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  1. 12 A Topical Approach to LIFE-SPAN DEVELOPMENT Gender and Sexuality John W. Santrock

  2. Gender and Sexuality • Biological, Social, and Cognitive Influences on Gender • Gender Comparisons and Classification • Gender Development through the Life Span • Exploring Sexuality • Sexuality through the Life Span

  3. Biological, Social, and Cognitive Influences on Gender Gender and Sex • Gender — social dimension of being female or male • Gender role: set of expectations prescribing how females and males should act, feel, and think • Gender typing: process by which children acquire thoughts, behaviors, and feelings culturally appropriate for their gender • Sex — designates the biological aspects of being female or male

  4. Biological, Social, and Cognitive Influences on Gender Biological Influences • Chromosomes — 23rd pair with X and Y • Hormones • Estrogens • Estradiol influences development of female physical sex characteristics and helps regulate menstrual cycle • Androgens • Testosterone promotes development of male genitals and secondary sex characteristics

  5. Biological, Social, and Cognitive Influences on Gender Biological Influences • Examples of conditions from unusual levels of sex hormones early in development • Congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) • Androgen-insensitive males • Pelvic field defect • Failed sex reassignment

  6. Biological, Social, and Cognitive Influences on Gender Evolutionary Psychology View of Gender • Differing roles in reproduction placed different pressures on males and females • Key gender differences in sexual attitudes and sexual behaviors • Males — competition, violence, risk-taking • Females — parenting effort, selection of successful mate

  7. Biological, Social, and Cognitive Influences on Gender Social Influences • Differences due to social experiences • Social role theory: gender differences result from contrasting roles of men and women • Psychoanalytic theory of gender: claims child identifies with same-sex parent by age 5 or 6 • Many disagree, claiming gender learned much earlier (even in absence of same-sex parent)

  8. Biological, Social, and Cognitive Influences on Gender Social Influences • Differences due to social experiences • Social cognitive theory of gender — gender development results from observation and imitation, use of rewards and punishments for gender-appropriate behaviors

  9. Biological, Social, and Cognitive Influences on Gender Cognitive Influences • Cognitive development theory of gender • Children’s gender typing occurs after they think of themselves as boys and girls; gender constancy must be achieved first • Once consistently conceived as male or female, children prefer activities, objects, and attitudes consistent with this label

  10. Biological, Social, and Cognitive Influences on Gender Cognitive Influences • Gender schema theory • Gender typing emerges gradually in gender schemas of what is culturally gender-appropriate and inappropriate • Gender-typed behavior can occur before children develop gender constancy • Gender schemas fuel gender typing

  11. Gender Comparisons and Classification Gender Stereotyping • Broad categories that reflect our impressions and beliefs about females and males • Traditional masculinity and femininity • Males instrumental • Females expressive • Stereotyping varies with culture • Stereotyping of occupations

  12. Gender Comparisons and Classification Young Children’s Judgments about Competency in Stereotyped Occupations Fig. 12.3

  13. Gender Comparisons and Classification Gender Similarities and Differences • Physical differences • Females have longer life expectancy • Females less likely to develop mental or physical disorders • Males have higher levels of stress hormones causing faster clotting and higher blood pressure

  14. Gender Comparisons and Classification Gender Similarities and Differences • Physical differences • Female brains are smaller, have more folds • Part of hypothalamus involved in sexual behavior is larger in men • Area of parietal lobe functioning in visuospatial skills is larger in males • Areas of brain involved in emotional expression show more activity in females

  15. Gender Comparisons and Classification Cognitive Similarities and Differences • Some claim males better at math and visuospatial skills and females better at verbal skills • Others claim differences exaggerated • National standardized tests • Boys slightly better at math and science • Girls better at reading and writing • Overall, girls superior students to boys

  16. Gender Comparisons and Classification Visuospatial Skills of Males and Females Fig. 12.4

  17. Gender Comparisons and Classification Socioemotional Similarities and Differences • Aggression • Males more physically aggressive in all cultures • Females more verbally aggressive; use relational aggression more than men • Self-Regulation • Males show less self-regulation, can lead to behavioral problems • Controversies over psychological differences

