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Psychology of Gender
GST3301/Psy 3324
Spring, 2005

Class meetings: TTh 12:30-1:45 GR 4.428

Instructor: Karen Prager, GR2.214

Office hours:
T 11-12
F 11:15-12:15
Telephone: 972/883-2353
I do not check for telephone or email messages over the weekend unless I explicitly say otherwise
(e.g., before a test).

Teaching Assistants:
Tim Goble
Office hours: T 2-4
Office: GR 4.304
Telephone: 214-529-8412 (Cell phone)

Lara Ratliff
Office hours: Th 2-4
Office: GR. 2.706
Telephone: 214/707-4917 (Cell phone)

Course Description: What makes a man? What makes a woman? Do we all fit neatly into one of
these two categories? We will tackle such challenging and intriguing questions in this course
through the examination of the biology and psychology of gender. With a specific focus on the
psychological experience of being a woman or a man, we will investigate the development of
gender roles and identities over the life span, stereotypic conceptions of masculinity and femininity
and their impact on our conceptions of self, and the influence of gender on the life choices we
make. Finally, we will consider women and men in their close relationships and the different
perspectives that women and men bring to love and intimacy as a result of growing up female vs.
growing up male in the United States.

Required Texts:
Books and articles are available at the campus bookstore and are on reserve in the library under
my name, this course (be sure to check the course number before you start making copies).
1) Gender: Psychological Perspectives, by Linda Brannon (Allyn & Bacon). (“Brannon”).

2) Readings in the Psychology of Gender: Exploring Our Differences and

Commonalities by Anne E. Hunter & Carie Forden (Allyn & Bacon). (“Readings”)
3) Several articles on WEBCT
1. Video Reaction Papers (2): Write a one page reaction paper, double-spaced for each of two
(2) of the videos shown in class. These are due at the beginning of the class period following the
showing of the video. Late papers: There will be one point taken off each day that a paper is
2. Exams (3): There will be three exams based on required readings, class discussions, speakers,
films, and handouts. Exams will consist of multiple-choice items. The first exam will cover
material on the syllabus from January 11 to February 10 and the second exam will cover material
from February 17 to March 17. The third exam will cover the remaining material. There is no
comprehensive exam.

Class discussions will sometimes reiterate and sometimes supplement required readings. Some
class readings may not be thoroughly covered in class discussion but you are still responsible for
knowing the material. Pay attention to the ways in which the class material complements or adds
to assigned readings. Come prepared with questions if a point that is important to you is not

Policy: On Taking Exams on an Alternate Date

Exams must be taken at the scheduled time. The only exceptions are illness and personal
emergency. If you have such problems, contact me immediately, preferably before the exam.
Make-up exams will be given to students with bona fide medical problems, work emergencies, or
family problems (such as death in the family). You must have, on the appropriate stationary, a
note from a doctor, hospital, or funeral director, or other appropriate documentation or you will
automatically receive a 10-point deduction from your test grade.
Students with work or family conflicts may take an exam a day early without a note. These must
be scheduled in advance with Tim Goble or Lara Ratliff , at their convenience. Similarly, with make-up exams, schedule them
with Tim Goble or Lara Ratliff,, They will
schedule these at their convenience. You have one week from the date of the exam to make it
up. After that, your grade reverts to a zero.
Class Attendance:
You are expected to prepare yourself for discussion, questioning, and informed debate on
the issues raised in your readings. You are expected to be respectful of other students' opinions
even when they are directly opposed to your own views. I expect you to be present, prompt,
prepared and focused on the activities of the class. This course more than most depends on the
interaction of everyone involved. If you are not here, everyone—not just you—will suffer for not
being able to hear your perspective.
Ground Rules for Class Discussion:
We have only three main ground rules to help keep our discussions spirited and respectful.
1. No male bashing
2. No female bashing

3. Nobody has to speak for an entire group – everyone speaks for her- or himself.
Absences: If you anticipate missing more than 3 class periods, please do not take this
class. If you anticipate having to leave the class early more than 1 or 2 times, please do not take
this class. Poor attendance and leaving early are disruptive to me and to other students and have
a negative impact on the learning experience. That being said, I realize that some absences are
unavoidable. If you have to miss class for an emergency, please notify me in advance. I suggest
you swap phone numbers or email addresses with two other students in this class so that you can
arrange to find out what you missed.
Attendance grade: Your attendance grade is computed as a simple percentage of the
class periods that you are in attendance. There are no excused absences.
Signing the attendance roster: Each student is responsible for signing the attendance
roster during the class. We will mark you absent otherwise, and cannot go back and change the
roster once class is over. You may come up after class & sign the roster if you missed it during

Grades are recorded as percentages:

Attendance 10%
Video Reaction Papers 12%
First Exam 25%
Second Exam 26%
Third Exam 27%
Computation of Final Grade: Final grades will be computed on a straight grading scale, but . . .
Scale will be adjusted downward based on the highest final grade in the class. For example, if
the highest final grade in the class is 97, then the range for A+ will “move down” to 95-97, the
range for A will “move down” to 92-94=A, and so forth. You will receive numerical grades for
all papers and tests. Letter grades will only be officially assigned for the final course grade.
98 - 100 A+ 77-79 C+
93-97 A 73-76 C
90-92 A- 70-72 C-
87-89 B+ 67-69 D+
83-86 B 63-66 D
80-82 B- 60-62 D-
Below 60 F (it will be
difficult to fail if
you do all the
assigned work and
attend class)

Extra Credit:
I will announce opportunities to earn extra credit as they arise during the semester. You
earn 1 point extra credit on the subsequent exam grade for each event you attend if you write a
one-page summary/reaction paper and hand it in to Lara Ratliff. For some extra credit
opportunities, check with the Carolyn Lipshy Galerstein Women’s Center, located on the
mezzanine in the McDermott Building, has a
monthly schedule of programs, and attendance at many (if not all) of them would earn you extra

credit if followed up by a 1-page summary. The Women’s Center offers excellent programs for
women and men that center around issues that are known to be of interest and concern to women.
You can get the monthly schedule if you drop by the Women’s Center. They also offer
professional counseling to women and men. (The website is not regularly updated).

