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The Development of Gender Chapter 10: Becoming Who We Are: The Development of Self, Gender, and Morality By Kati Tumaneng (for Drs. Cook and Cook)

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Presentation on theme: "The Development of Gender Chapter 10: Becoming Who We Are: The Development of Self, Gender, and Morality By Kati Tumaneng (for Drs. Cook and Cook)"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Development of Gender Chapter 10: Becoming Who We Are: The Development of Self, Gender, and Morality By Kati Tumaneng (for Drs. Cook and Cook)

2 The Development of Gender Sex – The male or female physical and biological characteristics of the body. Gender – All the physical, cognitive, and behavioral traits that characterize people of one sex. Gender role – The social expectations for each sex within a particular culture. Sometimes called a sex role. Gender concept – The understanding that a person’s sex is a permanent feature and cannot be altered through changes in surface features like hair or clothing. Sex-typed behavior – Behavior that matches the gender- role expectations of a culture. More definitions:

3 How Do Boys and Girls Differ? In most areas, the similarities far outweigh the differences. Cognitive Skills Largest and most consistent differences are in verbal, language, and certain spatial skills. Verbal skills favor girls. Spatial skills favor boys. Math – Only consistent differences in elementary school favor girls for computation and for grades; superior performance ends around age 15; by adolescence boys are favored in math problem solving (Halpern, 2000). Compare gender on Nation’s Report Card: asp?printver

4 How Do Boys and Girls Differ? Social Behavior and Personality Traits Boys show higher activity levels from infancy onward. Girls perform better on tasks involving flexibility and fine-motor coordination.

5 How Do Boys and Girls Differ? Social Behavior and Personality Traits Boys more physically aggressive and assertive (Feingold, 1994). Girls show more relational aggression (Crick & Grotpeter, 1995). No consistent differences in prosocial behavior or emotions.

6 The Development of Gender Concepts and Sex-Typed Behaviors Gender intensification – The process of conforming more and more closely to gender stereotypes in behavior, emotions, and activities. The Development of Sexual Orientation Begin to experience feelings of sexual attraction sometime during late childhood or early adolescence. Sexual orientation – Tendency to be attracted to people of the same sex (homosexual orientation), of the opposite sex (heterosexual orientation), or of both sexes (bisexual orientation). Nature or nurture debate More info on sexual orientation:

7 The Development of Gender Concepts and Sex-Typed Behaviors The Development of Sexual Orientation (cont.) Development of homosexual identity (Troiden, 1988) Stage 1 – Sensitization Stage 2 – Identity confusion Stage 3 – Identity assumption Stage 4 – Commitment Possible influences: Genetic, prenatal hormone levels, some areas of brain, environment. “Exotic becomes erotic” theory (D. J. Bem, 1996, 2000) – Adolescents begin to see “exotic,” or very different, attributes and behaviors as erotic, or sexually attractive. More on Bem:

8 The Development of Gender Concepts and Sex-Typed Behaviors During 1970s, researchers began to think of masculinity and femininity as two separate dimensions (Bem, 1974; Constantinople, 1973). Individual can possess masculine or feminine qualities to different degrees. Androgyny – Possession of many masculine as well as many feminine psychological characteristics.

9 Dimensions of Masculinity and Femininity (Bem, 1974, p. 155; Bem, 1985, p. 195)

10 Theories of Gender Development According to Freud’s theory, children will not show sex-typed behavior before the phallic stage (age 4-5), but many studies indicate that sex- typed behavior and preferences begin well before age 4. Biological Approaches Emphasize genetic basis for gender differences and focus on effects of hormones during prenatal development and at puberty. Brain lateralization – The degree to which one hemisphere of the brain is active in a given task.

11 Theories of Gender Development Socialization Approaches Examine differences in social environment boys and girls experience. Two major influences: direct and indirect reinforcement and observational learning.

12 Theories of Gender Development Cognitive Approaches Emphasize the child’s developing understanding of gender and the impact of that understanding on behavior. Based on Piaget’s theory, Kohlberg’s cognitive developmental theory proposed that knowledge of gender and gender-related behavior constitutes a cognitive category and develops in the same way as knowledge of any other cognitive category (Kohlberg, 1966). Gender identity (by 2.5 years) Gender stability (by 4-5 years) Gender constancy (by 6-7 years)

13 Theories of Gender Development Cognitive Approaches (cont.) Gender schema theory – The theory that gender knowledge consists of a gender schema, a cognitive network of gender- related information that organizes gender knowledge and guides expectations and behaviors. More info on theories of gender development:

14 Charts on Slide 4: from Cook, J. L., & Cook, G. (2005). Child development: Principles and perspectives (1st ed.) (p. 398). Boston: Allyn and Bacon. Charts on Slide 5: from Cook, J. L., & Cook, G. (2005). Child development: Principles and perspectives (1st ed.) (p. 399). Boston: Allyn and Bacon. Picture on Slide 8: from wood_ html, retrieved March 9, wood_ html Charts on Slide 9: from Cook, J. L., & Cook, G. (2005). Child development: Principles and perspectives (1st ed.) (p. 396). Boston: Allyn and Bacon. All other images retrieved from Microsoft PowerPoint Clip Art.


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