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1. Describe how gender role differences might impact the development of an individual’s personality. Explain how this information would be beneficial to know when using assessment tools.2. After reviewing the many different assessment tools/techniques we have discussed throughout the course:Explain the tool/technique you like the mostExplain which personality theory it is derived fromExplain why you chose this tool/techniqueSummarize the advantages and disadvantages to this technique/tool.ONLY USE THE TEXTBOOK AND SOURCES PROVIDED. Read Chapter 11: “Male-Female Differences” and Chapter 14: “Love and Hate” in your text.Both of these chapters discuss more factors that can impact an individuals’ personality.Web ResourcesPersonality Assessment tools:Myer-Briggs personality test-Based on Carl Jung’s theories Big Five personality traits Personality Test DNA – An alternative test that helps determine your personality and positive attributes: Insights http://www.personalityinsights.comJohn Holland personalities and careers VideoPersonality tests in the job interviewing process: with personality tests:

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Male–Female Differences
Do Males and Females Differ?
A Brief History of Gender Difference in Personality

Evidence from Ancient Civilizations Nineteenth-Century Views
Biological Influences on Gender Differences

Sex Hormones in Normal Prenatal Development The Effects of
Prenatal Sex Hormones on Gender Behavior The Influence of
Hormones during and after Puberty
Gender Differences in Personality from the Eight Perspectives

The Psychoanalytic Approach The Neo-Analytic
Approaches Biological/Evolutionary Approaches The Behaviorist
Approach: Social Learning The Cognitive Approach: Gender Schema
Theory Trait Approaches to Masculinity and Femininity Humanistic
ApproachesInteractionist Approaches: Social and Interpersonal
Cross-Cultural Studies of Gender Differences
Love and Sexual Behavior
Ayaan Hirsi Ali was raised in a traditional culture (in Africa) but lives as a feminist in
the West. She was raised as a Muslim but has strongly criticized the unequal
treatment of women in many Islamic societies and speaks out with unusual courage
despite constant death threats. Timemagazine called her one of the 100 most
influential people in the world and she has bravely taken on political leadership roles
traditionally dominated by men.
What does it mean to be masculine, and what does it mean to be feminine? Gender
has played a key role in all personality theories, from Freud onward. Why is gender
such an important aspect of personality?
Common beliefs and stereotypes about males and females are that “boys are
adventurous,” “girls are dependent,” “men are aggressive,” and “women are
nurturant.” Are they reasonable and accurate descriptions of personality? Is
personality circumscribed by gender-linked personality traits? In other words, does
being male or female alter the likelihood of certain traits or even strictly limit an
individual’s personality?
In this chapter, as in the entire third section of this book, we use the tools fashioned
in the earlier chapters—that is, the eight basic aspects of personality—to examine in
more depth a particular applied topic of individual differences. Are there genderbased psychological differences? What is the etiology (causal origin) of these
differences? How do different personality theories explain how these differences
emerge and how they are maintained? What research evidence does or does not
support the reality of gender-based personality characteristics? Not only do we aim
to achieve a more sophisticated understanding of these issues, but we also strive to
deepen our understanding of the basics of personality psychology.
Biological differences in male and female genitalia (and the underlying chromosomal
difference) determine one’s “sex”—male or female. So traditionally, differences
between men and women were studied under the rubric “sex differences.” However,
psychologists now more clearly recognize that the complex ways in which people
determine what is “male” and what is “female” are heavily socially based, and
therefore many prefer to use the term “gender differences.”
Masculinity—the qualities generally associated with being a man—
and femininity—the qualities generally associated with being a woman—are usually
of more interest than “maleness” and “femaleness” per se because they subsume the
psychological characteristics of interest (such as boldness, nurturance, and so on). As
we will see, men and women can have both masculine and feminine characteristics,
in various ways and for various reasons.
The qualities associated with being a man
The qualities associated with being a woman
Do Males and Females Differ?
