I.  Male and female

            A. Basic Physical Difference

                        1.  Zygote receives sex chromosome from each parent

                                    a.  genetically, XX is male and XY is female

                                    b.  are individuals with XXY and XYY pattern

                                    c.  chromosomes impact prenatal hormone levels

                                                      i.    hormones responsible for genitalia

                                                      ii.    only females can bear children

                                                      iii.   males typically larger, taller, more muscular

                        2. Gender role-- pattern of behavior for males and females expected by society

                                    a.  gender role norms-- society expectations standards

                                    b.  gender role stereotypes-- overgeneralizations/beliefs

                                    c.  gender typing-- acquisition of information concerning sex-based

                                         characteristics that culture sets for males and females

            B.  Gender Norms and Stereotypes

                        1.  Feminine role

                                    a.  communality-- connectedness to others (emotionality, sensitivity)

                                    b.  some argue female brain “hard wired” for empathy

                                    c.  preparation for role as wife and mother

                        2.  Agency-- individual action (independence, assertiveness)

                                    a.  stereotypically male

                                    b.  male brain may systemize-- analyze and explore how things work

                        3.  Gender stereotypes still exist

                                    women may be beginning to see themselves in more masculine terms

            C.  Are There Actual Gender Differences?

                        1.  Maccoby & Jacklin classic study (1974)

                                    a.  females have greater verbal abilities than males

                                                recent research indicates this difference may have disappeared,

                                                but girls still perform better in high school English classes

                                    b.  males show greater spatial ability than females

                                                mental rotation differences seen in childhood

                                    c.  males outperform females on tests of average tests of mathematical


                                                i.    females may have superior computational skills

                                                ii.    males better at verbal math problems

                                                iii.   more males are top scorers and lowest performers

d.      males are more physically and verbally aggressive than females,

starting as early as age 2

                                    e.  males more physically active

                                    f.  boys more developmentally vulnerable (prone to illness or death)