  18. Gender Comparisons and Classification Socioemotional Similarities and Differences • Gender in context • Gender varies across contexts • Males more likely to help in perceived danger • Females more likely to volunteer to help with child • Girls show more care-giving behaviors than boys • Males more likely to show anger towards strangers and turn anger into aggression • Cultural backgrounds influence socialization

  19. Gender Comparisons and Classification Masculinity, Femininity, and Androgyny • Androgyny— presence of masculine and feminine characteristics in same individual • Bem Sex-Role Inventory: • Instrumental, expressive traits • Context influencing gender role is adaptive • Gender-role transcendence— people should be evaluated as persons, not in terms of femininity, masculinity, or androgyny

  20. Gender Comparisons and Classification Bem’s Gender-Role Classification Fig. 12.5

  21. Gender Development through the Life-Span Gender Development in Childhood • Children form many ideas about what the sexes are like from about 1½ to 3 years of age • Boys receive earlier and more intense gender socialization • Children show clear preference for same-sex peers • Gender roles becoming more flexible

  22. Gender Development through the Life-Span Gender Development in Adolescence • Transition point; changes in puberty • Gender-intensification hypothesis • Psychological and behavioral differences between boys and girls become greater during early adolescence • Increased socialization pressures to conform to traditional gender roles • Mixed messages and special problems

  23. Gender Development through the Life-Span Adulthood and Aging • Women’s Gender Development • Women often try to actively participate in others’ development • Emotionally • Intellectually • Socially • Women maintain competency, self-motivation, and self-determination in relationships

  24. Gender Development through the Life-Span Communication Between Men and Women • Rapport talk • Language of conversation, a way to establish connections and negotiate relationships • Preferred by women • Report talk • Language designed to give information, including public speaking • Preferred by men

  25. Gender Development through the Life-Span Adulthood and Aging • Men’s gender development • Male roles are contradictory and inconsistent • Can cause role-strain in • Health • Male-female relationships • Male-male relationships

  26. Gender Development through the Life-Span Gender and Aging • Parental imperative • Mothers and fathers adopt different gender roles so they can raise children more effectively • Older women face double jeopardy of ageism and sexism • Older men become more feminine, less active, and more sensitive in relationships

  27. Exploring Sexuality Biological and Cultural Factors • Biological • Sexual behavior is influenced by sex hormones • Sexual behavior is so individualized in humans that it is difficult to specify hormonal effects • Sexual motivation also influenced by cultural factors

  28. Exploring Sexuality Biological and Cultural Factors • Cultural factors • Range of sexual values across cultures is substantial • Sexual scripts— stereotyped expectancy patterns for how people should behave sexually • Traditional religious script— sex is accepted only within marriage; sex is for reproduction and sometimes affection • Romantic script — sex synonymous with love

  29. Noncohabiting Cohabiting (married) Men Men 1% Never A few times a year A few times a month Women Women 3% 2 to 3 times a week 4 or more times a week Exploring Sexuality The 1994 Sex in America Survey Fig. 12.6

  30. Exploring Sexuality Sexual Orientation • Heterosexual attitudes and behavior • Different categories for frequency of sex • Married couples have sex more often • Most couples enjoy traditional sex • Adultery is exception, not the rule • Men think about sex more than women • Most lead conservative sexual lives

  31. Exploring Sexuality Sexual Orientation • Attitudes and behaviors of lesbians and gay males • Sexual orientation is on continuum • Bisexual: sexually attracted to both sexes • Research on biological and hormonal differences on sexual preferences unclear • Area of hypothalamus governing sexual behavior 2x larger in heterosexual males

  32. 0 Exclusively heterosexual behavior 1 Largely heterosexual but incidental homosexualbehavior 3 Largely heterosexual but more than incidental homosexualbehavior 3 Equal amounts of heterosexual and homosexualbehavior 4 Largely homosexual but more than incidental heterosexualbehavior 5 Largely homosexual but incidental heterosexualbehavior 6 Exclusively homosexual behavior Exploring Sexuality The Continuum of Sexual Orientation Fig. 12.7

  33. Exploring Sexuality Sexual Orientation • Attitudes and behaviors of lesbians and gay males • Gender differences appearing in heterosexual relationships also occurs in homosexual relationships • Gay and lesbians experience life as minorities in dominant culture, with bicultural identity

  34. Exploring Sexuality Sexually Transmitted Infections • Gonorrhea • Syphilis • Chlamydia • Genital Herpes • HPV – causes genital warts • AIDS – sexually-transmitted disease caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)

