Lecture 10: Gender Development Flashcards Preview

🚫 PSY311H1F: Social Development with H. Kil > Lecture 10: Gender Development > Flashcards

Flashcards in Lecture 10: Gender Development Deck (18):

gender vs. sex [5]

  • Fundamental (social vs. biological)
  • Categories; male/female vs. boy/girl
  • Cultural differences; what’s a normal gender based behaviour for different cultures?
    • More femininity in collectivist men
    • Sex doesn’t vary across cultures (not socially constructed)


gender typing [12]

  • Process by which children acquire social behaviours viewed as appropriate for their sex (or gender)
  • 1. gender based beliefs (awareness of gender attributes) + gender identity (a child viewing him/herself as belonging to male/female)
    • Try to have characteristics appropriate to gender they identify with
  • 2. gender role preference (e.g. toys)
    • Tied to gender identity formation
    • Most often reflected through play partner choice (like same-sex partners)
  • 3. gender stability (will remain with chosen gender identity) + gender constancy (rules allowing child to understand how changes in appearance don’t influence the gender of that person)
    • More complex ideas; but still see gender as a binary
  • 4. gender stereotypes + gender roles form
    • Very interconnected concepts
    • Stereotypes: attitudes, activities, traits, occupations, appearances
    • Roles: appearance + behaviour patterns


gender differences in preferences [9]

  • At gender role preference + identity stages → preferences
  • In general → boys prioritize: strength, motor skills, physical activity; girls prioritize: verbal, nurturing, emotional and social intelligence
    • Obviously these traits overlap (not like girls don’t have motor skills)
    • Young kids don’t tend to identify these very well
  • At birth: boys fixate → mechanical mobiles; girls fixate → mutual gazing, faces
  • Gendered toy preferences start developing at @ 18mos


  • Girls prefer toys associated with appearance (e.g. cooking, looking after younger children; dancing, craft making; romantic tales; social drama TV; laundry+dishes)
  • Boys prefer toys associated with action, aggression fighting/shooting games; competitive+team sports; horror+adventure books; action+sports TV; repair+lawn mowing chores
  • Some change in trends (e.g. legos), but tendency remains


gender in adolescence [4]

  • gender intensification: more pressure to act in line with what you’d expect for their gender
  • Modern-day changes? Less gender intensification + more freedom in expression
    • Gender constancy applies less/doesn’t matter to children nowadays
  • Girls (10-16): prefer romantic relationships, caring for others, emotionally expressive + sad symptoms (greater tendency to feel sad if something bad happens + be influenced by things happening around them)


gender in adulthood [6]

  • As parents: traditional gender expression/shift
    • Why? Women get pregnant, usually have to default back to their stereotyped roles in order to deal with pregnancy
  • Women and men converge with time (around 18 when child leaves)
    • No child to be oriented towards, child becoming more independent
    • Generally for Western contexts
    • 10-15 years after child leaves, parents retire → even more convergence; no need to express these characteristics


expressive vs. instrumental characteristics [4]

  • expressive characteristics: nurturance, sympathy, concern with feelings, orientation towards children
    • Usually taken on by women in families
  • instrumental characteristics: competitive, goal oriented, task + occupation orientation
    • Usually taken on by men in families


perceptions of gender dynamics for elderly [4]

  • See women as being more instrumental than men (both positively+negatively)
  • Same trend isn’t seen for people under 40 (ascribe equal amounts of both instrumental/expressive for men + women) → don’t feel like characteristics are as important in ascribing gender
  • Reflecting on their lives, see social change that’s happened the past few decades, feel like women are actually more instrumental than we give credit for
  • Still don’t ascribe as many expressive characteristics to men


feminine boys + masculine girls [6]

  • Men are more bound by gender stereotypes + being instrumental; society not as forgiving of men being expressive as women being instrumental
    • Boys in toy + play choices → bigger deal than girl playing with “boy” toys
  • → extremely intense interests in gender stereotyped activities/objects for boys
    • e.g. Old men still having elaborate model train collections
    • Don’t see this intense interest for girls’ toys
    • Perhaps related to how men fixate on one thing/girls better at multitasking


gender in Western culture [3]

  • Male oriented, male role more clearly defined
  • Physical touch between boys: unless you’re playing on a sports team, male touching isn’t condoned but female touching is really valued
  • Pressure to conform, derision of feminine boys


Kohlberg's cognitive developmental theory of gender [10]

  • Children differentiate male and female roles at an early age + children perceive themselves as more similar to a same-sex other vs. opposite-sex other
    • Consonance between actual and perceived gender = better self-esteem
    • Appearance + physical cues have precedence over other cues in how children obtain gender-relevant info
  • 2-3 years: boy vs. girl
  • 4-5 years: gender stability
  • 6-7 years: gender constancy → make gender-typed choices
  • But! Doesn’t mean that 2-3 yos can’t identify a certain toy as belonging to a gender
    • New research: 2-3 yos learn about gender appropriateness through colour alone 
  • Proposes that sequence is culturally-universal + you move through them invariantly
    • Much new research trying to disprove this theory


gender schema theory [8]