                                    g.  girls more compliant to adult requests

                                    h.  girls more tactful and cooperative

                                    i.   females thought to be more empathetic and nurturing

                                                behaviorally not much difference

                                    j.   females somewhat more anxious and cautious

                                    k.  males have slight advantage in self-esteem

                                    l.   males more likely to engage in more risky behavior

                        2.  Some researchers argue that "actual" sex differences are trivial

                        3.  Difference found in “average” levels of behaviors between sexes

                                    impossible to predict a behavior if all you know about someone is their


                        4.  Most gender stereotypes are unsupported overgeneralizations

                        5.  Eagly's social-role hypothesis-- different roles males and females play in

                             society create and maintain gender-role stereotypes

                                    a.  traditional business role of men requires dominance

                                    b.  traditional role of mother requires nurturance and sensitivity

                                    c.  contextual factors (being steered down a culturally acceptable path) also

                                         contribute to evidence of sex differences

                        6.  Just because many gender stereotypes are unfounded, they may have a great

                             impact on the way people act

                        7.  Society does steer each sex toward different goals


II.  The infant

            A.  Differential Treatment

                        1.  Adults respond differently to infants on basis of perceived sex

                        2.  Few objective differences between male and female children in infancy

                        3.  Sex-appropriate hairstyles, toys, and room furnishing occur very early

                        4.  Stereotypic treatment may actually be cause of differences between the sexes

            B.  Early Learning

                        1.  By end of first year, infants distinguish men and women

                        2.  Begin early categorization of the sexes

                        3.  Also begin to figure out which sex they are

                        4.  Development of gender identity by age 2 1/2 to 3, accompanied by differences

                             in behavior


III.  The child

            A.  Acquiring Gender Stereotypes

                        1.  Child learns some stereotypes by 2 1/2, and continues to learn them

2.      24-month olds understand difference between masculine and feminine


                        3.  4 to 6-year-olds understand masculine and feminine stereotyped-occupations

                  4.  Rigid adherence to gender-norms at ages 4 to 6 years may be followed by more

                             flexibility in thinking

                  5.  Young children may exaggerate gender roles to help cognitively clarify them

                  6.  Rigidity about role may depend on how essential or valued the behavior is

            B.  Gender-Typed Behavior

                        1.  Behaving in gender appropriate manner often precedes establishment of clear

                             sense of own identity

                        2.  Young children tend to prefer and form friendships with same-sex partners

                        3.  Gender segregation-- strong preference for interactions with same-sex peers

                                    a.  found across many cultures

                                    b.  roles incompatible due to differences in play styles

                                    c.  strong adherence to roles seen in children who are socially competent

                                         and popular

                        4.  Boys under greater pressure than girls to adhere to gender-role expectations

                                                                        masculine role more clearly defined and those who do not adhere face ridicule


IV.  The adolescent

            A.  Adhering to Gender Roles

                        1.  Gender intensification-- sex differences are magnified by increased pressure to                                       conform around the time of puberty (linked to hormonal changes)

                                    a.  boys masculine and interested in male roles

                                    b.  girls feminine and interested in females roles

                        2.  Peers critical as conforming to traditional roles seen as appealing to opposite

                             sex traditional roles linked to popularity

                        3.  Later adolescence, more comfort with identity and more flexibility in thinking

            B.  Explaining Gender-Role Development

                        1.  Biosocial theory (Money and Ehrhardt)

                                    a.  chromosomes, hormones, and social labeling

                                                i.    presence of gene on Y chromosome leads to the development of testes (otherwise you get ovaries)

                                          ii.    testosterone stimulates growth of male internal reproductive


                                          iii.  release of hormones by male inhibits development of female


                                                iv.   3- to 4-months post conception, release of hormones leads to

                                                      development of penis and scrotum

                                          v.  if no hormones released, the fetus will develop female external


                                                vi.   fertilized eggs have potential to acquire features of either sex

                                                vi.   society labels and differential treatment of child on basis of

                                                      male or female genitals creates gender-roles

                                                viii. puberty leads to release of more hormones that stimulate

                                                       reproductive system and secondary sex characteristics

                                    b.  evidence of biological influences

                                                i.    evolutionary psychologists use non-human animal for evidence

                                                      of biologically-based sex differences

                                                ii.    studies of children exposed to “wrong hormones”

                                                iii.   androgenized females (exposed to excessive levels of “male

                                                      associated” androgens) display more male-like actions

                                                iv.   testosterone levels may effect aggression

                                                v.  while influential, biological factors alone do not dictate gender-

                                                      role development

                                    c.  evidence of social-labeling influences

                                                i.    fewer problems with children “relabeled” prior to 18 months

                                                ii.    critical period of self-gender labeling between 18 and 36 months

                                                iii.   may not be “critical period” but “sensitive” period

                        2.  Psychoanalytic theory

                                    Freud emphasizes the phallic stage of psychosexual development

                                                i.    identification with same-sex parent to resolve conflicts

                                                ii.    Oedipus complex-- boys unconscious sexual desire for mother

                                                iii.   Electra complex-- girls unconscious sexual desire for father

                                                      desire fathers (penis envy)

                                                iv.   identification leads to girls taking on feminine role and boys

                                                      masculine role

                                                v.  due to castration anxiety boys more driven toward following

                                                      traditional gender roles

                                                vi.   support for some aspects of Freud’s theory but other ideas

                                                      questioned (e.g., young children not aware of genitalia of


                        3.  Social learning theory

                                    a.  differential reinforcement for sex-appropriate behaviors

                                                i.    boys rewarded for male behavior

                                                ii.    girls rewarded for female behavior

b.      observational learning-- model male and female behavior seen in

parents, peers, media

                                    c.   differential reinforcement

                                                i.    parents reinforce sex-appropriate behavior and reprimand sons

                                                      for engaging in feminine behavior

                                                ii.    parents provide differential punishment (more physical for

                                                      boys and more verbal for girls)

                                                iii.   parents have different emotions toward male and female

                                                      children (anger at sons, disappointment at daughters)

                                                iv.   overall pattern of parents called “gender curriculum”

                                                v.  parental behavior does have impact and may create self-

                                                      fulfilling  prophecy (Eccles, et al 1990)

