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Gender Issues in Psychology

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Gender Issues In Psychology (PSY - 512)
VU
Lesson 09
THEORIES OF GENDER DEVELOPMENT
Gender development is process of identifying oneself being male or female. Gender roles are expected set
thinking and behavior patterns for males and females. Following approaches attempt to explain behavioral
differences between male and female. Before viewing the interpretations of various approaches we must take
into account the importance of nature and nurture in development.
Nature and Nurture
Nature is hereditary influences and nurture is environmental influences. Today developmental scientists
recognize that both influences are essential and are mutually influential. E.g. child's response to parenting an
(environmental influence) is determined by child's temperament and other inherited characteristics.
Development and expression of heredity characteristics is also effected by environmental influences. Like in
past century there have been significant increases in average height because of improved nutrition and medical
care, in spite of the fact the height is strongly inherited characteristic.
So, is it nature that influences nurture, or is it nurture that modifies nature?
Psychologists have tried to explain the phenomenon of gender differences according to their respective
theoretical approaches.
Psychological approaches to explaining gender differences:
The Biological Approach
The Behaviorist/ Social Learning Approach
The Biological Approach
The approach emphasizes the gender role differences are the result of biological processes. In human beings
there are 23 pairs of chromosomes. 23rd pair of chromosome is called sex chromosome in females it is XX and
in males it is XY. According to biological theory differences in chromosomes (X/Y) and hormones
(testosterone/estrogen) determine the behavioral differences between boys and girls. Males are more aggressive
in almost all cultures and male child has higher mortality rate than female child. Biological view explains this
phenomenon with the findings that Androgen hormones are linked to disruptive and aggressive behaviors in
males. Androgens hormones are related to male characteristics; most important androgen is testosterone. XY
chromosomal makeup may not be as stable as XX and therefore play a role in higher mortality rates for men.
XX chromosomal makeup and the hormone estrogen seem to make women less vulnerable to physical
problems so women live longer.
The study of Money and Ehrhardt (1972) found that females exposed to high levels of androgens prenatally are
tend to be more physically active like boys than their peers. Whereas, absence or low levels of androgens leads
to development of female characteristics. The British fraternal study found that girls with twin brothers are
more active and adventurous than girls with twin sisters; researcher attributed this to the presence of higher
androgens.
Biological Differences in Brain
Men's left side of brain is more developed that is responsible for conventionally logical thought, abstract and
analytic thinking. Women's right side of brain is more developed that is responsible for imaginative, artistic
activity, holistic & intuitive thinking, visual and spatial tasks.
This approach attributes the development of gender roles to biological processes but also acknowledge the
importance of cultural differences, cognitive processes and sex-stereotypes.
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Table of Contents:
  1. INTRODUCTION:Common misconception, Some questions to ponder
  2. FEMINIST MOVEMENT:Forms or Varieties of Feminism, First wave feminists
  3. HISTORICAL BACKGROUND:Functionalism, Psychoanalytic Psychology:
  4. Gender- related Research:Andocentricity, Overgeneralizing, Gender Blindness
  5. RESEARCH METHODS FOR GENDER ISSUES:The Procedure of Content Analysis
  6. QUALITATIVE RESEARCH:Limitations Of Quantitative Research
  7. BIOLOGICAL DIFFERENCES BETWEEN GENDERSHormones and Chromosomes
  8. BIOLOGICAL DIFFERENCES BETWEEN GENDERS: HORMONES AND NERVOUS SYSTEM
  9. THEORIES OF GENDER DEVELOPMENT:The Biological Approach,
  10. THEORIES OF GENDER DEVELOPMENT (2):The Behavioral Approach
  11. THEORIES OF GENDER DEVELOPMENT (3):The Cognitive Approach
  12. THEORIES OF GENDER DEVELOPMENT (3):Psychoanalytic Feminism
  13. OTHER APPROACHES:The Humanistic Approach, Cultural Influences
  14. GENDER TYPING AND STEREOTYPING:Development of sex-typing
  15. GENDER STEREOTYPES:Some commonly held Gender Stereotypes
  16. Developmental Stages of Gender Stereotypes:Psychoanalytic Approach, Hostile sexism
  17. CULTURAL INFLUENCE & GENDER ROLES:Arapesh, Mundugumor
  18. DEVELOPMENT OF GENDER ROLE IDENTIFICATION:Gender Role Preference
  19. GENDER DIFFERENCES IN PERSONALITY:GENDER DIFFERENCES IN BULLYING
  20. GENDER DIFFERENCES IN PERSONALITY:GENDER, AFFILIATION AND FRIENDSHIP
  21. COGNITIVE DIFFERENCES:Gender Differences in I.Q, Gender and Verbal Ability
  22. GENDER AND MEDIA:Print Media and Portrayal of Genders
  23. GENDER AND EMOTION:The components of Emotions
  24. GENDER, EMOTION, & MOTIVATION:Affiliation, Love, Jealousy
  25. GENDER AND EDUCATION:Impact of Educational Deprivation
  26. GENDER, WORK AND WOMEN'S EMPOWERMENT:Informal Work
  27. GENDER, WORK AND WOMEN'S EMPOWERMENT (2):Glass-Ceiling Effect
  28. GENDER, WORK & RELATED ISSUES:Sexual Harassment at Workplace
  29. GENDER AND VIOLENCE:Domestic Violence, Patriarchal terrorism
  30. GENDER AND HEALTH:The Significance of Women’s Health
  31. GENDER, HEALTH, AND AGING:Genetic Protection, Behavioral Factors
  32. GENDER, HEALTH, AND AGING:Physiological /Biological Effects, Changes in Appearance
  33. GENDER DIFFERENCES IN AGING:Marriage and Loneliness, Empty Nest Syndrome
  34. GENDER AND HEALTH PROMOTING BEHAVIORS:Fitness and Exercise
  35. GENDER AND HEALTH PROMOTING BEHAVIOR:The Classic Alameda County Study
  36. GENDER AND HEART DISEASE:Angina Pectoris, The Risk factors in CHD
  37. GENDER AND CANCER:The Trend of Mortality Rates from Cancer
  38. GENDER AND HIV/AIDS:Symptoms of AIDS, Mode of Transmission
  39. PROBLEMS ASSOCIATED WITH FEMALES’ REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH
  40. OBESITY AND WEIGHT CONTROL:Consequences of Obesity, Eating Disorders
  41. GENDER AND PSYCHOPATHOLOGY:Gender, Stress and Coping
  42. GENDER AND PSYCHOPATHOLOGY:The Diagnostic Criteria
  43. GENDER AND PSYCHOTHERAPY:Traditional Versus Feminist Theory
  44. FEMINIST THERAPY:Changes targeted at societal level
  45. COURSE REVIEW AND DISCUSSION OF NEW AVENUES FOR RESEARCH IN GENDER ISSUES