Developmental Psychology Gender

+ Developmental Psychology Gender Milestones Football, Bentota, Sri Lanka, 1998 (oil on canvas), © Andrew Macara / Private Collection / The Bridgeman Art Library Gender Development Milestones Biological Approaches Commonly Found Sex Differences Sociocultural Approaches Kohlberg’s Stages of Gender Development Kohlberg noted a typical path in children’ s developing conceptualization of gender. Gender Identity 3 years-old Gender Stability 4-years-old Gender Constancy 7-years-old Kohlberg – Gender Identity Gender Identity is the sense of ourselves as boys or girls. “Are you a boy or a girl?” (point to drawing) % of age groups identifying their biological sex: 24-month-olds 75% 30-month-olds 83% 36-month-olds 90% Kohlberg – Gender Stability Gender Stability is the belief that sex remains constant throughout our lifetimes. “When you grow up, will you be a mommy or a daddy?” Children identify their gender stability by about 4 years of age. Kohlberg – Gender Constancy Gender Constancy is the belief that sex remains constant regardless of changes in appearance or behavior. Children identify gender as constant around 7 years of age, or earlier if they have been taught clearly about genital differences. Biological Approach to Sex Differences – Emphasize the importance of biological sex differences (e.g., chromosomes, hormones) on social gender roles. – Use evolutionary adaptations to explain crosscultural, stable differences. This approach is sometimes called an essentialist perspective. Hormones & Gender Role Behavior CAH: Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia. Experience excessive androgens in the womb. Girls with CAH are more tomboyish, like girlish clothes less, engage in more rough-andtumble play, and are more likely to form same-sex attractions (e.g., Collaer & Hines, 1995). Their gender identity develops like that of other children. Biology & Gender Identity Sex Assignment: Children surgically assigned a sex at birth due to inter-sexed conditions express more gender dissatisfaction (i.e., are miss-assigned). Boys surgically reassigned to be girls after circumcision accidents are particularly likely to revert to male gender roles as adolescents (e.g., the famous “John / Joan Case”) Photographs from “As Nature Made Him” by John Colapinto Sex Differences? Evolutionary psychologists emphasize, and sociocultural psychologists minimize sex differences. The following is a collection of sex differences reported by Janet Shibley Hyde (2005) in a review of papers that conducted a meta-analysis. I am only showing psychological sex difference with an effect size of at least 2.5% (r2). Typical Distribution of Psychological Sex Differences Sex Differences – Reasoning Based on Hyde (2005), all psychological sex differences with effect size of 2.5% (r2) or greater. Adolescent boys are better at mechanical reasoning (12.6%) and mental rotation (9.4%). Adolescent girls are better at spelling (4.8%) and language arts (3.8%), whereas boys are better at science (2.5%) and computers (3.3%). Spatial & Mechanical Reasoning Sex Differences – Aggression Based on Hyde (2005), all psychological sex differences with effect size of 2.5% (r2) or greater. Adolescent and adult men are more assertive (6.1%) and aggressive (3.6%). They are more aggressive verbally (2.8%) and especially physically (7.1%), whereas women are more likely to use indirect aggression (2.9%). Homicide Rates across Cultures Sex Differences – Social Relationships Based on Hyde (2005), all psychological sex differences with effect size of 2.5% (r2) or greater. Adolescent and adult women are more trusting (3.0%), agreeable and tender (17.2%). Women are more likely to smile (3.8%), especially in social situations (5.0%). Though they are also more neurotic and anxious (2.5%). Women are better at speaking (2.7%) and recognizing the emotions of others (3.0%). Men are more likely to interrupt during a conversation (2.7%). At least when others are around, men are more likely to help those in distress (12.0%). Sex Differences – Sexuality All psychological sex differences with effect size of 2.5% (r2) or greater. Body image is a greater concern for women in forming their self-esteem (7.8%). Men are more likely to masturbate (18.7%). Casual sex is more appealing to men than women (14.1%). Casual Sexual Behavior Go out with me? Come back to my apartment? Go to bed with me? Percent of Total Sample saying “Yes ” 100 80 60 40 20 0 women men Sex Differences – Summary 28 notable (effect size of r2 > 2.5%) psychological sex differences found repeatedly. The biggest psychological sex differences are in masturbation (18.7%), agreeableness (17.2%), casual sex (14.1%) and mechanical reasoning (12.6%). Differences within the sexes are far greater than differences between the sexes. Social Learning Theory According to a Social Learning Theory, first suggested by Bandura (1969), parents and teachers mold children’s behavior to match gender roles through reinforcement (e.g., rewards, punishments). Later versions of the theory suggest boys and girls also learn through observation of same-sex models. Consequences of Gender Labels Gender Labeling Studies presented a six month old boy to adults … … as Beth dressed in pink … as Adam dressed in blue given doll more often given toy hammer more often described as angry, strong, intelligent, and active described as fearful, little, beautiful, soft, and nice Gender Segregation Instead of just direct socialization (i.e., conditioning) and indirect-socialization (i.e., observation), we also need to also consider self-socialization. “Cooties” When is it okay to have contact with other sex? 10- to 11-year olds who rarely violated gender boundaries and were active at maintaining boundaries were rated most popular by peers and camp counselors (Sroufe, 1993). adult urging w/ same-sex peer disavowal accidental incidental necessity Gender Schema Theory Gender Schema Theory builds on self-socialization (Maccoby & Jackline, 1974). Gender Schema are cognitive structures that organize our knowledge of gender and guide us to have certain expectations about what is important to observe and what is appropriate to imitate (Bem, 1981; Martin & Halverson, 1981).

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