  • Schemas to organize gender-role related experience (generalizations)
  • Help form selective attention + memory for gendered info/stimuli
    • Retain info that’s gender-typical
    • And helps you recall info more consistent with your gender group
  • Gender schematic children have this heightened awareness/sensitivity to gender info
    • Gender aschematic children, those who are parented to not focus on traditional traits → sensitivity for other info (e.g. clothes you’re wearing vs. whether you’re a boy/girl; how many siblings you have vs. whether you’re black/white)
  • Remember: schemas affect processing + accurate recall of info!
  • Gender typed behaviour does not require knowledge about gender stability or constancy


Bussey & Bandura (1999): social cognitive theory of gender development [6]

  • Observational learning + feedback → gender-appropriate actions (punishment/rewards) → internalize gender-appropriate notions
  • Some relation of the feedback process to self-efficacy
  • Negative feedback → poor self-efficacy b/c you feel like there’s something wrong with you that you need to change
  • Unlike previous two theories, social cognitive theories emphasize:
    • Motivational, affective, + environmental (societal expectations) influences
    • Embedded in social matrix; can’t parcel out effect of culture


parental influences on gender development [5]

  • Primary and strongest influence → name of child, raising of child (clothing, hobbies, activities, support, feedback)
  • Parental behaviour at infancy:
    • Verbal responsiveness w/ girls (making more noises/speaking at female babies)
    • Description of child → girl babies “gentle/sweet/loving”; boys are “active/curious”
    • More marked gendered treatment by fathers (e.g. physical play w/ male infants + talking w/ female infants)


parents + gender: toddlerhood+ [7]

  • Fathers more disapproving of gender inconsistent play
    • Moms inconsistent in how they deal w/ boys
  • Both parents support boys’ autonomy, (fathers especially) protective of girls
    • Fathers not as willing to let daughters explore/do adventurous play
  • Both parents encourage boys to compete/achieve, different treatment in maths + sciences (boys more supported for their achievements)
    • With boys: emphasize learning, success, curiosity
    • With girls: emphasize interpersonal interactions, parents provide fewer scientific explanations for phenomena


cultural differences in gender + achievement [4]

  • African American families show reversed emphasis on achievement (girls more supported)
    • Boys more stereotyped as being violent/involved in crimes → AA moms push their daughters into academics for social mobility, but have less expectations for how much boys will be able to achieve
  • Mexican American families: more strict emphasis on gendered ideas
    • No good explanations yet for why; maybe b/c of machismo


McHale et al. (2001) [6]

(hint: siblings + gender)

  • Younger sibling gender typing + older sibling attributes
  • When older sibling believes in traditional gender stereotypes → younger sibling more likely to endorse same gender attitudes
  • Older siblings engage in sex-typed leisure activities → younger sibling even more likely to engage in sex-typed activities
  • But! Who is the sibling?
  • Two females/males > mixed siblings → gender-consistent qualities
    • Older sister + younger brother showed same play patterns as sister/sister

A image thumb

other influences on gender [11]

  • Media: gender typing in books, TV, music
    • Contrary info: sports TV may be helpful (e.g. Olympics) → girls have greater belief in ability to achieve sports competence
  • Peers: gender segregation → persistence in positive feedback environments (e.g. playing w/ same-sex peers)
    • Girls view boys as being aggressive in their play + avoid them
    • Or maybe kids just have different preferences in play + don’t hang out together
    • Or maybe b/c girls find managing boys difficult
  • Schools + teachers
    • School environment (e.g. staff: teachers vs. principals)
      • Younger females tend to be kindergarten teachers
      • More male teachers in HS + in maths+sciences
    • Treatment of students by teachers → influence how much you want to be treated like your gender group


Mulvey & Killen (2015) [12]

(hint: gender; deviation)

  • Are children aware of the asymmetry of gender stereotypes + consequences of desiring to engage in cross-gender activities?
  • Half Ps assessed a boys’ group + a girls’ group w/ conformity group norms, where groups adhered to stereotypes about social activities
  • Half Ps assessed a boys’ group + girls’ group w/ resistance group norms, where groups engaged in counterstereotypic activities
  • Ps evaluated a member of the group who wanted to challenge group norm
    • Likelihood of resistance: what do you think dissenter will do?
    • Individual likelihood of resistance: what would you do?
    • Intragroup exclusion likelihood: do you think the group will kick them out?
    • Reasoning: why?
    • Intergroup inclusion preference: which new person should the group include?
  • Ps stated they would personally resist gender-stereotypic norms, + more so than they would expect their peers to resist
  • Expecting peers to resist declined w/ age
  • Ps expected exclusion from the group was a consequence for challenging peer group + understood asymmetrical status of boys vs. girls challenging stereotypes