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Gender Issues in Psychology

CULTURAL INFLUENCE & GENDER ROLES:Arapesh, Mundugumor

<< Developmental Stages of Gender Stereotypes:Psychoanalytic Approach, Hostile sexism
DEVELOPMENT OF GENDER ROLE IDENTIFICATION:Gender Role Preference >>
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Gender Issues In Psychology (PSY - 512)
VU
Lesson 17
CULTURAL INFLUENCE & GENDER ROLES
Although gender stereotypes are almost universal, and gender roles too are similar across the globe, still there is
evidence that cultural practices and norms have an influence on how different societies form gender identities.
Therefore one can expect to find gender roles and identities totally different from those traditionally held.
Some cultures are exceptional models of how a culture allocates, and cultivates gender roles. This is an
evidence of the fact that gender differences are a cultural thing and has no solid biological origin.
Israeli Kibbutzim
The Kibbutzim are collective settlements in Israel. These settlements are an example of a society practicing
social and gender equality in all respects.
There is no distinction of male and female tasks. Sex of a Kibbutzim member is almost irrelevant in most
situations. Both men and women perform all sorts of tasks. They have an equal share and say in work as well as
decision making. Tasks like cooking cleaning, child care and maintenance of buildings are performed by both
men and women.
Child rearing practices are used same for male and female children. Advocates of the socio-cultural viewpoint
use this case as a support evidence for their case. However the supporters of the biological perspective quote
the case of women in the Kibbutzim who did not like the idea of staying away from their children for longer
durations during the day; this gives a clue to the existence of innate female or motherly instincts (Tiger, and
Shepher, 1975).
Margaret Mead's "Sex and Temperament in Three Primitive Societies"
One of the classic investigations of gender and cultural influences was made by Margaret Mead, which has been
reported in her Sex and Temperament in Three Primitive Societies (1935, 1963).
She studied three primitive societies in New Guinea: Arapesh, Mundugumor, and Tchambuli.
Her observations reveal how cultures form and shape gender roles; males and females become what their
cultures make them.
Arapesh
From the conventional western viewpoint, the Arapesh were "feminine" in their attitudes and
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behaviors that were extremely similar.
Both men and women were gentle, sensitive to others and cooperative.
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Mundugumor
The members of the Mundugumor society were cannibals and head hunters.
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Men and women had similar roles like the Arapesh.
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However the Mundugumor were, as opposed to the Arapesh, typically selfish and aggressive.
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If the Arapesh were "feminine" from one traditional perspective, then the Mundugumors
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were "masculine" in approach, both men and women.
Tchambuli
Gender differentiation was found in Tchambuli.
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Males and females had clearly defined gender roles.
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Men in Tchambuli performed the roles traditionally performed by females in other societies.
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Tchambuli men were submissive, emotional, and nurturing towards children; women on the
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other hand tended to be dominant, and rational (Macionis, 1995).
These three cases show how any person, man or woman can be taught to be masculine or feminine.
Agents of Socialization and Gender-Roles
Family
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Gender Issues In Psychology (PSY - 512)
VU
Research shows that although parents may not treat male and female children much differently, the nature of
their interaction is different.
Even in infancy fathers may indulge into more "rough-housing" play with boys than with girls (Mc Bride-
Chang, and Jacklin, 1993). Children are encouraged to play with different types of toys (Etaugh, and Liss,
1992). In case of grown up children, they are assigned household chores depending upon their sex (Mc Hale et
al., 1990).
School
The educational system, the school Curricula, the textbooks, and the teachers' attitudes contribute very
significantly to gender-role socialization. Teachers reward and encourage sex-appropriate behaviors (Fagot et
al., 1985; Ruble, and Martin, 1998). Teachers have a tendency to pay more attention to male students; they help
them, praise them and also scold them more often than females (Sadker, and Sadker, 1994). Similarly in
textbooks men are usually portrayed as more capable, able, heroic, professional, wiser and adventurous.
Females are usually shown as indulging into household chores or doing a second rate job, or assisting men.
Media
Media generally portrays women as attractive well mad-up, good looking, but not much competent, wise, or
professional. Men may not be as good looking as females, but are shown to be more competent, self-reliant,
courageous, independent, and professional.
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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