The Gender specification
PSYA3: Gender: Social Influences
Complete the mind map to help you remember how social factors can shape our gender.
2
Bell activity:
Discuss on you tables:
What can you remember about Social
learning theory?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K...
Starter
Can you think of any specific TV
programmes you watched as a child
that may have influenced you to act
more femini...
Social cognitive theory
Bandura renamed Social learning theory to social cognitive theory to emphasise the role of
cogniti...
Research to support social cognitive
theory: modelling
Bandura‟s initial source of evidence for both
learning and modellin...
Social cognitive theory
1) Indirect reinforcement
Children observe the behaviour of others and
learn consequences of the b...
Social cognitive theory
2) Direct reinforcement
Although boys and girls may learn the
characteristic behaviours of both
se...
Social cognitive theory
3) Direct tuition
Children learn through vicarious
reinforcement (indirect) but also
through expli...
Sources of social influence
Smith and Lloyd (1978) observed Mothers
playing with their infant who was either
presented wit...
Sources of social influence
Peers also provide feedback when a friend steps outside what is accepted as
„appropriate‟ beha...
Sources of social influence
How are males usually
portrayed in the media?
Independent
Strong
Pursuing engaging occupations...
Notel, Unitel and Multitel
Williams (1985) was offered the unique opportunity to study a Canadian community surrounded
by ...
Social Influences on Gender
• In groups you are going to look at either:
• Peers
• Parents
• Media
You need a short paragr...
PSYA3: Gender: Social Influences: Evaluation
Critical Commentary
Imagine you are given the question:
‘Discuss social influ...
Social Influences on Gender
• In your groups – type up one A4 sheet on the
social influence on gender that you are
researc...
Research into social cognitive theory
Research has found that tuition may be more
effective than modelling:
Martin et al (...
Evaluation:
Gender differences:
There appears to be gender differences in the
way Mothers and Fathers regard
reinforcement...
Evaluation:
Evaluation of peer influences
Some argue that peers are unlikely to
be important in early childhood when
impor...
Evaluation:
It has been suggested that media
effects may be insignificant
Various pieces of research have
found evidence t...
IDA links
The biological approach
Bandura did not deny the
role of biological factors in
social learning theory.
In terms ...
The main IDA links you could refer to
when evaluating social influences on gender
role:
Approaches
Cultural bias
Activity:...
Plenary/ homework
Complete the essay
planning sheet for the
following essay: Outline
and evaluate social
influences on gen...
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Gender: Social influences on gender role A2

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Gender: Social influences on gender role A2