  35. Exploring Sexuality Protecting Against STIs • Education and development of effective drug treatments • Only safe behavior is abstinence • Know your and your partner’s risk status • Obtain medical examinations • Have protected, not unprotected, sex • Don’t have sex with multiple partners

  36. Exploring Sexuality Forcible Sexual Behavior • Rape • Forcible sexual intercourse without consent; legal definitions vary by state • Victims reluctant to report rape; inaccurate stats • Occurs more often in large cities; 200,000 rapes reported annually in U.S. • Date or acquaintance rape of concern in colleges

  37. Exploring Sexuality Sexual Harassment • Ranging from remarks to physical contact, blatant propositions to sexual assaults • Most victims are women in educational and workplace settings • Has serious psychological effects on victim • One person’s manifestation of power over another

  38. 50 40 30 Percentage of sample 20 10 0 Classmate Friend Boyfriend/ ex-boyfriend Acquaintance Other Offender Exploring Sexuality Rape Victim-Offender Relationships Fig. 12.8

  39. Sexuality through the Life-Span Child Sexuality • Majority of children engage in some sex play • Usually with friends or siblings • Exhibiting or inspecting the genitals • Most motivated by curiosity • Sex play declines, but sexual interest remains high in elementary school years

  40. Sexuality through the Life-Span Adolescent Sexuality • Adolescence • Time of sexual exploration, experimentation, fantasies, and incorporating sexuality into one’s identity • Most have insatiable curiosity about sex • Majority develop mature sexual identity; most have times of vulnerability and confusion • Societies vary in response to adolescent sexuality

  41. Sexuality through the Life-Span Developing a Sexual Identity • Multifaceted challenge to manage new feelings, develop identity and self-regulation • Great variety in orientations, interest levels, anxiety levels, activity, and reasons for choices in activity • Gay or lesbian identity: coming-out • Homosexual behavior in adolescence may not continue into adulthood

  42. Sexuality through the Life-Span Adolescent Sexual Behaviors • Typical progression of sexual behavior • Kissing, followed by petting • Intercourse, or oral sex (increased substantially) • Males report being active before females • Most have sexual intercourse by mid-teens • Timing of sexual initiation varies widely by country and gender

  43. Sexuality through the Life-Span Risk Factors, Youth Assets, and Sexual Problems • Personal risk factors • Ineffective or lack of use of contraceptives • Early maturation linked to early sexual initiation; varies by ethnic group • Lack of self-regulation • Contextual risk factors • Family parenting and SES • Neighborhood environment

  44. Sexuality through the Life-Span Other Risks • Sexually transmitted infections • Africa: girls infected with HIV by adult men • Adolescent pregnancy • U.S. adolescent pregnancy rates decreasing; but one of highest rates in developed world • Cross-cultural studies on sexual active adolescents

  45. 80 60 40 Births per 1,000 women 15 to 19 years old 20 0 1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 Year Sexuality through the Life-Span Cross-Cultural Comparisons of Pregnancy Fig. 12.10

  46. Sexuality through the Life-Span Decreasing U.S. Adolescent Pregnancy Rates • Greatest decline in 1990s • Increased contraceptive use • Fear of STIs • Education and health classes • Economic prosperity in 1990s • Greatest drop in African American girls aged 15-17 • Latin American girls most likely to get pregnant

  47. Sexuality through the Life-Span Consequences of Adolescent Pregnancy • Health risks for mother and child • Low birth rate in newborns linked to infant mortality, neurological problems, childhood illness • Young mothers more likely to • Drop out of school; were low achievers in school • Have history of conduct problems • Come from low-income backgrounds • Live in poverty

  48. Sexuality through the Life-Span Sexuality and Aging • Middle adulthood • Climacteric — midlife transition in which fertility ends or declines • Women —Menopause late forties or early fifties • Men— less testosterone, less desire, possible erectile dysfunction (Viagra) • Ability to function slows little, frequency drops

  49. Sexuality through the Life-Span Sexuality and Aging • Late adulthood • Men experience more changes than women • Orgasm less frequent • More direct stimulation needed • Erection problems more likely after 65 • Sexuality can be lifelong • Two-thirds of older adults satisfied

  50. 12 The End