Psyc 3015 - Sex Gender and Personality Dr Helen Paterson Phone 9036 9403 Email [email protected] Critical Thinking Questions Are women and

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Sex, Gender, and Personality Dr. Helen Paterson Phone: 9036 9403 Email: [email protected]
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Critical Thinking Questions • Are women and men basically different or basically the same when it comes to personality? • Have the differences between the sexes been exaggerated due to stereotypes people have about what women are like and what men are like? • What theories provide compelling explanations for sex-linked features of personality?
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Outline The Science & Politics of studying Sex and Gender Sex Differences in Personality Masculinity, Femininity, and Sex Roles Theories of Sex Differences
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Definitions Sex differences: average differences between women and men in personality or behaviour Gender: social interpretation of what it means to be a man or a woman; changes over time Gender stereotypes: beliefs about how men and women are supposed to differ, in contrast to actual differences
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History of sex differences Evidence from Ancient Civilisations • Archaeological excavations • As time went one, women viewed as not just different, but lesser (e.g., Plato, Aristotle)
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History of sex differences cont. 19 th Century Views • Functionalist theories explained and justified the dominance of men and the submissive position of women • Freud's theory further promoted the conception of women as faulty or incomplete men
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Controversy Some worry that findings of sex differences: • May support political agendas • Might be used to support the status quo • Might reflect gender stereotypes and not sex differences • Might reflect biases in scientists Others argue that both scientific psychology and social change will be impossible without coming to terms with sex differences
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History of the study of sex differences • Prior to 1973, very little research on sex differences • In 1974 the book ‘The Psychology of Sex Differences’ (Maccoby & Jacklyn) was published –Reported that women were better than men at verbal ability, men better than women at mathematical ability and spatial ability. Men more aggressive than women –Inspired lots of research…
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History of the study of sex differences cont. • …But the book was criticised –More sex differences exist than book portrayed –Crude methods • But it inspired a lot of research –Psychology journals required authors to calculate and report sex differences –More women participants in studies
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Effect size and sex differences • Since Maccoby & Jacklyn’s early work, researchers have developed better methods for examining conclusions across studies –Meta-analysis (statistical procedure) –Allows researchers to calculate effect size, or d statistic (how large the difference actually is) • A d of 0.50 means the average difference between the groups is half a standard deviation; A d statistic of 1.00 means the difference between the groups is one full standard deviation
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Effect size and sex differences cont. • Men can throw a ball farther than women (
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This note was uploaded on 10/17/2011 for the course PSYC 3015 taught by Professor ? during the Three '11 term at University of Sydney.

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Psyc 3015 - Sex Gender and Personality Dr Helen Paterson Phone 9036 9403 Email [email protected] Critical Thinking Questions Are women and

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