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A2 Psychology - AQA (A) PsyA3

Faye Thorowgood

on 18 June 2010

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Transcript of Gender

GENDER Biological Influences Psychological explanations Social Contexts Evolutionary Explanations Biosocial Approach Cogntive Development Theory Psychosocial Androgyny and
gender dysphoria Social Influences on gender role Cross cultural studies
on gender role Social Contexts Cross Cultural Studies Biosocial Approach A01 The role of genes The role of hormones A02 Genetic factors Biological Determinism Real WorldApplication A01/A02 AIS As nature made him A03 Nature v Nurture Research Methods Each person has 23 chromosomes
These carry hundreds of genes
Determine an individuals sex
XX or XY
At 3 months if male will develop testosterone
Gentics explain how a person acquires their sex
May also explain some aspects of gender Developmentof gender
Study of intersex individuals
Brain Development
Girls - Empathising, talking
Boys - Spatial navigation (Hoag, 2008)
Caused by the effects of testosterone
on developing brain
Explain case of David Reimer

Animal Studies
Quadragno et al (1977) female monkeys deliberately
exposed to testosterone during pre-natal development
more aggressive and engage in more rough and tumble
games than other females
International Olympics Committee
1968+ tested genetic sex of all athletes
AIS could not compete
1991 - Genetic sex no longer determines
gender John Money claimed biological sex was
not the main factor in gender development
Sex of rearing was more important
Example - intersex David Reimer
Reiner and Gearhart (2004) 16 genetic males born
with almost no penis
2 m and stayed m/14 f - 8 reassigned to m Even hormones do not produce a
simple formula for establishing gender
Combination - hormones +sex of rearing + socialistaion
Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH) XX females have
high levels of male hormone resulting in varying degrees
of external male genitalia.
Result assigned a gender at birth - some accept, some reject
Must be combination of nature and nurture Nature = This biological approach
Nurture = Social Approach PROBLEM 1
Case studies and small samples
of abnormal individuals
Problems of generalisiability to
wider population
Intersexes may be more vunerable
to social influences than 'normal' individuals
because biological ambiguities mean they have
search harder for clues about their identity
(another reason why research may lack
generalisability) Androgens such as testosterone are
male hormones
Some XYindividuals have an insensitivity
to such hormones
In extreme cases no male genetalia develop
Classic case = Batita family from Domincan Republic
4 raised as female puberty turned to boys True story about David Reimer
Born as Bruce and had a twin
called Brian
Born Canada 1965
6 months old circumcision that went wrong
David then brought up as a girl - Brenda
Later had gender reassignment to become man
Committed suicide in 2004 The Division of labour

Man = hunter
Woman = gatherer
Women - more time pregnant
and reproducing
Avoiding starvation
Kuhn and Stiner - Humans survived/neanderthols did not
Neanderthols - All hunted and high calorie diet Mate Choice

Men look for partners who are physically attractive
(fertile, young and healthy)
Women look for partners who can provide resources
Cogntive Style

E-S Theory -
Empathising (women)
Systemising (men)
Baron-Cohen - Selection pressure for males (hunting) and females (rearing children)

Tend and Befriend
Women - Better at interpersonal relationships
Taylor - Stress in EEA
Men - Fight or flight
Women - Protect themselves and their young A02 A01 Speculative Theories

Ignore social explanations and are determinist
Speculative - do not have a firm factual basis
E.g. Neanderthols - may be an adequate explanation OR
could have been due to say climate change Research Support

Mate Choice
Waynforth and Dunbar (also relationships)
Personal ads -
Men seek attractiveness (44%) but not many offered it (34%)
Women advertise attractiveness (50%) but not many seek it (22%)

Tend and Befriend
Ennis - natural experiment test stress responses in males and females
Cortisol week before and then immediately before exams
Men high levels of cortisol/women decrease
Suppports notion men deal with stress differently to women
Taylor - In women oxytocin (hormone which reduces anxiety and makes people more friendly) increased in women when stressed supporting Tend and Befriend


Meat-Sharing hypothesis
Humans turned from vegetarian to meatmen may have
become hunters due to selective pressures
Meat to attract women
Modern hunter gather societies this is still the case

Baron-Cohen - Autism may be example of extreme male brain (systemising)
Theory of mind - Difficulty in social relationships, not being able to think of another persons point of view
Systemising Quotient A03 - Issues

Reserach Methods - support comes from a number
of sources (historical records, experiments, observations,
questionnaires, comparitive studies and cross cultural studies.

