Theories of Personality (PSY 225-A01)/Chapter 11

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Now, do they differ?

Apparent differences:

  1. Physical/physiological difference (men are taller and stronger than women; genitalia/body hair)
  2. Personality: some of these physical attributes can affect our personality (male dominance?); girls talk earlier, and more verbal--males are more spacial, better in science and math better; males are more aggressive, females are better in cooperation; males more crime than women, women are better in reading and providing non-verbal cues; nurturing: females are better in nurturing; males are bigger in leadership; femininity --> increased longevity
  3. Male vulnerability: in general, increased likelihood to catch diseases/lower lifespan (deal with chromosomes? Y chromosome weighs less, more likely to fertilize an egg).

Biological Influences[edit | edit source]

Prenatal sex hormones[edit | edit source]

  • Sex is determined at conception, purely biological. If Y, male (testes at 6 weeks), if X, then female (ovaries at 12 weeks). Gender is different from sex: partly biological, partly cultural. Sex hormones AT WORK!
  • Exposing animals to androgen pre-natally leads to increased aggression and activity. Proven in humans as well.
  • Hormonal anomalies: pre-natally, the conception is exposed to androgens. If females are exposed to testosterone, she will end up having ambiguous genitalia or male genitalia. Usually surgical reconstruction would take place or a masculine female develops.
  • Genetic anomalies: sex chromosome anomalies (XXX; XXY / XYY; X0).

Hormones during/after puberty[edit | edit source]

  • Our two main sex hormones: testosterone and estrogen. Both males and females have both, the ratios are different. Correlation between testosterone and aggression/muscle mass. Menstrual cycle is in relation to fluctuating levels of estrogen. A female's mood is in relation to estrogen fluctuations is mostly not true!

Eight Perspectives[edit | edit source]

Psychoanalytic[edit | edit source]

Different traits develop due to different emotional responses

Boys[edit | edit source]

  • Oedipus complex
  • Superego

Girls[edit | edit source]

  • Penis envy
  • Dependence [on their father]; try to replace their desire for a penis, desire to have a child -->
  • Nurturance
  • Weaker superego

Neoanalytic[edit | edit source]

Erik Erikson[edit | edit source]

  • Outward vs. inward genitalia: he suggested that males have outward genitalia, relates to their outward traits (aggressive, adventurous), females have inward genitalia, relates to their inward genitalia (nurturing, more peaceful).

Karen Horney[edit | edit source]

  • Womb envy --> males acheivement orientation (somewhat of a coping mechanism for sexism towards females)
  • Role of social factors --> define women as inferior, limit their oppertunities

Carl Jung[edit | edit source]

  • Anima/animus --> relating to female traits; relating to male traits: everybody has both traits, a healthy personality has integrated both as well as other unconscious parts of personality. He did not assign value to either or, he said having both (androgyny) was the healthiest type of personality. First one credited with valuing both sexes traits.

Nancy Chodorow[edit | edit source]

  • Objects relation theory: The self is influenced by our relationship with others, both sexes identify with the mother - girls' gender identity matches with the mother. Boys break away from it and develop their male identity & identify with the father. Focuses on relationships here.

Biological/evolutionary[edit | edit source]

Adaptive survives to reproduce. What is adaptive differs between males and females. The more children I father, the more likely my genes are passed along. A male doesn't know for sure that its partners child is his (back then). For females, its more adaptive to be selective: choose a mate who can provide resources to provide for the young.

The evidence is that males engage in sex more than women. If you take blood from a post-mortem rat and inject it in a nonpost-mortem rate, that rat will exhibit post-mortem behavior (same thing with testosterone, similarity in triggering post-mortem behavior). If a monkey has been deprived of good modeling mothering behavior, she will not exhibit good mother behavior even with post-mortem hormones.

Mothers can abandon unfit offspring, deals with resources to raise a healthy offspring.

Behaviorist[edit | edit source]

Looking into reinforcements/modeling. Society models behaviors which are masculine or feminine (to each sex their own).

  • Cognitive theory: schemas (cognitive categories for all kind of things) --> gender roles. We form gender schemas. New information goes through our schema and we decide how to act.
  • The more gender typed an individual is, the more likely they are to view the world through gender lenses.
  • Ex, encourage your daughter to play with the kitchen set since thats a feminine thing to do.

Trait[edit | edit source]

  • Continuum [extroverted vs. introverted] vs. separate traits - how feminine/masculine are they/how high are they in masculinity? Some people are high on both.

Bem Sex Role inventory - though inconsistent. not strongly adapted to be androgenous

- Aggression: Males tend to be higher in this field. Can be natural or experimentally brought out. 2x likely to die from ages 15-24yrs, usually relate to a violent crime.

- Dominance: Related to taking leadership, no strong differences in adults but is seen that boys exhibit more dominant behavior than their female counterparts.

- Emotionality: Debatable whether women are more emotional than men (or express emotions); former is evident, latter is debatable. Females are found to be more sensitive and apprehensible. Boys are socially conditioned to cry less. Social culture plays a major role in this.

- Achievement: Males are thought to achieve more (50s study proves this, but the 70s proved that there really is no difference).

Humanistic[edit | edit source]

Focuses less on masculine vs. feminine and more on self-actualization (empathy, openness [f], creativity [m]) - this is rising above gender roles and falling it androgousness. Personality differences are actually status differences. Females feel inferior (less assertive), suggest that its because of "inequality of the sexes".

Interactionist[edit | edit source]

Social roles play a role in differences between males and females.

  • Females are more nurturing than males, culturally wise
  • No difference in sociability
  • Females are better in non-verbal communication
  • Tendency for females to conform in face-face interaction.

Instrumentality vs. expressiveness - task focused vs. emotional well-being of the group. Males are more instrumental while females are more expressive. Both males and females express both traits and both traits are useful.

Alice Eagly's social roles theory suggests that social behaviors are embedded in social roles. Social roles are likely to elicit certain social traits, and these usually fall among gender divides.

How satisfied are people with their status?

If we compare ourselves with members of our group [of same sex], then we are satisfied with our status.

Cross Cultural studies[edit | edit source]

  • Differences: In general, cultures find females to be more nurturing. It is true that some cultures don't believe this. We can attribute some of these differences to socialization (Industrial Revolution era). Society may be pushing social roles (comes back to Eagly's theory).

Love and Sexual behavior[edit | edit source]

Females have been more concern with love while men are more concerned with sex. These stereotypes aren't always true. Males and females are similar until puberty, boys focus more on their genitals. Boys have eternal changes while females have internal changes.

Females and males are similar in age of sexual encounter. Women may be becoming more powerful in leadership, going into sex & infidelity. When women are not concerned with getting pregnant, they become more sexually active.