  1. 1. The Gender specification
  2. 2. PSYA3: Gender: Social Influences Complete the mind map to help you remember how social factors can shape our gender. 2
  3. 3. Bell activity: Discuss on you tables: What can you remember about Social learning theory? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KHi2dxSf9hw Children see children do video clip
  4. 4. Starter Can you think of any specific TV programmes you watched as a child that may have influenced you to act more feminine or masculine? Maybe a particular character was influential? One of my favourite films was the little Mermaid… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvP5-XOvWvE
  5. 5. Social cognitive theory Bandura renamed Social learning theory to social cognitive theory to emphasise the role of cognitive factors in learning. In this situation, the source of information is social (E.G: parents, peers and TV) and what is learnt is a cognition- something stored in the mind. Bandura (1991) suggested that gender role development is the result of learning from social agents who model and reinforce gender role behaviours He suggests we learn in 3 different ways: 1) Indirect reinforcement 2) Direct reinforcement 3) Direct tuition
  6. 6. Research to support social cognitive theory: modelling Bandura‟s initial source of evidence for both learning and modelling was from his Bobo doll studies Question: What can you remember about Bandura‟s research? Discuss in pairs. These effects have also been demonstrated for gender. For example, the study by Perry and Bussey demonstrated the effect of modelling on gender development. However, the children only modelled the same sex behaviour as long as the behaviour was not counter to gender stereotypes. E.G: a man wearing a dress) The effects of modelling are limited by existing stereotypes.
  7. 7. Social cognitive theory 1) Indirect reinforcement Children observe the behaviour of others and learn consequences of the behaviour (vicarious reinforcement). Learning such behaviours result in imitation and modelling. Question: Can you think of an example linked to learning gender appropriate behaviours?
  8. 8. Social cognitive theory 2) Direct reinforcement Although boys and girls may learn the characteristic behaviours of both sexes, they do not perform everything they learn. For example, boys may learn a great deal about home making through repeated observation of their mothers but will not adopt such activities as they would not be rewarded for it. Question: Can you think of any further examples?
  9. 9. Social cognitive theory 3) Direct tuition Children learn through vicarious reinforcement (indirect) but also through explicit (direct) instructions about appropriate gender behaviour. Direct tuition begins as children acquire linguistic skills and serves as a convenient way of informing children about appropriate and inappropriate styles of conduct. Question: Can you remember specific gender appropriate behaviours you were taught from a young age by your parents?
  10. 10. Sources of social influence Smith and Lloyd (1978) observed Mothers playing with their infant who was either presented with a boy (in terms of name and clothing) or as a girl. The Mothers selected gender appropriate toys and also responded more actively when a boy showed increased motor activity. The influence of parents There is considerable evidence for differential reinforcement from parents. They are seen to reinforce gender-appropriate behaviours.
  11. 11. Sources of social influence Peers also provide feedback when a friend steps outside what is accepted as „appropriate‟ behaviour for that gender, reinforcing each other for gender appropriate activities as well as punishing behaviours which are seen to be inappropriate for their gender (Lamb et al, 1980) This may involve direct tuition E.G: “Don‟t be a sissy”. The influence of the Peers As a child‟s social world expands outside the home, peer groups become another source of gender development. Peers are important because they offer a model of gender-appropriate behaviours. Perry and Bussey (1979) showed film clips to children aged 8-9. In the film boys and girls were seen as either selecting an apple or a pear (both gender neutral items). Later the children were given the choice of fruit. Boys selected the fruit they had seen another boy selecting and the same happened with the girls.
  12. 12. Sources of social influence How are males usually portrayed in the media? Independent Strong Pursuing engaging occupations Engaging in sporty activities The influence of Media Men are more likely to be seen as exercising control over events, where as women are likely to be shown to be more at the mercy of others (Hodges et al, 1981) Those who have a higher exposure to these differential gender representations tend to display more stereotypic gender role conceptions than do light viewers (McGhee and Frueh, 1980). How are females usually portrayed in the media? Dependent Emotional Unambitious The media also gives information about the likely outcomes of behaviours of males and females. Seeing people similar to oneself succeed raises a persons belief in their own capabilities (self efficacy), where as the failure of similar others produces self-doubt about one‟s own ability to master similar activities.
  13. 13. Notel, Unitel and Multitel Williams (1985) was offered the unique opportunity to study a Canadian community surrounded by mountains that had not previously received a TV signal. The community was named Notel for the purpose of the study. It was compared to 2 other towns Unitel which only had access to 1 Canadian channel and Multitel which had access to a number of American channels. Method: Williams assessed the behaviour and attitudes of children in these towns in various ways, including, questionnaires about their gender stereotypes (E.G: asking what characteristics were more typical of boys and girls). Findings: Children in Notel and Unitel had weaker sex- typed views than the children in Multitel. This was especially true for girls. The children were re-assessed 2 years after the introduction of TV in Notel and it found that their views had become significantly more sex-typed. Question: How can we evaluate this piece of research? Don‟t forget, usually it would be really difficult to research into media influences as many children now have access to some form of TV.
  14. 14. Social Influences on Gender • In groups you are going to look at either: • Peers • Parents • Media You need a short paragraph of A01 on each of these. Explain- what do they have to do with gender roles? 14
  15. 15. PSYA3: Gender: Social Influences: Evaluation Critical Commentary Imagine you are given the question: ‘Discuss social influences on gender” complete a critical commentary of the social approach to gender. Use the suggestions below to prompt you. You MUST include the following: - Positive A02 points of the social approach. - Negative A02 points of the social approach. You SHOULD include the following: - Studies which refute the social approach, using them for evaluation. - Studies which support the social approach, using them for evaluation. You COULD include the following: -A03 evaluation of studies – evaluating methodology. - A full range of detailed synoptic evaluation points, from a variety of debates, issues and approaches. 15
  16. 16. Social Influences on Gender • In your groups – type up one A4 sheet on the social influence on gender that you are researching. This will then be distributed to the rest of the group. 16
  17. 17. Research into social cognitive theory Research has found that tuition may be more effective than modelling: Martin et al (1995) found that pre-school boys played with toys labelled „boys toys‟ (a kind of „direct tuition‟ because they were told they were boys toys) they did this even when they saw girls playing with them. However, they didn‟t play with toys labelled „girls toys‟ even when they saw boys playing with them. This suggests that direct instruction is more important than modelling in pre-school children. However, „instructors‟ (such as parents and teachers) do not always practice what they preach. The impact of tuition is weakened when what is being taught is contradicted by what is being modelled. How can we evaluate this piece of research?
  18. 18. Evaluation: Gender differences: There appears to be gender differences in the way Mothers and Fathers regard reinforcement. Langlois and Down’s (1980) found that Fathers were more openly disapproving of their sons inappropriate gender behaviour (E.G playing with a doll). Mothers usually reinforced gender-appropriate play in sons and daughters and didn‟t punish gender inappropriate play. They also found a similar pattern of reinforcement in peer reinforcement. Boys tended the act negatively towards gender inappropriate behaviours where as girls were more tolerant. Q: Why do you think this is the case? It has been suggested that such behaviours may be due to the fact that female behaviour has a lower value. Q: Is a female engaging in a male behaviour more desirable?
  19. 19. Evaluation: Evaluation of peer influences Some argue that peers are unlikely to be important in early childhood when important aspects of gender development are taking place. Later on in childhood it is likely that peer behaviour does not create gender role stereotypes, but existing ones are reinforced. Lamb and Roopnarine (1979) observed pre-school children at play and found that when male-type behaviour was reinforced in girls, the behaviour continued for a shorter time than when male behaviours were reinforced in boys. Does peer reinforcement just act as a reminder?
  20. 20. Evaluation: It has been suggested that media effects may be insignificant Various pieces of research have found evidence to suggest that media does not have an effect. For example, Signorelli and Bacue (1999) examined over 30 years of Tv programming and found very little change in gender stereotypes.
  21. 21. IDA links The biological approach Bandura did not deny the role of biological factors in social learning theory. In terms of gender he recognised that there was a starting point for social learning as children know what sex they are. Therefore you could argue Bandura takes a holistic approach as he considers biology as a contributing factor.
  22. 22. The main IDA links you could refer to when evaluating social influences on gender role: Approaches Cultural bias Activity: Write a short paragraph to explain how you can apply each IDA link as evaluation of social influences on gender role To evaluate research into social influences on gender role
  23. 23. Plenary/ homework Complete the essay planning sheet for the following essay: Outline and evaluate social influences on gender role (24 marks).

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