WEBCT Resources:
The syllabus, course goals and objectives, and all handouts and study aids will be available
through WEBCT. You can access WEBCT with this URL: Use your
NETID and password to get access; when you first log on, you will see a list of your courses.
Click on the hyperlink for Gender Studies 3301/Psychology 3324 and you are there. Check your
WEBCT email as I periodically send messages to the class or to individual students. You may
also email me with questions and feedback about the course material or how we are handling it in
class, preferably before we cover it.
WEBCT is a great resource: I recommend that everyone use it.

Class Schedule:
Dates designated for discussion of particular material may vary by a day or so in either
direction. Due dates for assignments and dates for the tests will not change.

Date Topic Reading Assignment (due on the day it is

1/11 Syllabus, Course Objectives &
Introduction to the Study of
1/13 The Study of Gender Brannon, Chapter 1
1/18 Feminism and the Psychology FILM: “Is Feminism Dead?
of Gender
1/20 Researching Sex and Gender Brannon, Chapter 2; On WEBCT, “The Egg &
the Sperm”
1/25 Gender Stereotypes Brannon, Chapter 7
On WEBCT, “X: A Fabulous Child’s Story”
1/27 Guest Lecturer, GENDER "Public Politics and Domestic Rituals:
LECTURE SERIES 1: Dr. Contemporary Art by Women in Turkey 1980-
Susan Platt, Texas Tech 2000"
2/1 Gender Stereotypes & the FILM: Still Killing Us Softly (Insight Media)
2/3 Gender Attitudes Bring magazine pictures depicting gender
stereotypes - negative & positive fine!
Readings, “Stereotypes, Science, Censorship,
and the Study of Sex Differences, by Diane F.
2/8 Gender & Development - Brannon, Chapter 5
Psychodynamic Perspectives

2/10 Psychodynamic Perspectives,

2/15 First Test Covers the following: Brannon, Chapters 1 & 2,
Film, “Is Feminism Dead?”, “The Egg & the
Sperm,” “X: A Fabulous Child’s Story,” Gender
Lecture: Susan Platt, Film, “Still Killing Us
Softly,” Halpern, “Stereotypes, Science &
Censorship,” Brannon, Chapter 5 & all lectures.
2/17 Hormones & Chromosomes Brannon, Chapter 3, through page 63

2/22 Hormones & Chromosomes,

2/24 Hormones & Chromosomes,
3/1 Gender identity & ambiguity: On WEBCT: “The Five Sexes Revisited,” and
Those categories do not fit “Health and Medicine: Into the Hands of Babes”
who I am: FILM: Multiple Genders: Mind & Body in
Conflict (Films for Hum. & Soc. Sciences)

3/3 Lesbian & Gay Identity and Read online: American Psychological
Relationships Association: Answers to your questions about
sexual orientation and homosexuality
Read on WEBCT: APA Briefing Sheet on
Same-Sex Relationships
3/15 Emotion & Gender Brannon, Chapter 8
3/17 Theories of Origins: Biological Reading, “The Origin of Gender Differences in
Behavior: A Dialectical Model” by Hunter and
Brannon, Chapter 3, 67-74
3/22 Second Test Covers the following: “The 5 Sexes Revisited,”
“Health & Medicine: Into the Hands of Babes,”
Film, “Multiple Genders: Mind & Body in
Conflict,” APA “Answers to Your Questions
about Sexual Orientation and Homosexuality,”
Chapter 8, Brannon, Hunter & Forden, “The
origin of gender differences in behavior,”
Brannon, Chapter 3, 67-74, and all lectures.
3/24 Intelligence & mental abilities Brannon, Chapter 4
3/29 Intelligence & Mental Abilities Readings: Stereotype Threat and Women’s Math
Performance” by Spencer, Steele, and Quinn

3/31 Gender Socialization FILM: “Gender Development”

Brannon, Chapter 6.
4/5 Gender Socialization On WEBCT, “Doing Gender;”
4/7 Gender in Social Interaction Readings, Gender Differences in Interaction: A
Reexamination, by Elizabeth Aries
4/12 Gender & Friendship Brannon, Chapter 9
4/14 Sexuality and Romantic
4/19 Sexuality & Romantic
Relationships 2
4/21 Third Test Covers the following: Brannon, Chapter 4,
Spencer, et al. “Stereotype Threat,” “Doing
Gender,” Brannon, Chapter 6, Film, “Gender
Development;” Aries, “Gender differences in
interaction,” and Brannon, Chapter 9.

Need help taking notes or tests?

UTD’s office of Disability Services offers the following:
Taped books / materials
Note-taking supplies (carbonless paper)
Testing accommodations
Individual orientation to campus
Classroom relocation
Sign language interpreters
Captioning services
Enlarged materials
Community agency referral and information
Readers and scribes