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Week 7 Notes PSCH 315

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Week 7 Notes PSCH 315 PSCH 315

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These notes cover information from Week 7 - the remainder of Ch. 7 and beginning of Ch. 10
Psychology of Women and Gender
Karina Reyes
Class Notes




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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by vscobee2 on Tuesday March 1, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSCH 315 at University of Illinois at Chicago taught by Karina Reyes in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 139 views. For similar materials see Psychology of Women and Gender in Psychlogy at University of Illinois at Chicago.


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Date Created: 03/01/16
Week 7 Notes Ch. 7 From Infancy to Old Age: Development Across the Lifespan Cont.  Athletics o 1972: Title IX prohibited gender discrimination in any federally funded  educational program  Protections against discrimination  Not just athletics  Covered all levels of education  Today, discrimination isn’t allowed under any circumstances – this  includes private schools  Identity o Eric Erickson claims that adolescents focus on finding/discovering their identity  He worked with males in 1950  Claimed that men are focused on preparing to provide for their families by devoting themselves to their careers in adulthood  Said females were in a state of identity suspension until they got married,  as their identity was based on wifehood/motherhood (false!)  Androcentric  Identity development supposedly postponed until marriage o Feminists believe that females develop identity through interpersonal  relationships while boys focus on their independence o There’s actually a lot of variation in how women define their own identities  Jeffrey Arnett and Emerging Adulthood o This comes before young adulthood during the time between/after college o Emerging adulthood influenced by 4 revolutions/movements:  Technology Revolution: The transition from a manufacturing economy to  a knowledge economy  Lots of people worked manually and in factories in the 1960s, but  with technological advancements we can use tech to increase  manufacturing but use less people  Lots of people put out of manual jobs because computers can now  do them  Now you have to use your knowledge to complete jobs  The best new jobs require education beyond high school      Sexual Revolution  The introduction of birth control and contraception  The link between sexuality and marriage was broken for the first  time (marriage age increases while sexual age decreases)  It changes what the late teens and 20s are like     Women’s Movement  In the 1960s, women were focused on finding husbands because  job opportunities were limited  It changed how young women think about and plan their lives –  they’re now more focused on their careers  Today, 52% of undergrads are female     Youth Movement  Started in the 1960s­70s  Young people are now less in a hurry to join adulthood o These 4 major changes resulted in life changes in modern emerging adulthood  It used to be that people set up a stable structure of adult life by age 20  Now people have the mindset of “30 is the new 20” o Lots of older generations are unhappy about this change – they think something is wrong with emerging adults o It is not true that something is wrong with them o It takes longer to prepare for a knowledge economy than a manufacturing  economy – it is a much more complex economy o The women’s movement opened up a wide range of opportunities for women, and both genders must work on developing skills for the workplace o People are more likely to make better choices on spouses and be better parents at  a later age o The modern emerging adulthood gives young people unprecedented/unparalleled  periods of freedom that is rare and brief – no one depends on you  Adulthood o Heterosexual Marriage  92% of women marry heterosexually  The average marriage age now is 25 as opposed to 20.3 in 1950  Cohabitation has only become popular more recently  1972: Jesse Bernard’s study that marriage benefits men and hurts women  – but is this really true in modern day?  On average, marriage truly benefits both partners  Marriage quality is more influential than whether or not you’re married o Pregnancy and Childbirth st  1960s: Women had 1  child at 21 on average, but now at 24  3 trimesters  Pregnant women really aren’t that emotional  Pregnancy urges women to focus on family and its harmony  Pregnancy and childbirth medicalized in the US and Western countries  Women are often treated like clueless children th  Mid­20  century: women had little control over the birth, but that  has changed o Motherhood  Greater psychological distress  Motherhood Mandate: Societal belief that women’s purpose/goal should  be to be mothers  90% of married US women have at least one child  Psychologists traditionally blamed moms for children’s problems  Intensive Mothering: Societal pressure to be an exceptional mom  Mother Wars: Society pits stay­at­home moms against working moms  Most women are satisfied by motherhood  Some women are voluntarily childless/child­free o Divorce  50% divorce rate, but remarriage rate is at 70­75% for women  Ethnic variations in these rates  Mixed results for which gender suffers more psychologically from divorce  Post­divorce = women have greater financial stress and men have less o Single Women  21% of US women are single and never married (increase from 1960)  Greater freedom, self­sufficiency, and competence  25% regret not having kids  Society favors couples  There is possibility