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Flashcards in Gender and culture Deck (20)
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Define universality.

Any underlying characteristic of human beings that is capable of be applied to all, despite differences of experience and upbringing.


What are the 2 types of gender bias?



What is alpha bias?

Alpha bias within psychological research is that which exaggerates/overestimates differences between the sexes, usually devaluing females in relation to their male counterparts.


Give an example of alpha bias.

The sociobiological theory of relationship formation (Wilson 1975).


What is the sociobiological theory of relationship formation?

Explains human sexual attraction and behaviour through the principle of 'survival efficiency'.
It is the male's interest to impregnate as many women as possible in order to ensure their genes are passed on to the next generation.
For a female, the best chance of preserving her genes is to ensure the healthy survival of the relatively few offspring she is able to produce.
The central premise of this theory is that sexual promiscuity in males is genetically determined whilst females who engage in the same behaviour are regarded as 'going against their nature'.


What is beta bias?

Beta bias ignores/underestimates/minimises differences between men and women.


Give an example of beta bias.

The fight-or-flight response.


Explain the fight-or-flight response in terms of beta bias.

Early research was based exclusively on male animals (preferred due to female hormones fluctuating) and was assumed to be a universal response to a threatening situation.
However, Shelley Taylor et al. have suggested that female biology has evolved to inhibit the fight or flight response, shifting attention towards caring for offspring (tending) and forming a defensive network with other females (befriending).


What is a possible consequence of beta bias?



What is androcentrism?

Male centered: when 'normal' behaviour is judged according to a male standard (meaning that female behaviour is often judged as 'abnormal' by comparison).


What is an example of androcentrism?

PMS - social construction which medicalises female emotions, especially anger, by explaining these in hormonal terms.
Whereas male anger is often seen as a rational response to external pressures.


State 3 criticisms of gender bias.

Implications of gender bias
- may have damaging consequences which affect the lives and prospects of real women (women are twice as likely to be diagnosed with depression than men).
Sexism within the research process
- a lack of women appointed at senior research level means that female concerns may not be reflected in the research questions asked. - In a laboratory experiment, female participants are placed in an inequitable relationship with a (usually male) researcher who has the power to label them irrational, unreasonable and unable to complete the tasks.
- politically motivated arguments


What is ethnocentrism?

Judging other cultures by the standards and values of one's own culture.


Give an example of ethnocentrism?

Ainsworth's strange situation:
- Reflected on the norms and values of american culture.
- She suggested that the 'ideal' attachment was secure, but this led to misinterpretation of child-rearing practices in other countries which were seen as deviating from the American 'norm'.
- EG: German mothers were seen as cold and rejecting rather than encouraging independence in their children.


What is cultural relativism?

The idea that norms and values can only be meaningful and understood within specific cultural and social contexts.


What is imposed etic?

Looks at behaviour from outside of a given culture and attempts to describe those behaviours that are universal.


What is imposed emic?

Functions from within or inside certain cultures and identifies behaviours that are specific to that culture.


Who defined the distinction between etic and emic?



State 2 strengths of culture bias.

Individualism vs collectivism - individualist (US) thought to value personal freedom and independence whereas collectivist (India) thought to place more emphasis on interdependence and the needs of the group. - Takano and Osaka found that 14 out of the 15 studies that compared the US and Japan found no evidence of traditional distinction between individualist and collectivist societies, suggesting that cultural bias is less of an issue than it once was.
Cultural relativism vs universality - no such thing as universal human behaviour. Ekman suggests that basic facial expressions for emotions are the same worldwide and that critiques of Ainsworth's SS study should not obscure the fact that some features of human attachment (interactional synchrony) are universal.


State a criticism of culture bias.

Unfamiliarity with research tradition - when conducting research in western culture the participant's familiarity with general aims and objectives of scientific enquiry are often assumed. However, the same knowledge may not extend to cultures that do not have the same historical history of research so therefore demand characteristics may always be an issue.