Gender socialization perspectives Biological essentialism Psychoanalytic Social Learning Cognitive Development Gender Schemas Peer Group Interactions Essentialism Biblical essentialism The belief that men and women are different because they were created different by God. Male dominance and gender inequality are universals because God has ordained it to be so. Biological essentialism Universal sex differences Universal inequality and male dominance natural consequence Men and women are biologically different: Anatomy Hormones (testosterone, estrogen, etc.) Physical (strength, size, weight) Freud Conscious and Unconscious mind Oedipus complex Rivalry with the father Desire for the mother Castration anxiety Penis envy (Electra complex) Civilization and Its Discontents, 1930 Women have weaker egos because they can never resolve Oedipus complex Notice that capacity for masculine and feminine found in both men and women Modern applications Mother is the first person to whom children, both boys and girls learn to relate. First identification for both boys and girls is feminine, not masculine. Identity development easier for a girl because she can identify early with her mother. Identity development more difficult for the boy because he must reject his first identity as feminine. Because fathers and other men are not a central part of a boys’ life, men struggle with understanding what masculinity involves. Implications Masculinity constituted by being “notfeminine” Femininity is devalued Men deny attachment to the feminine world, represses his feminine identification. Boys strong preference for gender-segregated play groups and avoidance of female-typed activities related to these early experiences in the family. Social Learning Theory Behaviorism (stimulus-response theory) Parent-child relations central Sex-typed behavior develops as a result of reinforcement (NOT) Modeling—children choose to model or copy behaviors of other males or females (NOT) Research shows Parents tend to treat boys and girls similarly with regards to: achievement or dependency, warmth of interactions, restrictiveness, and disciplinary practices. Parents reinforce gender differences in toys children play with. Parents who are highly sex-typed not more likely to have children who a strongly sex-typed. Efforts to “reprogram” through reinforcement seems to only change behavior temporarily. Cognitive Development Theory Jean Piaget Children gradually develop more complex ways of interacting with others and understanding the world around them. Initially children understand their world by sorting things (objects, people) into categories Children are active agents, employing cognitive processes. Developmental—children’s interpretations and understandings of gender alter and change as their cognitive capabilities become more developed. Gender schemas Cognitive schemas used to organize information on the basis of gender categories. In-group (own sex group) vs. Out-group (other sex) Become more elaborate as gender identity is developed. New information and situations interpreted based on gender schemas. Gender schema complex and multidimensional May explain why boys and girls choose to play with others of the same sex as early as 3 years old. Terman and Miles, 1925+ Terman revised Binet’s intelligence test, producing the Stanford-Binet I.Q. test. Differences in intelligence between men and women were trivial or nonexistent. Differences between men and women best identified by measuring femininity and masculinity Fear of the emasculation of men Terman and Miles Research Assumptions Masculinity and femininity are static, nondevelopmental personality traits that exist at an early age. Masculinity and femininity represent opposite ends of a one dimensional continuum. Psychological normality is demonstrated by possession of sex appropriate characteristics. Sandra Bem’s Sex Role Inventory Femininity High Feminine Masculinity Androgynous Low High Undifferentiated Low Masculine Bem’s Sex Role Inventory Femininity Affectionate (43%) Sympathetic (54%) Sensitive to others’ needs (56%) Understanding (38%) Compassionate (50%) Eager to soothe feelings Masculinity Self reliant (13%) Defends own beliefs (4%) (62%) Warm (45%) Tender (56%) Independent (13%) Athletic (27%) Assertive (36%) Strong personality (17%) Forceful (66%) Analytical (17%) (% of college undergraduates who rated characteristic as feminine/masculine) Bem’s assumptions masculinity and femininity were no longer understood as personality structures embedded in the individual, but instead were cultural stereotypes to which people must conform or suffer grave social costs; good mental health did not necessarily require appropriate levels of masculine or feminine behavior consistent with one’s sex category since androgyny (a high score on masculine and feminine characteristics) was also an indication of good mental health; and one’s sex would no longer be a determinant of identity development, but individuals could freely create her or his own unique blending of temperament and behaviors (Bem 1993: 120-121). Peer Group Interactions Culture of childhood Pattern of games, activities, roles, norms, and even jokes and folklore that are passed on from generation to generation. Passed on from generation to generation of children without active involvement of adults, Highly gendered, with rigid distinctions between boys and girls and sanctions for violating these roles. Distinctive styles of play (Maccoby) Boys Rough and tumble play Competition Avoiding domination Establishing superiority Direct commands Girls Cooperative play Egalitarian, fair play Forming relationships Polite suggestion • Girls find it difficult to influence boys. • Group process involves mutual influence, but given different styles of relating mutual influence is difficult.