In terms of physical development, there are obvious differences between men and
women in average height, external genitalia, breasts, facial hair, and hair
growth/baldness patterns. Moreover, there are substantial internal, physiological
differences between men and women. For example, men and women have different
levels of the hormones that are responsible for a variety of biological features such as
Although men tend to be physically stronger than women, baby girls and women
appear to be constitutionally stronger than boys and men. Male children are more
susceptible to a variety of diseases and disabilities than are females, and girls are
more neurologically mature than boys at birth and through puberty
(Nicholson, 1993; Parsons, 1980). Women tend to outlive men, but no one fully
knows why (see Figure 11.1).
Sigmund Freud declared, “Anatomy is destiny.” Are the physical differences between
males and females causes of psychological gender differences? This is an important
question because the fact that men and women differ physically and physiologically
often leads to a simple biological justification for all personality differences between
men and women. After all, males and females look so different, and have such
different sex organs and hormones, that (it is assumed) they must think, act, and feel
differently, and for primarily biological reasons. Remember that for Freud, a boy
acquires his superego as he resolves the Oedipus complex and recasts the idea of
marrying his mother. Girls, already lacking a penis, develop a much weaker
conscience. This explanation conveniently fit in with the dominant (male) prejudices
of the time, in which Freud and everyone else “knew” that women had a lesser sense
of justice and reason than did men. Yet we have seen throughout this book the
dangers of such simple biological explanations. Biological differences exist in the
context of and are shaped by a complex social world. It is thus challenging and
interesting to explore the multiple influences on gender differences in personality.
FIGURE 11.1 Projected Life Expectancy at Birth
in the United States
As overall life expectancies in the United States and Canada (and the rest of the
world) have increased, women’s life expectancies have remained greater than men’s.
The reasons for this difference are still being researched, but in addition to biology,
differences in masculinity–femininity seem highly relevant. (Data are projections
from U.S. Census Bureau.)
In a casual, unscientific sense, females are often described (and describe themselves)
as emotional, nurturant, submissive, communicative, sociable, poor at math and
science, subjective, passive, and suggestible, with a lower sex drive than men. Men
are described (and describe themselves) as more rational, independent, aggressive,
dominant, objective, achievement-oriented, active, and highly sexed. In a classic
large-scale study from the 1970s, males and females of a variety of ages were asked to
list characteristics and behaviors on which men and women differed (Broverman,
Vogel, Broverman, Clarkson, & Rosekrantz, 1972). Two interesting results stood out:
First, most subjects agreed that men and women differed on over 40 personality
characteristics; and second, both men and women found most “masculine”
characteristics to be more desirable than “feminine” characteristics. This
phenomenon of higher desirability of masculine over feminine characteristics has not
disappeared in the intervening decades, although the difference appears somewhat
diminished (Seem & Clark, 2006). Regardless of whether substantial gender
discrepancies in personality actually exist, many people perceive significant
differences between men’s and women’s personalities, and these perceptions
influence their attitudes about and behaviors toward others, thereby influencing
personality. However, studies evaluating the reality (validity), and extent (size) of
these perceived gender-based personality differences often have not supported the
existence of many gender-specific traits. Starting with a comprehensive review of the
literature on sex differences conducted in 1974 (Maccoby & Jacklin, 1974),
researchers have found that, in many ways, men’s and women’s traits and behaviors
are very similar (Halpern, 2006; Haworth, Dale & Plomin, 2009b;
Hyde, 1991, 2007); that is, there is substantial overlap between the distributions of
male and female traits and behaviors.
The women’s movement of the 1970s signaled a major shift in women’s roles in
society. We have come a long way since the days when the jobs offered in the help
wanted ads were separated into Male and Female sections. Interestingly, personality
research on gender and on women’s abilities also started changing in the 1970s.
It is interesting to note that this changing perspective on gender differences began at
the same time that women gained more rights in society, during the 1970s. That
decade saw women being admitted for the first time to many prestigious colleges,
gaining equal rights regarding property and marriage, and moving in large numbers
into higher-status careers such as medicine, law, and business. As people became less
likely to assume that women were inferior, they began finding less evidence of
inferiority; and, at the same time, changes in beliefs helped bring about these social
changes. This is another illustration of the way in which our understanding of
personality is partially influenced by our culture and our times, and likewise, how
new insights into the nature of personality can also change our culture and our times.
There are a few areas in which reliable gender differences in psychological abilities
have been found, especially in those related to thinking, perception, and memory.
