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Adolescent Psychology

Adolescent Psychology

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Adolescent Psychology

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  1. Adolescent Psychology Chapter 5: Gender

  2. What is Gender? • Is there a difference between gender & sex? • Gender refers to the psychological & sociocultural dimensions of being male or female. • A gender role is a set of expectations that prescribes how females & males should think, act, & feel.

  3. Biological Influences on Gender • Puberty intensifies sexual aspects of gender attitudes & behaviors • Anatomy is destiny… • Freud & Erikson • Evolutionary Psychology • Behaviors differ by gender due to what has been adaptive and led to procreation over evolutionary history • Gender & Brain development • Not much research… • 2007 study indicates, peak seems to correspond to pubertal development (earlier for girls) • 2009 study indicates by early adulthood gender similarities are most notable

  4. Social Influences on Gender • Social Role Theory: • gender differences mainly result from the contrasting roles of males and females • Females: less power, status, and resources • Social hierarchy causes gender differences in power, assertiveness, and nurturing (Eagly, 2009) • Parental Influences on Gender • By example & by action • Socialization Strategies • Gender differences …independence, expectations, goals • The social cognitive theory of gender • Gender development is influenced by observation & imitation of others’ gender behavior, as well as by the rewards & punishments they experience for gender-appropriate & gender-inappropriate behavior • Sibling Influences

  5. Social Influences on Gender • Peers • “Gender School” • Teased or Reinforced…accepted or rejected • Schools & Teachers • Compliance, following rules, & being neat &orderly are valued & reinforced in many classrooms • A large majority of teachers are females • Boys are more likely than girls to have learning problems • Boys are more likely than girls to be criticized • School personnel tend to stereotype boys’ behavior as problematic. • Is the classroom problematic for boys? • So is the classroom problematic for girls? • The Mass Media • Adolescent heightened sensitivity to TV messages about gender roles • Television shows directed at adolescents are extremely stereotyped in their portrayal of the sexes • Influences sexism, body image…

  6. Cognitive Influences on Gender • Individuals actively construct their gender world • Observation, imitation, rewards, punishments • Adolescent interacts with environment • Internal motivation to conform -- acceptance • Gender Schema Theory • Gender-typing emerges as individuals gradually develop gender schemas of what is gender-appropriate and gender-inappropriate in their culture. • Gender schema: cognitive structure that organizes the world in terms of “male” & “female”

  7. Gender Stereotypes • Gender stereotypes • Are broad categories that reflect our impressions & beliefs about females & males. • What is “feminine” & “masculine” • Sexism • Prejudice & discrimination against an individual because of his or her sex.

  8. Gender Stereotypes

  9. Gender Similarities & Differences • Physical Similarities & Differences • Life expectancy • Brain differences ? • Cognitive Similarities & Differences • Math, (?) visuospatial, and verbal skills (?) • Overall interest in academics • Socioemotional Similarities & Differences • Aggression • Communication in relationships • Prosocial bx – bx intended to benefit others • Self-regulation of emotion and bx

  10. Gender Similarities & Differences • Some examples of brain differences: • Portion of hypothalamus involved with sex tends to be larger in males than females • Portions of corpus callosum tends to larger in females than in males • Males tend to be better at visio-spatial skills • Females tend to show more brain activity involved in emotional expression • Female smaller brain, but more surface area than males **similarities and differences could be due to heredity and evolution AND/OR social experiences – remember we see learning in the brain!!

  11. Socioemotional Similarities & Differences • Aggression • Physical vs. Relational • Communication in Relationships • Rapport talk: language of conversation and a way of establishing connections and negotiating relationships. Females enjoy rapport talk and conversation that is relationship oriented more than boys do. • Report talk: Talk that gives information. Males tend to hold center stage though such verbal performances as storytelling, joking, and lecturing with information. • Communication competence appears to vary with context • Group size – girls more competent in large groups • Speaking with peers or adults – girls talk with adults more • Familiarity – self-assertive speech (boys use more) with unfamiliar individuals • Age – gender difference in affiliative speech greatest during adolescence

  12. More on Socioemotional… • Prosocial Behavior: • Girls • Kind and considerate behavior (not sharing) • Emotional self-regulation • Boys are more likely to hide there “negative” emotions, beginning in childhood • By SELF-REPORT…girls are more likely to experience sadness, shame, guilt in adolescence • Boys tend to have lower emotional self-regulation skills, which can lead to behavior problems (self-control, impulse control, )

  13. Similarities/Differences? Gender Controversy • Extent of true gender differences • Gender differences have been greatly exaggerated by mass media, pop psychology… • Males & Females are similar on most psychological factors

  14. Gender in Context • Context • Culture • Education

  15. Masculinity & Femininity • Class participation time…

  16. Androgyny • Androgyny: presence of a high degree of both masculine & feminine traits • Advocates of androgyny programs (in education) argue that traditional sex-typing is harmful for all students & especially has prevented many girls from experiencing equal opportunity

  17. Problems with Traditional Masculinity in Adolescent Development • “Boy code”: socialized to not show feelings & act tough • Boys could benefit from being socialized to express anxieties & concerns • Premarital sex • Alcohol & drugs • Delinquent activities

  18. Critics of the Androgyny Perspective Gender-role Transcendence • The view that when an individual’s competence is at issue, it should be conceptualized on a person basis rather than on the basis of masculinity, femininity, or androgyny (Pleck, 1983).

  19. Developmental Changes & Junctures • Gender intensification hypothesis • Psychological & behavioral differences between boys & girls become greater during early adolescence • This is due to increased socialization pressures to conform to traditional masculine & feminine gender roles • Is Early Adolescence a Critical Juncture for Females? • Awareness of male dominated culture • Lack of value placed on intimacy vs. expected to be caring & altruistic • To be selfish or selfless? • Voice not valued?