Gender 16-marker Plans (AQA A Level Psychology)

Grace Fawcitt
Note by Grace Fawcitt, updated more than 1 year ago
Grace Fawcitt
Created by Grace Fawcitt over 3 years ago


AS level Psychology (AQA A Level Psychology- 16-mark question plans) Note on Gender 16-marker Plans (AQA A Level Psychology), created by Grace Fawcitt on 02/19/2018.

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Gender 16-marker plans   Sex and Gender (not a 16 marker, nothing to evaluate/discuss) Outline Sex= biological differences between males and females (chromosomes, hormones, anatomy) Gender= the psychological status as either masculine or feminine, heavily influenced social norms and culture If sex and gender don't correspond, Gender Identity Disorder is developed Sex role stereotypes= particular behaviours inexplicably expected to be performed by a certain sex e.g. women doing dishes  Ingalhalikar (2014) studied 949 brains of men and women and found women had better connections between the two hemispheres (performing multiple behaviours at once) while men has more intense activity in the cerebellum (performing one more complex task). The role of plasticity should be considered, however.  Androgyny and the BSRI Outline Androgyny= displaying a balance of masculine and feminine characteristics.  Associated with good psychological well-being and the ability to adapt to new situations The BSRI- developed by Bem (1974) and included a scale of 60 traits (20 masculine, 20 feminine, 20 neutral). Respondents rated themselves on a 7-point scale. High masculine+ high feminine= androgynous, low masculine+ low feminine= undifferentiated Evaluation Validity and reliability- pilot study on 1000 students and the results corresponded with how the students would describe themselves. A study carried out a month later found similar scores, suggesting good test-retest reliability Oversimplification- single score too simple for complex gender identity Cultural and historical bias- developed 40 years ago based on stereotypes at the time, and was created by Americans so can't generalise to other cultures.  Use of questionnaires- social desirability bias and response bias   The role of chromosomes and hormones Outline The 23rd chromosome pair determines sex (XX= girl, XY= boy) The Y chromosome carries a gene called the SRY (sex determing region 'Y') which causes testes to develop. Testes produce androgens (male sex hormones), which cause an embryo to become male Testosterone- male hormone, controls development of male sex organs and is linked to aggression.  Van de Poll (1988) injected female rats with testosterone and found they became more aggressive. Oestrogen- a female hormone that determines female sexual characteristics and menstruation, and is also linked to emotionality and irritability Oxytocin- a hormone produced in large quantities after labour, making a woman love their child and stimulating lactation.  Congenital adrenal hyperplasia- a child having high levels of prenatal testosterone, and is easier identified in females. Berenbaum and Bailey (2003) found that girls with CAH are described as tomboys who prefer 'male' toys and are aggressive.  Evaluation Supporting evidence- Dabbs (1995) found prisoners with high levels of testosterone to be more likely to have commited violent or sexual crimes Van Goozen (1995) found the transgender women (male to female) who had undergone hormone therapy to be less aggressive, while transgender men (female to male) became more aggressive. Contradictory evidence- Tricker (1996) did a double blind study- men either given testosterone or placebo, and there was no significant difference in aggression.  Over-emphasis on nature- ignores role of social context and bases gender development on biology (reductionist) Oversimplification- doesn't take cogitive elements or early childhood into consideration David Reimer- boy with poorly done circumcision raised as girl, but suffered severe psychological trauma as a result. When informed of real sex, she changed back to he.    Atypical Sex Chromosome Patterns Outline Klinefelter's- 1 in 1000 people, males, XXY Physical= reduced body hair, gangly limbs, underdeveloped genitals Psychological= poor language and reading ability, passive and shy, uninterested in sex Turner's- 1 in 5000 people, females, XO Physical= no menstrual cycle, shield chest, low set ears and webbed neck, high waist-to-hip ratio, retain prepubescent appearance Psychological= good reading ability, poor maths skills, socially immature Evaluation Contribution to nature-nurture debate- good to compare atypical individuals' chromosomes to typical, shows differences in psychology and behaviour. Environmental explanations- social immaturity may be because of how they are treated by others (supports nurture) Practical application- research helps accurate