The same chart has been used to assess gender stereotypes among college students.. Did you choose the same traits as the consensus? Even numbered - female traits Odd numbered - male traits
Features Judged by College Students to Be Characteristically Male or Female MaleFemale IndependentEmotional AggressiveHome-oriented Not excitableKind Skilled in businessCries easily Mechanical aptitudeCreative OutspokenConsiderate Acts as a leaderDevotes self to others Self-confidentNeeds approval AmbitiousGentle Not easily influencedAware of others’ feelings DominantExcitable
Instrumental Traits (Roles ) are traits associated with males ‐ They describe individuals who act on the world and influence it Expressive Traits (Roles ) are traits associated with females ‐ They describe emotional functioning and individuals who value interpersonal relationships
Gender Stereotypes Broad categories that reflect our impressions and beliefs about females and males ‐ All gender stereotypes refer to an image of what the typical member of a particular social category is like
Gender Stereotypes Children understand gender stereotypes by the time they enter kindergarten Their understanding grows throughout elementary-school years ‐ They begin to understand that gender stereotypes do not always apply
Children learn very young that we do not live in a gender-neutral society By the age of 4, a child’s knowledge of gender-stereo-typed activities is extensive
Consider the reaction of one 6-year-old to a boy named George who likes to play with dolls: Why do you think people tell George not to play with dolls? ‐ Well, he should only play with things that boys play with. The things that he is playing with now is girls’ stuff Can George play with Barbie dolls if he wants to? ‐ No! What should George do? ‐ He should stop playing with girls’ dolls and start playing with G.I. Joe Why can a boy play with G.I. Joe and not a Barbie doll? ‐ Because if a boy is playing with a Barbie doll, then he’s just going to get people teasing him… and if he tries to play more, to get girls to like him, the girls won’t like him either
Between the ages of 3 and 7, gender- related issues are very important to children. This is the time when they are starting to firmly classify themselves as boys and girls…. They are starting to know that they will always be boys and/or girls.
As children develop they learn that gender stereotypes don’t always apply Older children are more willing than younger children to ignore stereotypes when judging children
Is There Any Truth to Gender Stereotypes?
Physical Development As infants, boys are more active than girls ‐ This difference increases during childhood Girls tend to be healthier than boys ‐ Female embryos are more likely than males to survive prenatal development ‐ Infant boys are more prone to diseases and dysfunctions ‐ Adolescent boys and young men are more likely to engage in unhealthy, risk-taking behaviors
In a classroom, boys are more likely than girls to have a hard time sitting still. On a playground, boys more often play vigorously and girls more often play quietly.
Intellectual Ability Females tend to have greater verbal ability than males ‐ Girls read, write, and spell better than boys ‐ More boys have reading and other language- related problems such as stuttering
Males tend to have greater spatial ability than females From childhood on, boys tend to have better mental rotation skill than girls From adolescence on, boys are more accurate than girls on spatial tasks that involve relations between objects in space
Let’s Test Your Spatial Ability! Try the following activities on your own.
Spatial Ability The items above test mental rotation. The task is to determine which of the figures labeled A through E are rotated versions of the figure in the box on the left.
Did you get it?
The first row of cubes shows you how many cubes are contained in each pile. Figure out the number of cubes contained in each of the piles above.
A. 27 cubes B. 15 cubes C. 15 cubes D. 18 cubes E. 19 cubes F. 40 cubes G. 10 cubes H. 22 cubes I. 13 cubes J. 20 cubes K. 50 cubes
Intellectual Ability Continued… On standardized math tests: ‐ Initially, girls excel in math computation, but later boys excel in math problem solving For grades in math courses: ‐ Usually there is no difference between boys and girls, BUT, if there is a difference it usually favors girls
Think on Your Own… Why are girls doing worse on achievement tests but getting better grades in the classroom?.
One idea is that girls are more confident on classroom tests than on achievement tests. The achievement test questions are more novel than classroom test questions. Because they are not as confident… they don’t do as well. Boys are more confident in their math skills and like the challenge of novel problems. Math is also a stereotypic male pursuit so girls tend to lack confidence in their math skills
Personality and Social Behavior Starting at age 2, boys are more physically and verbally aggressive than girls. They are more likely to be physically aggressive toward other boys rather than toward girls
Boys and men are more aggressive in virtually all cultures and in nonhuman species
Why are boys more aggressive? There is a Biological link to aggression in the hormone Androgens, which are secreted by the testes. Androgen does not lead to aggression directly. Androgens make it more likely that boys will be aggressive by making boys more excited or angry and by making boys stronger.
Is there a Societal link? Media presents us with aggressive male role models - Jedi Knights to John Wayne ‐ These role models are rewarded for their aggressive behavior. Parents are more likely to use physical punishment with sons than with daughters.
Parents are more likely to be more tolerant of aggressive behavior in sons than in daughters. So… experience encourages boys rather than girls to express their aggression physically.
Girls display covert forms of aggression snubbing others or undermining social status or relationships.
What is actually the case? BOTH boys and girls are aggressive. BUT… the method of aggression is different between the sexes. In American children (African American and Euro American ) in grades 3 to 6, when they want to harm their peers, boys try to hurt them physically whereas girls try to damage relationships with peers. ‐ Relational aggression (typical of girls) is less visually obvious.