Boys and men have better spatial abilities, on average, whereas girls and women are
more verbally advanced. Girls usually start to talk at a slightly earlier age, tend to
have larger vocabularies, generally earn higher grades in school, and do better in
reading and writing (at least through elementary school) than boys. They attend
college in significantly higher numbers than boys (see Figure 11.2). Boys do better
in tasks and measures of spatial ability from grade school on, know more about
geography and politics, and beginning in high school, boys do better in mathematics,
although these differences are small and do not explain different career patterns in
the sciences (Else-Quest, Hyde, & Linn, 2010; Halpern, 1992, 2004; Halpern et
al., 2007). And the math advantage for boys may no longer be present (Hyde et
al., 2008).
Following puberty, there may be a slight superiority of boys over girls in math. How
do we separate out the effects of differences in brain organization, differences in
hormones, and differences in expectations about performance?
FIGURE 11.2 U.S. College Population by Gender
The percentage of female students in college in the United States has risen
significantly in recent decades even though females have not shown any rise in
intelligence as compared to males.
There is also some evidence for gender differences in the expression of two social
characteristics: aggression and communication. Boys and men are more verbally and
physically aggressive than females (Eagly, 1987; Hyde, 1986a). Males commit more
violent crimes. Females are better at nonverbal communication, more sensitive to
nonverbal cues, and more nonverbally expressive than are males (Hall, 1990). Other
commonly proclaimed gender differences in personality and behavior, such as
dependency, suggestibility, and nurturance, are more difficult to confirm
(Eagly, 1995; Wood & Eagly, 2010). Men are more likely to take charge in small
groups, and women are more likely to be concerned about and involved with child-
rearing, but there is considerable overlap, with many men being nurturant and many
women being independent.
One study went beyond the traditional self-report measures of masculinity–
femininity and instead used people’s preferences and interests in various types of
occupations. For example, mechanical engineers and chemists were male-type
occupations, preferred by the men in the study. Interior decorator, florist, and
librarian were female-type occupations, generally preferred by the study’s women.
Occupational interests were then used to assess masculinity–femininity. There were
some more masculine men and some more feminine men, as well as more masculine
women and more feminine women. Following these individuals for many decades
(for the rest of their lives) yielded a striking result: Although the women on average
outlived the men, masculine men and masculine women were more likely to die at a
younger age, while the more feminine women and the more feminine men were
relatively less likely to succumb (Friedman & Martin, 2011; Lippa, Martin, &
Friedman, 2000) Why might this be? Biology, socialization, learned behavior,
activities, and thoughts and feelings are all likely relevant.
A Brief History of Gender Difference in
Evidence from Ancient Civilizations
Archeological excavations of hunting societies that existed 4,000 to 6,000 years ago
have unearthed early portrayals of women—in petroglyphs, hieroglyphs, and burial
statuettes—representing essentially “female” characteristics of fertility and
nurturance. On the other hand, men were most often represented in prehistoric art
either hunting or warring. Some of the earliest Asian religious beliefs dichotomized
humanity into a female and male component, yin and yang. The yin represents the
female—passive, shaded, and cold—whereas the yang portrays the male element—
active, light, and hot. Leaders and priests were more likely to be male although status
differences were not necessarily rigid.
As time went on, ideas about the differences between men and women were
formalized into the identification of women as not only different but lesser. For
example, Plato described women as weaker and inferior. Aristotle more specifically
depicted women as incomplete and incompetent because of their inability to produce
semen. Together with the conception of women as being deficient men was the view
of women as possessing frail personalities—emotional, unprincipled, suggestible, and
indecisive. In the Hebrew, and later the Christian, Bible, men not only wielded the
power but also held the higher moral authority, although women occasionally played
important roles. The view of females as incomplete or imperfect males persisted for
centuries, and the influential theologian Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274) perpetuated
this idea, providing a religious rationale for the inferiority of women.