Problems cross cultural - degree to which data actually represents
behaviour of that culture

People may not present themselves truthfully in questionnaires
In cross cultural studies some of the questions may not make sense A03 - Approaches and Debates

Evolutionary theory is biological (Genes - nature)
Alternative view (Social approach - nurture) A03 - Debates

Determinist - genes will determine how we behave

Ignores factor - genes only predispose us to behave in certain ways, does not dictate what individuals chose to do

Culture, personal experience and decisions can also influence how we behave.
(Again nature and nurture) Biosocial Theory

Biology - you are born as either a man or a woman (sex)
Social - you are then treated according to what sex you are precieved to be (this determines your gender)

Sex or rearing is the pivotal pointin gender development
Money and Ehrhardt - Intersex mistyped and treated according to percieved sex before the age of 3 this will determine their gender Social role theory

Eagly and Wood - evolutionary theory is not fully correct
Evolutionary theory - selective pressures cause physical and psychological differences
Eagly and Wood - selective pessures only cause physical differences, these then lead to sex role allocations (psychological ones)
Example of hunter and homemaker

Division on labour
Biologically based physical differences means that physical differences between mena and women allow them to perform tasks more efficiently
E.g. Women able to bear and nurse infants but this then means that they cannot be away from home for too long a period

Mate Choice
What men and women seek in a partner can be related to their social role rather than to the reproductive value of certain traits.
Women seek a man who a good wage earner, men seek a woman who is successful in the domestuc role.

Hormonal differences
Eagly and Wood propose male hormone testosterone is not the cause of greater male vs female aggressiveness, but instead it is the effect of the fact that men (because of their strength) engage in more athletic and competitive events than women and this crates higher levels of testosterone.
A01 Biosocial Theory

Lack of evidence
From the Money and Ehrhadts study of David Reimer

Sample Bias
Evidence to support thi theory comes from research using abnormal
individuals, may therefore not be relevant to undertsanding normal
gender development

Buss's study of 37 cultures re-examined
Gender Empowerment Measure
Social Role theory

Eagly and Woods theory offers an alternative to evolutionary
Social factors are important and these have reduced the division
of social roles between males and females
Luxen argues evolutionary theory can explain this and provide a

Selective pressure - Behaviour is at least as important as physical
characterism, act on behaviour to create both physical and
psychological sex differences

Sex differences without socialisation - Young children and even animals
show sex preferences for toys. Suggests biological rather than psyhological. A01 Ao2 Ao2 Ao3 Gender - Real world applications

Social role theory suuports feminist movement
(which has brought about change in terms of voting,
pay and treatment) which will result in changes in
psychological differences between men and women.
Also has high ethical appeal because sex roles are seen
social and therefore more flexible Approaches - Social Construction Approach

Much of human behaviour is an invention or outcome
of a particular society or culture
Gender Constancy Theory

Kohlberg's theory based on Piaget's suggestion that young
children cannot distinguish between appearance and reality

Changes in gender thinking solely due to changes in child's
cognitive capabilities as child gets older.

Label as boy or girl based on outward appearance only.
Can change over time.

Realise gender is consistent over time. (Stability)
Do not realise that also consistent across situations. (Can change
gender if engage in different activities)

Realise gender is consistent across time and place
Only now that children will start to learn about gender appropriate
Ao1 A02
Evidence to support the ages comes from Thompson who found 2 yr
olds were 76% correct in identifying their sex whereas 3 yr olds were
90% correct

Slaby and Frey - "Were you a little girl or little boy when you were born?"
"When you grow up will you be a mummy or a daddy?" not until 4yrs
realised these traits were stable over time

Slaby and Frey - Those children high in gender constancy showed greater
interest in same sex models.
Suggests as Kohlberg predicted, that an increasing sense of constancy leads
children to pay more attnetion to gender-appropriate models, furthering
gender development. Gender Schema Theory

Martin and Halverson - key to gender development
is seeking to acquire information about one's own gender.
This process happens before gender constancy/consisteny is acheived.

organised clusters of information about what is acceptable behaviour for each gender.
Learn via interactions with people.

Children most interested in schemas appropriate for their own behaviour.
Focus on the ingroup schema less concerned about the outgroup schema.

Theory can explain why children hold very fixed views about what is right and wrong for each gender. A02 Ao1 Gender sterotypes without constancy
Martin and Little - Children under the age of 4 showed no signs of gender stability let alone signs of constancy
Did however display strong gender sterotypes
Shows acquired information about gender roles before Kohlberg suggested in line with gender schema theory.

