Evolutionary Explanations of Gender Roles

Jessica Phillips
Mind Map by Jessica Phillips, updated more than 1 year ago
Jessica Phillips
Created by Jessica Phillips about 5 years ago


A Levels Psychology (A2) Mind Map on Evolutionary Explanations of Gender Roles, created by Jessica Phillips on 11/13/2015.

Resource summary

Evolutionary Explanations of Gender Roles


1 Mate choice
1.1 Men look for partners who are physically attractive (suggests fertility). Women are additionally interested in the resources a partner might be able to provide
1.1.1 Buss, 1989 - Cross Cultural Study
2 IDAs
2.1 Approaches
2.1.1 Biosocial
2.1.2 Alternative view is that behaviour is affected by nurture
2.2 Determinism
2.2.1 Evolutionary approach is deterministic but genes don't determine our behaviour only predispose us to certain behaviours
3 Division of labour
3.1 Role division may have evolved because women would have spent most of their adult life pregnant or producing milk
3.1.1 If women hunted the reproductive success of the group would decrease Kuhn and Stiner, 2006 - suggests gender division of labour might explain survival of the homo sapiens and not the Neanderthals Both men and female Neanderthals used to hunt
4 Cognitive style
4.1 Tend and befriend
4.1.1 Women may also be more focused on interpersonal relationships Taylor et al, 2000 - proposed might stem from different challenges faced when dealing with stress in EEA
4.2 E-S theory
4.2.1 Women are better at empathising whereas men are better at systematising
4.2.2 Baron-Cohen, 2002 - proposed that this gender difference may by the result of selection pressure - Suggested that males who were able to systematise with greater precision would have gained an evolutionary advantage
5 Evaluation
5.1 Research methods
5.1.1 Problems with the degree to which data collected actually represents the behaviour of people from different cultures
5.2 Speculative theories
5.2.1 Do not have a firm factual basis Example is explanation for the disappearance of the Neanderthals Other theories just as plausible include climate change in Europe Tzedakis et al, 2007
5.3 Implications
5.3.1 The meat-sharing hypothesis An outcome of men becoming hunters due to selective pressures is meat being used as a means of attracting female interest Stanford, 1999
5.3.2 Autism Baron-Cohen, 2004 - Proposed that autism may be an example of the extreme male brain - Those with autism score high at systematising and low on empathising
5.4 Research support
5.4.1 Tend and befriend Taylor et al, 2000 - showed that in women levels of oxytocin increased with stress Ennis et al, 2001 - conducted a natural experiment to test male-female differences in stress responses - Sampled cortisol levels and found it increased in males and decreased in females Supports view that women respond to stress of others in a different way
5.4.2 Mate choice Differences in how males and females advertise themselves Waynforth and Dunbar, 1995 - 44% of males sought physical attractiveness compared to women - 50% of women offered attractiveness whereas only 34% of males did
5.5 Cognitive style
5.5.1 Baron-Cohen, 2004 - conducted research to demonstrate that men and women do think in different ways which align with predicted differences in cognitive style - Developed a Systematising Quotient Questionnaire Found that males tended to be systematisers and females tended to be emphathising
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