diagnosis of Turner's and Klinefelter's- good for treatment Unusual sample- difficult to generalise due to chromosomal differences and treatment by society   Cognitive explanations- Kohlberg's theory Outline Kohlberg (1966) suggested gender developed in stages as a child developed their understanding of gender Gender identity- 2 years old, correctly identify their own gender, but don't realise permanence Gender stability- 4 years old, realises permanence of own gender, but is easily confused by appearances of others (man with long hair, woman with shaved head) and if they perform gender inconsistent behaviour (man cooking) Gender constancy- 6 years old, recognises permanence of gender in all people, start seeking gender appropriate role models and actively search for evidence to support their concept of gender.  Evaluation  Supporting evidence- Slaby and Frey (1975) presented children with a split screen, with a female on one side and a male on the other, both performing the same behaviour. Young children focused on both sides, but children in the gender constancy stage focused on their gender.  Munroe (1984) found cross cultural evidence for Kohlberg's theory in Kenya and Nepal.  Contradictory evidence- Bussey and Bandura (1992) found that children as young as 4 reported 'feeling good' about playing with gender appropriate toys and 'bad' about the opposite.  Methodological issues- interviewing children as young as 2 who can't express themseleves as they don't have the vocabulary Comparison with SLT- SLT disagrees with biological maturation, instead suggesting gender develops as a result of external influences Supports biological approach- includes role of maturation, and cross cultural studies support this   Cognitive explanations- Gender Schema theory Outline Martin and Halverson proposed that gender develops with age and children actively structure their own learning Schema= mental constructs which helps us react and respond to the world around us, and develop with experience Gender schema= generalised representation of everything we know in relation to gender Gender identity- 2 to 3 years old, children start searching the environment for information that encourages the development of gender schema. These schema are often based on stereotypes.  By 6 years old, children have fixed and stereotypical idea about gender appropriate behaviou, so ignore contradictory information (e.g. man cooking) Ingroup schema- children have a better understanding of their own gender (ingroup) so pay less attention to the opposite sex (outgroup) At 8 years old, children develop more elaborate schemas for both genders Evaluation Supporting evidence- Martin and Halverson (1983) found children under the age of 6 were more likely to remember photos of gender consistent behaviour than gender inconsistent behaviour Martin and Little (1990) found children under the age of 4 show no signs of gender stability or constancy, but demonstrated strongly sex typed behaviours.  Rigidity of gender beliefs- supports idea that children hold very fixed gender attitudes and ignore conflicting information Ignores external influences- doesn't account for effects of reward/punishment Ignore biology   Psychodynamic approach Outline Freud suggested pre-phallic children have no concept of gender identity. Gender development occurs in the phallic stage (3-6) as a result of the Oedipus and Electra complex.  Oedipus complex- boy loves mother, hates father, fears castration, identifies with father  Electra complex- girl loves father, hates mother and blames her for castration and in competition for father (penis envy), girl accepts that they won't ever have penis and identifies with mother in desire to have children Identification- the desire to be associated with the same sex parent because they possess desirable characteristics Internalisation- adopting the attitudes and behaviours of their same sex parent Evaluation Supporting evidence- Little Hans and his fear of horses  Contradictory evidence- Freud suggested boys are scared of their father's power and therefore identify, which suggests harsher parenting leads to stronger identification. Blakemore and Hill (2008) found that boys with liberal fathers were more secure in their masculinity. Non-nuclear families- children without a same sex parent should have a weaker gender identity, but Green (1978) found that, of 37 children with gay or transgender parents, only 1 had an atypical gender identity Lack of scientific evidence- concepts are unconscious and therefore untestable    The Social Learning Theory approach  Outline Based on role of social context, and gender is developed through observation (passive) It emphasises the role of significant others, culture, and media.  