Ingroup and Outgroup effects
If ingroup theory correct would expect children to pay greater attention to information consistent with their gender schema.
Supported by Halverson - children under 6 recalled more pictures of gender consistent behaviour than inconsistent

Furthermore, children tended to pay more attention to ingroup rather than outgroup schema.
Bradbard - children remebered more details about ingroup toys shown previsously General A02 Gender constancy vs schema
Major difference lies in when 2 theories predict
children will absorb gender-relevant knowledge.
Bussey and Bandura - X support Kohlbergs theory
Boys aged 4 - felt good about playing with gender-appropriate
toys and awful playing with gender inappropriate toys
Kohlberg predicted this wouldn't happen until later
Suggests Martin and Halverson are right

A Compromise
Stangor Ruble means of unifying the two approaches.
Gender schema and gender constancy may represent different
Gender schema (organisation - affect cognitive variables such as
Gender constancy (motivation - realise you're a girl,more motivated
to find out more)
Research evidence to support from Stangor and Ruble - pics and toys
Criticisms of cognitive development approach

Huston - easier for girls to take part in masculine activities than for boys to dress up as girls.
Social stigma
Cognitive development approach ignores such social factors
Also makes little mention of biological factors
E.g. division of gender roles A03 Reductionist - ignores the role of other factors:
Social (social learning) - influence of peers, parents and the media,
Biological (biological aproach) - influence of genes and hormones Social influences Social Learning Theory

Bandura - originally for aggression
(INDIRECT) Vicarious reinforcement - Person views another
persons behaviour that has been rewarded and then
copys and does the same.
DIRECT - Their behaviour will then be rewarded or punished

Social Cognitive Theory
Bandura adapted SLT to invlolve the role of cognitive factors and used
this to explain gender development
3 major modes of influence:

1. Modelling - Child must first have ability to class males and females into
distict groups, recognise similarities in their behaviour and store them as
abstractions in their memories to guide their own behaviour

2. Enactive representation - As children become mobile they become more
capable of acting on their environment and this enables them to have an enactive
experience (experience realted to that activity).

3. Direct tuition - Begins as children acquire linguistic skills and informs children
about different styles of conduct. Instrutors (teachers and parents) do not always
practice what they preach and this may contradict what is being modelled. Ao1 Ao1 A02 A02 1. Modelling -
Initial source of evidence comes from
Bobo dolls
Perry and Bussey - effect of modelling on gender
development. Found limited by gender stereotypes

2. Direct tuition v modelling -
Research has shown that children do not always model
their behaviour on sam sex models and direct tuition could
be more important.
Martin - Study preschool boys and toys
Barkley et al - 81 studies on same-sex hypothesis Sources of social influence

1. Influence of parents
Father generally act more negatively to boys playing with girls toys

2. Influence of peers
Offer a model of gender-linked behaviour
Children will reward as well as punish
Boys react more positively to members of their own gender, but are
more likely to be criticised for activities to be considered to be feminine
than girls for engaging in male-type activities Parents
Support from Smith and Lloyd for differential treatment - mothers
playing with an infant represented as either a boy or a girl and toys
Support from Fagot et al that differential treatment reinforcement does
affect behaviour - parents showing clearest patterns of differential
reinforcement have children who are quickest to develop strong gender

Maccoby -Peers are prime socialising agency for gender develpment
Unlikely important in early chidhood
Do not create gender role stereorypes but reinforce existing ones
E.g. Lamb and Roopnarine observed preschool children at play

Probably most important infuence on children's gender sterotypes (tv and
Difficult to compare as most children watch TV so no control group except
in rare cases where communities have had no television (NOTEL, UNITEL and
MULITEL - Canda)
Pingree - sterotyping reduced when children were shown commercials with
women in non-traditional roles
In general media's effect is simply to reinforce the status quo - little change in
30 years of TV programming
Further A02 An adevelopmental theory
Durkin claimed Bandura's theory is advelopmental
i.e. the processes of learning are the same at any age
Bandura does suggest some sequence: enactive experience commences
as children gain mobility and competencies
Direct tuition elies on language skills which develop later
Cognitive-developmental theories are much more specific though
They also provide provide an explanation of why children attend specifically
to same-sex stereotypes

Active inolvement
Child is portrayed as passive in his/her development
However, SLT does include active invovlement - shift from external reinforcement
by parents and peers to state of self-evaluation and regulation
Learn sanctions against cross-dressing and behave accordingly A03 Reductionist - ignores the role of other factors:
Cognitive - influence of thought processes and cognition
Biological (biological aproach) - influence of genes and hormones Gender Ao1 Ao1 A02 A02 Androgynous Individuals

Sandra Bem- feminist perspective
Portrayal to children thatyou have to chose 1 sex or another
Better to be androgynous (mixof male and female characteristics)
Androgyny leads to (1) greater flexibility and (2) better psychological
Bem Sex Inventory
Androgynous individuals are better able to adapt to different situations,
have higher self-esteem and a greater sense of emotional well-being Androgynous Societies

Bem reformulated her original approach in terms
of gnder schema theory, androgynous people have a
different cognitive style from traditionally sexed people
Androgynous people are characterised by being gender
aschematic where as traditional sex-tyoed individuals are
gender schematic
Bem - Masculinity and femininity are 'cultural fictions,'
it is the culture rather than the individual that is gender
schematic Androgynous individuals
Flexibility - Studies to support
Bem - masculine and androgynous individuals showed
lower levels of conformity than feminine women
Bem - feminine and andrognous individuals interacted more
warmly with a babyand another student
Lippa critique 0f Bem Sex Inventory measures assertiveness and
resisting pressures on M scales and nurturance and expressive traits
on F scale.