                                                vi.   parents expect sons to do better at math

                                                vii.  attribute boys math success to being male and females to hard


                                                viii. children internalize parents views

                                                ix.   thinking they lack ability, girls become less interested in math

                                                x.  peers also provide differential reinforcement

                                    d.  observational learning evidence/examples

                                                i.    children pay closer attention to same-sex models

                                                ii.    watch parents to determine gender-roles

                                          iii.   children’s picture books often depict males and females in

                                                stereotypic ways

                                                iv.   television characters often reinforce stereotypic sex-role


                                          v.  children who watch more television more likely to hold

                                                stereotypic views of men and women

                                    e.  criticism is that model does not place enough emphasis on child’s own

                                         role in gender socialization/acquisition (i.e., child too passive)

                        4.  Cognitive theories

                                    a.  cognitive-developmental theory (Kohlberg)

                                                i.    gender-role development depends on stage-like changes in                          cognitive development

                                                ii.    children engage in self-socialization

                                                iii.   three stages-- basic gender identity, gender stability, gender


iv.     basic gender identity-- by age 2 to 3 able to recognize males

      and female distinction

                                                v.  gender stability-- understand that boys become men and girls

                                                      become women

                                                vi.   gender consistency-- realizes that one’s own sex does not


                                                vii.  criticism is that children are not cognitive capable of

                                                      understanding consistency at such a young age

                                    b.  gender schema theory  (Martin and Halverson)

i.    gender schema-- (mental organization of meaning of gender) a key

ii.    children form an in-group/out-group schema based on gender

iii.   compare world to own sex-schema

iv.   interpret new information so it is consistent with schemata

v.  may distort reality to fit schema

                        5.  An attempt at integration

                                    a.  biosocial model key focus on biology and labeling

                                    b.  social learning key focus on differential experience

                                    c.  cognitive key focus on thought and interpretation

                                    d.  all factors play some role


V.  The adult

            A.  Changes in Gender Roles

                        1.  Roles tend to become more distinct in adulthood especially in married couples

                             with children

                        2.  Roles tend to become more similar starting in middle-age

            B.  Masculinity, Femininity, and Androgyny

                        1.  Androgyny (Bem)-- blending of positive masculine and feminine traits

                                    view masculinity and femininity as separate dimensions of personality

                                                i.    masculine sex-type (instrumentality)-- dominated by male


                                                ii.    feminine sex-type (expressivity)-- dominated by female traits

                                                iii.   androgynous sex-type-- combination (about a third of people in

                                                      this category)

                        2.  Changes with age

                                    a.  parental imperative-- gender role distinctions required by parents

                                                i.    stronger traditional roles until children leave home

                                          ii.    after children leave shift to men more passive (feminine) and

                                                women more (masculine) active

                                    b.  androgyny shift-- don’t give up old traits in middle age, simply add in

                                         some new (idea similar to that proposed by Jung)

                                                some support for this hypothesis in grandparents

                        3.  Is androgyny advantageous?

                                    a.  provides greater flexibility in behavior

                                    b.  masculine traits associated with high self-esteem and good adjustment

                                    c.  possessing too many traits can result in peer rejection

                                    d.  negative androgyny can be detrimental         


VI.  Sexuality over the life span

                A. Are Infants Sexual Beings?

                        1.  Freud championed idea of infant sexuality

                        2.  Infants are biologically equipped and derive pleasure from oral activities and

                             genital stimulation

            B.  Childhood Sexuality

                        1.  Knowledge of sex and reproduction

                                    a.  learn that sexual anatomy is key differentiator of males and females

                                    b.  learn vocabulary of sex organs

                                    c.  possess basic knowledge of sex and reproduction “where babies come


                                    d.  construct their own reality concerning subject

                                                                  e.  by age 12 most have fundamental understanding of sexual intercourse

                                                                       and egg and sperm role in process

                                                                  f.  cognitive advancement leads to better understanding of sexuality

                        2.  Sexual behavior

                                    a.  phallic stage (Freud) is time of genital interest (including masturbation)

                                                sexual interest quite common

                                    b.  latency stage (Freud) time when sex drive decreases

                                    c.  curiosity about bodies, masturbation, and sexual play in preschoolers

                                         and school-age children

                                    d.  around 10, children often experience first sexual attraction

                                                may be influenced by adrenal gland development and release of


                                    e.  societal differences contribute to diversity in sexual attitudes and                                                 behaviors

