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Pscy 2618 Psychology of Gender Developmental Issues of Infancy and childhood.

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Presentation on theme: "Pscy 2618 Psychology of Gender Developmental Issues of Infancy and childhood."— Presentation transcript:

1 Pscy 2618 Psychology of Gender Developmental Issues of Infancy and childhood

2 Prenatal development zUntil about 6 weeks after conception, female and male embryos look identical; they differ only in chromosomes. zIn about the third month of conception, the fetus’s hormones encourage further sex differentiation.

3 Atypical prenatal development/Hormonal zAndrogen-insensitivity syndrome: do not develop male genitalia. Typically raised as girls. zCongenital adrenal hyperplasia: genetic females receive too much androgen causing their genitals to look somewhat masculine. zIs intersexualism an alternative?

4 Atypical prenatal development/Chromosomal zTurner Syndrome yIn 1/10,000 infant females, the second female sex chromosome is either defective or missing. yThis results in a female body with either underdeveloped ovaries or no ovaries. yNo estrogen to foster secondary sex characteristics such as breasts or menstruation.

5 zKlinefelter’s Syndrome yA surplus of sex chromosomes, either X or Y, such that the individual is XXXY or XXY. y1 or 2/1000 infant boys are affected. yThey are usually taller than average and during adolescence, their breasts enlarge. yThey are infertile.

6 zDouble-Y syndrome y1/1000 infant boys has one or more extra Y chromosome. yEven taller than the boys with Klinefelter’s yUsually impulsive, low frustration tolerance, and below-average IQ.

7 Gender comparisons during infancy zPhysical & Temperamental yBoys weigh about 5% more. yGirls are somewhat more advanced in physical development. yBoys are slightly more active. yNo clear difference in crying or sleeping. z Social yNo clear gender differences emerge. yResearch suggests that men and women in US/Canada prefer a boy as their firstborn. yParents view their female infants as weak

8 Gender comparisons during infancy zBoys are more susceptible to SIDS. zBoys are more susceptible to hyperactivity.

9 zBoth mothers and fathers encourage female infants more than male infants to smile and make sounds. Parents’ behavior

10 Cont. Parents’ behavior zBoys have an average of 12 toy vehicles compared to girls who have only 5; while girls have an average of 4 dolls in contrast to boys who have only 1.

11 People judge infants differently. zIn the study by Delk, et al., (1986), subjects who thought the infant was a female rated their behavior as feminine, whereas if they thought the infant was male they rated the behavior as masculine.

12 Cont. Strangers’ behavior zCondry & Condry (1976) found that subjects rated males’ response to a jack- in-the-box as anger while attributing the females’ response to fear. zPeople hand different toys to infants they perceive to be female rather than male. If subjects thought the infant was a girl, 80% handed her a doll while only 14% handed her a football.

13 Summary zAdults’ treatment of infants tend to support the social constructionist view of gender development.

14 Theoretical explanations of gender typing. zPsychoanalytic yAccording to psychoanalytic theory, girls presumably develop penis envy during the phallic stage (a concept not supported by research). Girls next turn to their fathers but ultimately identify with their mothers.

15 Cont. Theoretical explanations zGender Schema Theory yblends cognitive developmental approach and social learning theory. yChildren use gender as a cognitive organizing principle (schema). Children organize information about themselves and the rest of the world according to definitions of gender found in the culture.

16 Cont. Gender schema theory zA major step in forming gender schemas is gender identity - a girl’s realization that she is a girl, and a boy’s realization that he is a boy. zNext, they begin to prefer things that are consistent with their gender identity. zChildren are rewarded for gender-appropriate behavior. zChildren watch/immitate same gender models.

17 Stages of gender development zInfancy- discriminate between males and females. zLate infancy - prefer others of the same gender. zToddler -verbally identify their own gender. zAccording to Slaby and Frey (1975), identity, stability, and consistency. zPre-schoolers do not exhibit gender constancy. zEarly childhood begin gender constancy thru biology. zMiddle childhood (7-10) shift to socialization.

18 Research review zFive-year-olds are aware of gender stereotypes. Younger children also recog- nized gender sterotypes in infants. zChildren have clear ideas about the activities that are performed by females and males. zChildren remember activities better when they are gender consistent.

19 Cont. Research review zIn the study by Katz and Kofkin (1997), infants were either shown a series of male pictures or females pictures. After the infant became bored (short attention span) with the pictures, they flashed a picture of the opposite gender. The result was an increase in gazing time. They seem to rely on hair length.

20 Cont. Research review zLeinbach (1991) demonstrated the ability of two-month olds to detect the gender change in the voice of the speaker. zGunn (1979) found that infants 12 to 18 months old looked longer at photgraphs of babies their own gender that those of the other gender. They became confused when the child was cross-dressed indicating a reliance on clothing cues.

21 Cont. research review zMiddle-class children are more flexible than lower-class children in their ideas about gender. zCross-culturally, children have stronger stereotypes about males than about females.

22 Factors that shape gender typing zFamily yParents tend to encourage gender-typed activities: toy choice, discussion of emotions, and chore assignment. yParents treat sons and daughters somewhat differently with respect to children’s aggression and independence, but the differential treatment is not consistent.

23 Cont. factors zPeers yPeers react negatively to nonstereotypical behavior. yThey encourage segregation. yThey are prejudiced against children of the other gender. yThey treat boys and girls differently.

24 Cont. factors zSchools yBoys receive more attention and useful feedback in the class, compared to girls. yIn developing countries, literacy rates are lower for girls than for boys.

25 Cont. factors zMedia ychildren’s books and television continue to underrepresent females and to show males and females in stereotyped activities. yMedia have a moderate impact on children’s ideas about gender.


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