Psychological healthiness
Link androgyny and better adjustment explained in terms of what the
M scales and F scales measure supported by Whitley
Androgyny model was supposed to replace traditional M-F model but in
the end it raised as many criticisms.
People with male and female characteristics will benefit from a broader
range of personailty traits, but this doesn't mean that they will have an
androgynous personality Androgynous societies
Socieities can and do permit individuals to have
more or less freedom in their gender role,therefore
they are gender schematic Desribes an individual's experience of feeling ucomfortable
with the gender assigned to them at birth, which may result
in a sex change or gender reassignment. Psychological explanations
Related to mental illness arising in childhood
Coates et al - case history of boy who developed
GID defensive reactio to mothers depression
following an abortion
Stoller - GID result of distorted parental attitudes, used
clinical interviews to observe mother-son relationships Biological explanations
Effects of hormones
1. Environmental pollution - e.g. insecticide DDT contains
oestrogens which means males are exposed to high levels
of female hormones
2. Prenatal hormone levels affected by genetic conditions -
mismatch between hormones and genetic sex (AIS and CAH) Psychologial explanations
Cole et al - research 435 individuals experiencing gender
dysphoria, range of psychoatric conditions no greater than
the normal population.
Suggests GD not related to trauma or pathological families. Hormonal abnormalities
Environmental effects - number of studies support
Dutch researchers - boys to born to mothers who were exposed to dioxins (which can promote oestrogen) displayed
feminised play

Hormonal abnormalities - brain regions
Zhou - one region of the hypothalamus BSTc. Normally lrger in males. 6 male to female transsexuals and found them to be smaller than average.
However, other research suggests intersex inidividuals are happy with their sex of rearing. E.g. Dessens et al 250 genetic females
Bower - Interaction of both A03 Nature v Nurture - Bower interaction of both psychological and
biological factors to explain gender dysphoria.

Real-world application - Colapinto 1 in 2000 people are born with anomolous
genitals and may be given erroneous gender re-assignment.
Organisiation such as Oii, campaign for the rights of intersex individuals.
Right to choose own sexual identity when old enough.
Need to recognise many gender characteristics are socially constructed. Androgyny and Gender Dysphoria Cross Cultural studies Role of genes and hormones Evolutionary Explanations The Biosocial Appraoch Cognitive Development Approach Gender Dysphoria Angrogyny Cross cultural similarities: Division of labour

Research shows every society has some division of labour
and behavious by gender (Munroe and Munroe)
E.g. females - childcare and food preperation
Socialisation - girls: nurturance, responsibility and obedience
- boys: independence, self-reliance and acheivement
Three major studies
1. Mead - Arapesh, Mundugmor and Tchamuli
2. Williams and Best - Gender stereotypes in 0 different countries
3. Buss- analysis of cultural groups Ao1 A02 Similarities Variations Fact that labour divisions are the same in most cultures suggets
it is the result of biology rather than culture.
Direct outcome of biological differences?
Or indirect outcome of biology differences? (Eagly and Wood - all cultures
shape their socialisation processes along the lines of inborn tendencies)

Labour divisions are the same in most but not all cultures
E.g. Japanese men do not seek to be macho like American men, but instead
value being well-rounded in the arts. Ao1 Mead - cultural relativism
Berry et al - male superiority on spatial tasks,
tight knit sedentary societies rather than nomadic societies
Therefore, interaction of ecological and cultural factors
Same for conformity
Berry et al - conformity highest in tight knit sedentary socities
correlation of +.78
Historical changes - gap between men and women deceasing A02 Spatial perception
Evidence suggests megnitude of sex differences is linked to
culture and ecology (nomadic societies - both men and women
Interpretation is that social factors underlie cross-cultural differences
across different cultures
However,Kimura suggests in hunting societies those with poor spatial
preception are likely to die, thus eliminating such genes from the gene

Societies (such as nomadic) - women are highly valued,
allowed freedom and generally regarded less as objects
for male sexual and repoductive needs
Therefore, women occupy a higher social role, have more
power and less likely to conform Historical changes
Generally, wealth is associated with greater role equality
Greater socioeconomis development
Supported by Eagly and Woods study Ao3 Cross cultural research -
Indigenous researchers
Imposed etic
India - hijras
Native Americans - 2 spirits
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