Nineteenth-Century Views
Under Darwin’s influence, the functional school of psychology (in the late 1800s to
the early 1900s) declared that behavior and thought evolve as a result of their
functionality for survival. For example, proponents emphasized the issue
of maternal instinct, which was defined as “an inborn emotional tendency toward
nurturance that was triggered by contact with a helpless infant” (Lips &
Colwill, 1978, p. 29). According to the (male) functionalists, most of a woman’s
energy was to be expended on pregnancy, childbirth, and lactation; as a result
women had no remaining resources for developing other abilities. These theorists
also explained that the maternal instinct revealed itself in other domains where
women nurtured others, such as in their relationships with their spouses and close
friends. These concepts were used to both explain and justify the dominant position
of men and the submissive position of women in the contemporary society. As we
have seen throughout this book, many ideas about personality are inextricably bound
up with the biases of society.
Maternal Instinct
According to the functional school of psychology, an inborn emotional tendency
toward nurturance that is triggered by contact with a helpless infant
Many religions explicitly exclude women from the formal role of spiritual leader of
the community (including Roman Catholicism, Islam, and Orthodox Judaism). Is
this because women are seen as inherently unsuited to the demands of providing
moral and practical leadership to groups that include men?
Biological Influences on Gender Differences
Sex Hormones in Normal Prenatal Development
Genetic sex is determined at the moment of conception when the female’s egg with
its X chromosome joins with the male sperm with its X or Y chromosome, resulting
in a girl (XX) or a boy (XY). Interestingly, although each embryo has the
physiological structures from which both male and female genitalia can develop, at
around 6 weeks’ gestation, testes begin to develop only in embryos with XY
chromosomes. The testes begin to produce sex hormones: some progesterone
and estrogen (typically considered the “female” hormone) and a larger amount
of androgen (typically considered the “male” hormone). The genetically male fetus
then develops the internal and external male sex organs. When the embryo has XX
sex chromosomes, the gonad buds begin to develop into ovaries at about 12 weeks’
gestational age. It appears that in the absence of testes producing large amounts of
androgen, female external and internal genitalia develop.
Genetic Sex
Whether an individual has XX chromosomes (female) or XY chromosomes (male)
The class of sex hormones typically considered the “female” sex hormone
The class of sex hormones typically considered the “male” hormone
Thus, for the male embryo, androgen initiates the development of male genitalia and
influences, to some extent, the organization of the brain. In addition there is some
evidence that hormones secreted by the mother, the placenta, and the female fetus’s
ovaries additionally may influence female development. Thus, during this prenatal
stage, physiological sex differences that will appear later in life are established by the
influence of the hormones (Knickmeyer & Baron-Cohen, 2006). Effects on the brain
are incompletely understood, but, for example, the prenatal hormones may affect the
brain by influencing the manner in which the hypothalamus will regulate the
pituitary gland as it controls the secretion of gonadal hormones after puberty (such
as in the regulation of menstruation).
The Effects of Prenatal Sex Hormones on
Gender Behavior
The fact that androgen affects the physical development of the fetus suggests that
prenatal androgen exposure might also affect personality in some gender-specific
manner. Two kinds of evidence support the possibility of an effect of prenatal
hormones on gender behavior: (1) experimental data from animal studies, and (2)
studies of humans who have experienced prenatal genetic or hormonal anomalies.
When researchers expose developing animal fetuses to androgens during early
prenatal development, a typical finding is that greater amounts of androgens affect
later behavior: Such animals have higher levels of rough and tumble play,
more aggressive behavior, and higher activity levels. This is true for both genetic
males (XY) and genetic females (XX) who are so exposed (Parsons, 1980;
Ramirez, 2003).
An analogous kind of natural experiment occurs in humans who experience
abnormal prenatal sexual development. Genetic anomalies include mutations in the
number of sex chromosomes contained within the embryo’s cells. In other cases, the
embryo or fetus may fail to be exposed to the appropriate hormones or may be
overexposed to inappropriate hormones. For example, now and then individuals are
born with too many sex chromosomes, most often of the configurations XXX, XXY,
or XYY. XXX people are anatomically female and fertile, whereas XXY and XYY are
anatomically male (Stockard & Johnson, 1992). Despite early assumptions to the
contrary, there is little evidence that the extra Y sex chromosome (in XYY) has much
influence on behavior. Some researchers suggested that individuals with an extra Y
chromosome experienced greater quantities of testosterone in their system and that,
as a result, they were more aggressive. These individuals were identified in a prison
population, however, an …
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