for loneliness  Middle Age o Empty Nest Syndrome: Depression when kids leave home  Not really true – women are happy and successful  The women’s movement opened more jobs and opportunities for them o Some argue that this is the prime of their life o Mothers and Daughters  Relationship popularly seen as critical (especially in psychoanalytic theory and social learning theory)  They generally contribute positively to each other’s psychological well­ being overall  Old Age o Double Standard of Aging: Society believes men’s status increases with age  women’s decreases  In media, older men are often coupled with much younger women  (example of James Bond) o Physical Health  Women live longer but have more chronic illnesses  The female­deficit explanation is that women are just more  neurotic and whiny  Another explanation is that men don’t report their illnesses as  much  There are larger gender ratios over time – women are more likely to be  widowed o Grandmotherhood  Study showed the following traits of grandmotherhood:  Centrality: Being a grandmother is a central part of her identity  Valued Elder: She passes on traditions and wisdom  Immortality through clan: She lives on through descendants Reinvolvement with personal past: Relive earlier life  Indulgence: She spoils grandkids  Grandmother role varies ethnically  Some raise their grandkids – rewarding but stressful o Retirement  Lots of androcentric research  Women more likely to retire because spouse does or spouse gets sick  Professional women and self­employed women will retire later  Women dissatisfied with Social Security checks (less money than men)   Social Security based on income – wage gap Ch. 10 Biological Influences on Women’s Behavior  Chapter about biological gender differences – not about gender identity o Do our biological differences contribute to psychological differences?  Epigenetics: Field looking at how genes express themselves o Which of our parents’ genes express themselves (show up) in us and when? o Not everything in our inherited DNA will show up in us  Basic Physiological Processes o Males and females differ in a few basic physiological processes  Metabolism  After puberty, boys get more muscle mass which uses up energy  (fat)  Muscle mass metabolizes faster than fat, and they end up with less  body fat than females  Drug Absorption  Males have 2 times the level of the protein that’s involved in  transporting drugs out of cells  So drugs have quicker effects on males  Do these affect behavior?  Not really  Only exception is that women are more sensitive to pain  Other Biological Factors: Hormones – especially sex hormones o Very powerful chemicals o Produced by endocrine glands     Endocrine glands: Gonads (ovaries and testes), pituitary glands, and  thyroids  They secrete hormones into bloodstream o Androgens produced by testes and estrogen/progesterone by ovaries o Both sexes have androgens and estrogen/progesterone, but males have more  androgens and women have more estrogen/progesterone o Hormones can affect the body before birth (prenatal)  Hormone changes in pregnant mom can affect fetus o Hormones affect the body during/after puberty (adulthood)  *Know the 2 times hormones affect the body for exam*      Organizing Effects: Cause permanent effects on some system of body prenatally      Activating Effects: When hormones affect body during puberty/adulthood – turn  on certain behaviors and turn off others Prenatal Sex Hormone Effects (Organizing Effects) o Prenatal sex hormones affect 2 behaviors: sex behavior and aggressive behavior o Sex Behavior:   Guinea pig research  Pregnant guinea pigs were given high doses of testosterone  Girl babies couldn’t perform correct sexual behavior (couldn’t arch their  bodies) – couldn’t reproduce  Girls had masculinized genitals  Hormones changed the reproductive system  Girls exposed to high levels of prenatal testosterone could be born with  double genitals  Boy babies were chemically castrated  Boys demonstrated female sexual behavior (couldn’t mount) so they  couldn’t reproduce  Genitals organized in female direction o Aggressive Behavior:  Early testosterone exposure led to increased fighting behavior later in life o We can only do animal experiments, but we can look at accidental human cases     Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia: A rare genetic condition that causes fetal adrenal glands to produce abnormally large amounts of testosterone More masculinized reproductive system o Prenatal effects last through post­natal Hormone Effects in Adulthood o Sex hormones in women fluctuate over the menstrual cycle  They have to fluctuate in order to complete the cycle  Causes fluctuations in mood and other psychological characteristics o Women have a lot less testosterone than males, and vice versa with estrogen o Testosterone and Sex Drive  Castrated men on average have decreased sexual drives (deactivating  effect)  Testosterone has an activating effect in maintaining sexual desire in men  It’s considered an activating effect and not an organizing effect because  sexual behavior is not happening prenatally   When you remove androgens and ovaries from women, they have  decreased sexual desire (deactivating effect)  We can look at people who go through sex reassignment o Behavior and experience can influence hormone production/secretion The Brain o Some research shows that men’s brains are larger in volume and weight – people  interpret this as men are smarter o Most scientists agree that it’s larger because men’s bodies are larger o Females criticize that some researchers didn’t directly measure brain size o Overall, the evidence is inconclusive


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