Personality and Social Behavior Continued… Girls are better able at expressing their emotions and interpreting others’ emotions Girls are more willing to admit to feelings, but boys and girls are equally able to feel what others are feeling
Personality and Social Behavior Females are more easily influenced by others - more persuadable ‐ Girls are more compliant than boys with the requests and demands of teachers, parents, and other authority figures. ‐ Young girls are more likely to seek an adult’s help
Rapport versus Report Talk Rapport Talk ‐ The language of conversation and a way of establishing connections and negotiating relationships ‐ More characteristic of females than of males Report Talk ‐ Talk that conveys information such as public speaking ‐ More characteristic of males than of females
The Peer Influence Enabling interactions ‐ Actions and remarks that tend to support others and sustain the interaction ‐ Girls interactions with other girls Constricting interactions ‐ One partner tries to emerge as the victor by threatening or contradicting the other, by exaggerating, etc… ‐ Boys interactions with other boys
Think about how boys and girls socialize Males hold center stage through report talk with verbal performances that include story telling, joking, and lecturing with information. Think of play: boys tend to play in large groups that are hierarchically structured. They usually have a leader who tells the others what to do and how to do it. Boys games usually have winners and losers. Boys tend to do a lot of boasting about their skills and arguing about who is best at what.
Females enjoy private rapport talk more and conversation that is relationship-oriented. Think about play: Girls tend to play in small groups or pairs and at the center of a girls world is often a best friend. Intimacy is pervasive in girls’ relationships with peers and close friends. Turn taking is more characteristic of girls than of boys. Girls are more likely just to sit and talk with each other, and are more concerned about being liked by others rather than trying to achieve the leadership position of power.
Why is there a gender difference? Think on Your Own…
Parents are more “feeling-oriented” with daughters than with sons. They are more likely to talk about their emotions with daughters than with sons. They are more likely to emphasize the importance of considering others’ feelings with their daughter than with their sons.
What Influences How Children Learn Gender Roles?
Parents From birth, fathers tend to interact more with sons than daughters while mothers interact more with daughters than sons Mothers play traditional games like peek-a- boo whereas fathers play more physical, rough-and-tumble activities Example: a dad might urge his frightened son to jump off a diving board (Be a man!) but not be so insistent with his daughter (That’s okay, honey!).
Parents treat sons and daughters similarly, except for gender- related behavior
Peers By 3 years of age, most children’s play shows the impact of gender stereotypes: ‐ Boys prefer blocks and trucks ‐ Girls prefer tea sets and dolls Young children are even critical of peers who engage in cross-gender play Once children learn rules about gender-typical play, they often harshly punish peers who violate those rules
Peers Continued… Between 2 and 3 years of age, children begin to prefer playing with same-sex peers ‐ Children spontaneously select same-sex playmates. Adult pressure is not necessary. Children resist parents efforts to get them to play with members of the opposite sex. ‐ Girls are often unhappy when parents encourage them to play with boys, and boys are unhappy when parents urge them to play with girls.
Boys and girls prefer same-sex playmates even in gender-neutral activities such as playing tag or doing puzzles. This preference increases during childhood, reaching a peak in preadolescence
What are your five favorite television programs? Count the number of major characters in them. How many of them are male? How many of them are female? Which characters are highly active and/or have positions of power? How would you characterize the general nature of the programs action-packed, romantic comedies, sports shows, soap operas?
What were your results? Most of the list of characters will probably be male (except for soap operas). More males will likely chose action and sports shows as their favorites. More females will likely choose romantic shows or soap operas.
Television Women on television tend to be cast in romantic, marital, or family roles ‐ They are depicted as emotional, passive and weak Men on television tend to be cast in leadership or professional roles ‐ They are depicted as rational, active, and strong
Children who watch a lot of television end up with more stereotyped views of males and females Children who watch a lot of television prefer gender-typed activities to a greater extent than do children who are less avid viewers
Gender Identity How do we develop a sense of being male or female?
What do you think? Imagine you meet a 1-year-old named Leslie who is dressed in gender-neutral clothing and is sporting a bowl-cut hairstyle, so that you cannot tell whether Leslie is a boy or girl. How long would it be before you become curious about Leslie’s sex? How would you determine whether a 1-year-old like Leslie is a boy or a girl?
Development of Gender Identity The first step is to discriminate males from females and to place oneself in to one of these categories By 1 year, infants can discriminate male photographs from female photographs By 2-3 years, children tell us they know about gender ‐ They use “mommy” and “daddy” labels correctly ‐ They use “boy” and “girl” labels correctly ‐ They accurately label themselves as either a boy or girl
Gender Identity Continued… Between 3-5 years, children still believe they can change gender identities if they want to Between 5-7 years, children have a firm, stable, future-oriented identity as a boy or a girl
AgeGender Identity Gender Stereotyping Gender-typed behavior years Ability to discriminate males from females emerges and improves. Child accurately labels the self as a boy or a girl Some gender stereotypes emerge. Gender-typed toy/activity preferences emerge. Preferences for same-sex playmates emerge (gender segregation) years Conservation of gender (recognition that one’s gender is unchanging) emerges. Gender stereotyping of interests, activities, and occupations becomes quite rigid. Gender-typed play/toy preferences become stronger, particularly for boys. Gender segregation intensifies.
Age Gender Identity Gender StereotypingGender-typed behavior years Gender stereotyping of personality traits and achievement domains emerge. Gender stereotyping becomes less rigid. Gender segregation intensifies. Gender-typed toy/activity preferences continue to strengthen for boys; girls develop (or retain) interests in some masculine activities. 12 and beyond Gender identity becomes more salient. Intolerance of cross-sex mannerisms increases early in adolescence. Gender stereotyping is becoming more flexible. Conformity to gender- typed behaviors increase early in adolescence. Gender segregation becomes less pronounced.