Direct reinforcement= being praised for performing gender appropriate behaviour Vicarious reinforcement= seeing modelbeing praised for performing gender appropriate behaviour  Identification= when a child attaches themself to an individual and wants to possess the same characteristics. This person is a role model. Modelling= role model- performing a behaviour that may be imitated by an observer. Observer- imitating the behaviour performed by the role model Attention-  noticing behaviour of role model Retention- remembering Reproduction- the ability to perform the behaviour Motivation- the will to perform the behaviour Evaluation Supporting evidence- Smith and Lloyd (1978) dressed babies in gender inconsistent clothes and gave them names of the opposite gender. 'Boys' were encouraged to be active and play with 'male' toys, while 'girls' were given dolls to cuddle.  Black (1979) found boys were encouraged to perform behaviours which reflect independence and emotional control, and the opposite for girls Explains cultural differences- different social norms= different gender stereotypes to model Doesn't account for age and maturation Ignores nature   Media and Culture Outline Mead (1935) studied 3 tribes in Papua New Guinea (the Arapesh, the Mundugmor and the Tchambuli). She found the Arapesh to be stereotypically feminine, the Mundugmore to be stereotypically masculine, and the Tchambuli to be female dominant.  This research shows the role of nurture in gender development The media provides role models, andBussey and Bandura (1999) found that men are often presented as independent and ambitious, while women are passive and dependent. Furnham and Farragher (2000) found that men in adverts were autonomous and professional, while women had domestic roles. Evaluation Supporting evidence from Mead, Bussey+ Bandura, and Furnham and Farragher Criticism of Mead- observer bias, Freeman suggested Mead already knew what she wanted to find, so ignored opposing evidence. Imposed etics- Westerners studying indigenous tribes often impose methods and theories that don't apply well to other cultures Contradictory evidence- Buss (1995) found that human mate preferences are the same across cultures (wealthy men, attractive and youthful women) Can't establish causation- media often contradicts stereotypes, plays to them, or creates them   Atypical Gender Development Outline Gender Identity Disorder involves a lack of correspondence between sex and gender. It is linked to stress and discomfort, so they often undergo gender reassignment surgery.  Biological explanations: Brain sex theory- caused by specific brain structures that are incompatible with a person's biological sex. Particular attention is paid to dimorphic areas (areas different in men and women). Zhou (1995) found that the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BSTC) is 40% larger in men. In post mortem studies of 6 transgender male to females, the BSTc was found to be more similar to that of females.  Genetic factors- Heylens (2012) compared 23 MZ twins to 21 DZ twins when one was diagnosed with GID, and found 39% of MZ twins both had it compared to 0% in DZ twins. Social-psychological explanations Psycho-analytic theory- Ovesey and Person (1973) suggested GID in men is a result of separation anxiety from the mother. The child fantasises about symbiotic fusion with the mother, and 'becomes' the mother and thus adopts a female gender identity.  Stoller (1973) found that GID males reported overly close mother-son relationships Cognitive explanations Liben and Bigler (2002) suggested that there are 2 pathways of gender development- the dual pathway theory. The first path acknowledges typical gender development, and the second suggests a child's activity affects their gender development. If their personal interests overwhelm their gender, the gender schema are affected. A boy who plays with dolls will believe that is a behaviour for boys as well as girls. This leads to the development of a non sex-typed schema.  Evaluation Contradictory evidence for BSTc- it should be fully developed by 5, so hormone therapy wouldn't affect it, however, Pol (2006) found hormone therapy did affect the size of the BSTc, so observed differences in it may be due to hormone therapy, not causing GID. Twin studies- concordance rates are still low, and MZ twins share more similar environments.  Oversimplification of GID- biological explanations don't take into account social and psychological factors No explanation for girls- the psycho-analytic explanation only accounts for boys with GID. The concpets are also unconscious and therefore untestable. Descriptive, not explanatory- the cognitive theory doesn't explain why children may become interested in gender-inconsistent activities or how this brings about non sex-typed schemas.                                  

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