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Traits and behaviors that are regarded by the culture as appropriate to men and women
Carolyn Sherif (1982)
Proposed a similar definition of gender “A scheme for social categorization of individuals.” Some researchers still fail to differentiate between the terms. Many researchers do not use the term interchangeably.
Should Psychologists Study Gender?
Some researchers challenge the worth and wisdom of additional research. Others advocate that gender should be a routine part of psychological research. Both groups contend methods used are capable of yielding credible results.
History of the Study of Sex Differences in Psychology
Wilhelm Wundt: credited with founding modern psychology in 1879 His goal: to investigate the nature of human thought processes through experimentation. Based on an analytical understanding of the structure of the conscious mind The structuralist school of psychology.
Wundt & Structuralism
Based on adult human cognition Wundt believed that psychology could not be applied to:
Children The feebleminded Species of nonhuman animals
A school of psychology arising in the U.S. in the late 1800’s that attempted to understand how the mind functions. Functionalists held a practical, applied orientation, including an interest in mental abilities and in gender differences in those abilities.
The Study of Individual Differences
Adaptability and intelligence Intelligence testing was developed Comparisons were made in mental abilities and personality traits Darwin and the theory of evolution exerted an influence Hesitate to acknowledge social influence in sex differences.
Emphasized observable behavior rather than thought processes or instincts. Interest in research on sex differences sharply decreased. Learning & memory became the focus. Research on learning ignored social factors including sex roles/differences.
Freud’s work has influenced psychology as well as society. Psychoanalysis gained popular acceptance; it became almost a fad. Emphasizes on the role of instinct & physiology in personality formation. Early childhood experiences within the family combined with physiology.
Conflict arises from sexual attraction to the other-sex parent and hostility for the same-sex parent. Boys experience more conflict & trauma leading to a more complete rejection of mother and more complete identification with father than girls.
Freud’s views of women
Did Freud see females as deficient in moral standards? Did he view women as incomplete people?
Popular interpretation of Freud’s theory re: women
Inferior to men. Less ethical More concerned with personal appearance More selfcontemptuous Jealous of men’s accomplishments
Freud & Masculinity
Standards were stringent & inflexible Boys identified with their father out of fear Boys who do not break with mothers not likely to become fully masculine.
Role of Gender in Psychological Theories
Theory Structuralism Emphasis Structure of the human mind Role of Gender Minimal
Functionalism Function of the mind
Sex differences are one type
Studying behavior Minimal scientifically Ind. experience Normal v. abnormal personality Biological sex differences
The Development of Women’s Studies
I960’s feminist movement pushed for changes in women’s roles/legal status. Women entered the workforce in record numbers in the 1960’s -1970’s. The dramatic increase of women in psychology changed that field. A new psychology of women evolved.
A type of feminism that focuses on ending discrimination based on sex and extending to women the rights enjoyed by men.
Calling for an end to discrimination is not sufficient. The entire social system requires major change to end the subservient role that women occupy. Political activism is needed to bring about changes in laws and in society.
Advocate moving toward an acceptance and appreciation of traditionally feminine values. Belief that if women were in charge many of the world’s problems would disappear due to values of caring and relationships would eliminate them.
Kinde, Kuche, Kirche’ as Scientific Law: Psychology Constructs the Female (1968). Thesis: traditional psychology revealed almost nothing about women. Research biased by the wishes and fantasies of male psychologists. Influenced generation of psychologists.
Andrew Smiler (2004)
“During the 1970’s psychological researchers made an important discovery: humans are gendered beings whose lives and experiences are (most likely influenced by their gender).
National Council of Women Psychologists
Founded in 1941 to further the work of female psychologists in the war effort. Became the International Council of Women Psychologists in 1944 Experienced repeated rejection to become a division of the APA. APA Division 35 formed in 1973
Considering Diversity – Multiracial Feminism
Women of color did not participate in the feminist movement in the same ways that White women did. Many African American women have focused on racial rather than sexual discrimination.
Endorsement of the Women’s Movement
Media View: Movement is Dead Time magazine feature articles Since 1990 movement is irrelevant. Research: Most Women (And Men) Endorse the Goals of the Women’s Movement Which is correct?
The Men’s Movement
This history is shorter than the women’s movement. Early groups included privileged White men. The Million Man March brought African American men together. Gay men are active in pressing for changes in laws and social attitudes.
R.W. Connell (2001)
Social roles constrain men too. The gender positions that society constructs for men may not correspond exactly with what men actually are, or desire to be, or what they actually do. It is therefore necessary to study masculinity as well as men.”
National Organization of Men Against Sexism (NOMAS)
A profeminist men’s organization Also works to eradicate racism and prejudice against gay men. Division 51, the Society for the Psychological Study of Men and Masculinity formed in 1995.
Goals of APA Division 51
Promoting the study of how gender roles shape and constrict men’s lives Helping men to experience their full human potential Eroding the definition of masculinity that has inhibited men’s development and has contributed to the oppression of others.
Modern society has left men with no easy way to form a masculine identity. Inappropriate models Fathers are often absent
The Straight Edge
sXe Young, single, White men Follow punk rock Reject drug use, violence & sexual exploitation Alternative masculinity
The Promise Keepers
Arose during the 1990’s Men with a shared vision of godly manhood Part of neoconservative, evangelical Christianity Urged men to reclaim their position as head of the family.
It’s a Boy!! It’s a Girl!!
Typically, the first thing that parents learn about their child is the child’s sex. Some people believe in minimal differences between the genders. Others believe that the differences are maximal and part of essential biological differences.
History of Gender Research
Functionalist school was influential during the late 1800’s. Interest in sex differences faded with the advent of behaviorism. Psychoanalysts held that personality differences stemmed from anatomy. Feminist movement of 1960’s sparked a resurgence of interest.
Stems from evolutionary psychology and contends that some “essence” or underlying biological component makes men and women different. Most essentialists believe that biological differences determine behavior.
Contends that differences such as strength and reproductive capacity prompt societies to encourage women and men to adopt different gender roles. Biology is important - but not the main determinant of these differences.
Which is more important, nature (biology) or nurture (culture and society)? What types of differences exist? What is the basis for differences? What is the extent of differences?
The view that many important differences exist between the sexes. Many maximalists also hold an essentialist view. Large differences between women and men are part of their essential biological natures.
The view that few important differences exist between the sexes.
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