Some Definitions• Sex—the biological category of male or female;sexual intercourse• Gender—cultural, social, and psychologicalmeanings associated with masculinity orfemininity• Gender roles—behaviors, attitudes, andpersonality traits designated either masculine orfeminine in a given culture• Gender identity—A person’s psychological senseof being male or female• Sexual orientation—direction of a personsemotional and erotic attractions
Gender Related Differences• Differences do not mean deficiencies• Overall: men and women more similar thandifferent• Three main areas of gender differences– Personality– Cognitive abilities– Sexual attitudes and behaviors
Personality Differences• No significant differences betweenmen and women have been found onmost characteristics• Women tend to be more nurturantthan men• Men tend to be more assertive thanwomen
Cognitive Differences• No differences for most cognitive abilities• Verbal, reading, and writing—femalesconsistently score higher• Spatial skills—males outscore females onmentally rotating objects, females score betteron remembering locations of objects• Math Skills—males score slightly better thanfemales but the average difference very small(Georgiou, 2007)
Sexual Attitudes and Behaviors• Reported differences between malesand females in these areas havebecome less pronounced since the1960s• Recent meta-analyses indicate thatmen tend to have more sexual partners,experience first intercourse at an earlierage, and masturbate more frequentlythan women.
Gender Role Development• Between ages 2-3 years, children can identifythemselves and other children as boys or girls.The concept of gender or sex, however, is basedmore on outward characteristics such as clothing• Toddler girls tend to play more with dolls and askfor help more than boys• Toddler boys tend to play more with trucks andwagons, and tend to play more actively• After age 3 years we see consistent genderdifferences in preferred toys and activities
Social Learning TheoryGender roles are acquired through the basicprocesses of learning, includingreinforcement, punishment, and modeling
Some Definitions• Gender schema theory—the theory that gender-roledevelopment is influenced by the formation of schemas,or mental representations, of masculinity and femininity• Intersexed—condition in which a person’s biological sexis ambiguous, often combining aspects of both maleand female anatomy and/or physiology.• Transgendered—condition in which a person’spsychological gender identity conflicts with his or herbiological sex.• Transsexual—a transgendered person who undergoessurgery and hormone treatments to physically transformhis or her body into the opposite sex.
Gender Schema TheoryAn example of how a child forms a schema associated withgender. A girl is offered a choice of 4 toys to play with.I am a girlToy carDollOrangeArtichokeApproachobjectWhofor?Is it relevantto me?Avoid/ForgetAssign tocategory andremember/ApproachNotfor meFor meBoysGirls
Gender Identity Disorder•Persistent discomfort about one’sphysical gender along with the desireto be a member of the opposite sex•Previously termed “transsexualism”•May undergo hormone treatment orsex-reassignment surgery
Human SexualitySexuality both private and public.The human sexual response cyclewas first mapped by sex researchpioneers William Masters andVirginia Johnson during the 1950’sand 1960’s.
Human Sexual Response• Stage 1: Excitement—beginning of sexualarousal• Stage 2: Plateau—increased physicalarousal• Stage 3: Orgasm—male ejaculates, femalevaginal contractions• Stage 4: Resolution—arousal subsides
What Motivates Sexual Behavior• Necessary for the survival of thespecies but not of the individual• Lower animals motivated byhormonal changes in the female• Higher species less influenced byhormones and more by learning andenvironmental influences
Sexual Orientation• Sexual orientation—direction of a personsemotional and erotic attractions• Heterosexual—sexual attraction for the oppositesex• Homosexual—sexual attraction for the same sex• Gay—typically used to describe malehomosexuals• Lesbian—typically used to describe femalehomosexuals• Bisexual—sexual attraction for both sexes
Determination of SexualOrientation• Genetics—role suggested by twinand family studies• Brain structure—differences found inhypothalamus of homosexual andheterosexual men• Complex issue with no clear answers
Some General Findings• Sexual orientation is an early-emerging, ingrainedaspect of the self that probably does not change• No consistent relationship between orientation andchildhood experiences (e.g., parenting, abuse,sexual experience)• Controversial findings suggest a possiblerelationship among prenatal stress, androgens, andthe development of brain systems that play a role insexual attraction
Sexuality in Adulthood• Majority of adults (80%) report having none or one sexualpartner in the past year (marriage factor)• Majority of men ages 18-59 have sex about seven timesper month• Majority of women ages 18-59 have sex about six timesper month• Vaginal intercourse is nearly universal as the most widelypracticed sexual activity among heterosexual couples• 50 percent of older Americans reported sexual activity atleast once per month.
Sexual Disorders and Problems• Sexual dysfunction—consistent disturbance insexual desire, arousal, or orgasm that causespsychological distress and interpersonaldifficulties• 43% of women and 31% of men report sexualproblems• Low desire and arousal problems commonamong women• Premature ejaculation and erectile problemscommon among men
Categories of Sexual Dysfunctions• Hypoactive sexual desire disorder—characterized by little or no sexual desire• Sexual aversion disorder—characterized byactive avoidance of genital sexual contactbecause of extreme anxiety, fear, or disgust• Dysparenia—characterized by genital painbefore, during, or after intercourse• Male orgasmic disorder—in males, delayedorgasm during intercourse or the inability toachieve orgasm during intercourse
Categories of Sexual Dysfunctions• Premature ejaculation—in males, characterizedby orgasm occurring before it is desired, oftenimmediately or shortly after sexual stimulation orpenetration• Female orgasmic disorder—in females,characterized by consistent delays in achievingorgasm or the inability to achieve orgasm• Vaginismus—characterized by persistent,involuntary contractions or spasms of the vaginalmuscles, which result in uncomfortable or painfulintercourse
ParapheliaAny of several forms of nontraditional sexualbehavior where sexual gratification depends onan unusual experience, object, or fantasy– Exhibitionism—arousal from exposing one’sgenitals to strangers– Fetishism—arousal in response to inanimateobjects (shoes, leather)– Frotteurism—arousal from touching or rubbingagainst a non-consenting person, such as in abus or subway
Sexually Transmitted Diseases(STD)• STD—any of several infectious diseasestransmitted through sexual intercourse or othersexual contact• Of the 19 million cases of STDs diagnosedannually in the US, about half are among thoseaged 15 to 24• Many STDs have mild or no symptoms, yet leftuntreated can cause serious health problems
AIDS Epidemic• Acquired immune deficiency syndrome—caused byexchange of bodily fluids (blood, blood products, semen)containing the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), whichattacks and weakens the immune system• HIV can stay in the body for many years without apparentsymptoms• As the HIV attacks the immune system, the personbecomes very susceptible to other opportunistic diseases(pneumonia, cancers)• Highest risk groups are gay men, IV drug users sharingneedles, and people with multiple sex partners
Prevention and Treatment• There is currently no cure for AIDS, but it can betreated with complex “drug cocktails,” whichimprove quality and duration of life, but havemany side effects and are extremely expensive• Prevention is possible using condoms, notengaging in other high risk behaviors such assharing needles, and improved blood screeningand infection control in health care settings.
ABCs of Preventing STDsA=AbstinenceB=Be faithfulC=Condoms