                                                i.    “teen permissive” and “sexually conservative” societies

                                                ii.    impacts attitudes (e.g., teen sex is wrong)

                                    f.  learn how to relate to other sex using peers

                        3.  Child sexual abuse

                                    a.  estimates of prevalence vary, but may be widespread

                                    b.  many children do not tell anyone

                                    c.  no one distinct “syndrome” for all abuse victims

                                    d.  may result in lack of self-worth and difficulty trusting, sexualized                                                 behavior, posttraumatic stress disorder

                                    e.  some display posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms-- nightmares,

                                         flashbacks, helplessness, anxiety

                                    f.  in a few cases, result of abuse is severe psychological damage

                                    g.  impact may be most severe when abuse involves penetration, force,

                                         occurs over a long period of time, and perpetrator is close relative

                                    h.  psychotherapy aid in treatment of abuse victims                               

            C.  Adolescent Sexuality

                        1.  Sexual orientation-- preference for sex partner

a.       continuum of sexual orientation, although our culture tends to

recognize only three: heterosexual, homosexual, and bisexual

                                    b.  most teens establish heterosexual orientation

                                    c.  establishing homosexual orientation more difficult

                                                often do not “come out” until after high school (mid 20s)

                                    d.  sexual experimentation with same sex may be common

                                    e.  homosexuality influenced by genetic and environmental factors

                                                i.    strong cross-sexed interest when young

                                                ii.    become aware that traditional gender roles do not suit them

                                                iii.   not do to domineering mom and weak dad, or seduction by

                                                      older adult

                                                iv.   prenatal hormones may predispose an individual to an


2.  Sexual morality

                                    a.  sex with affection is acceptable

                                    b.  decline of the double standard-- sexual behavior appropriate in males

                                         and inappropriate in females

                                    c.  increased confusion about sexual norms due to mixed societal messages

                                         sex makes you popular versus value virginity and avoid STDs

                        3.  Sexual behavior

                                                                  a.  rate of sexual activity climbs between 1960s and 80s, leveled off, and is

                                                                       now declining

                                    b.  percent of teens having intercourse increased steadily in 20th century

                                    c.  sexual behavior of females changing faster than males

                                    d.  cognitive schema for “having sex” may not include oral sex as defined

                                         by high school students

                                    e.  early sex more likely in children of teen parents

                                    f.  first intercourse later in girls whose parents have always been married

                                    g.  males and females feel differently about sexual encounters

                                                i.    teen boy first intercourse pleasurable

                                                ii.    teen girls first intercourse more negative

                                                iii.   females more likely to link emotional and physical intimacy

iv.     gap between male and females concerning sex and intimacy

may create misunderstandings

                                    h.  lack of contraception use partially related to cognitive immaturity of

                                         adolescent couples

                                                i.    condom use is increasing

                                                ii.    adolescent couples in long-term relationship become less likely

                                                      to use condom as they no longer fear transmission of HIV or


                                    i.  negative consequences of teen pregnancy include low income and

                                        interrupted education

                                    j.  teens becoming less likely to change sex habits in response to AIDS

                                        leading to increase in calls for sexual education in school

            D.  Adult Sexuality

                        1.  Adult sex lives quite varied

                                    a.  some many partners some few

                                    b.  small decline in quality of sex life for married couples

                        2.  Most people are sexual beings throughout the life span, even in 90s

                        3.  Activity level does decline with age

                        4.  Explanations for declining activity-- comfort bicycle model of sexual decline

in old age, general infirmity, look ridiculous, no bike

                                    a.  physical changes

                                                i.    male is slower to recover after ejaculation

                                                ii.    some decline in male hormone release with age

                                                iii.   female physiological changes less dramatic

                                                iv.   menopause tends to not reduce interest in sex or sex activity

                                    b.  infirmity, diseases, and disabilities may limit function

                                                may lead to impotence in men

                                    c.  concerns about social attitudes (sex in old age is ridiculous)

                                                i.    elderly stereotyped as sexless

                                                ii.    negative attitudes may be internalized by elderly

                        d.  lack of partner or willing partner diminished sex       

                                    e.  lack of sexual experience in young adulthood predicts less sex in later