differently from normal and so were
more aggressive
than normal; this shows how
important
it is to
consider
the
context
of a culture’s situation when looking at their behaviour.
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