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Chapter Seven From Infancy to Old Age_ Development Across the

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					        Chapter Seven From Infancy to Old Age: Development Across the Lifespan

Infancy
Infant Gender Differences
        Similarities are the rule for most behaviors
        However, boys are more active (d=.29)
        Temperament
               Girls score higher on inhibitory control (d=-.41)
               Girls score higher on perceptual sensitivity (d=-.38)
               No gender differences in negative affect or mood

Adults’ Treatment of Infants
       Parents generally treat boys and girls similarly
       Mothers’ expectations of infant crawling abilities


Baby X Study
      Gender is a crucial part of information when we form impressions of others, and we
      make up a gender when we don’t know for sure

Gender Learning
       Habituation paradigm
       Babies can distinguish male and female faces
Childhood
Gender Learning
       Gender identity (2 y)
       Labeling boys and girls (3 y)
       Associate attributions and occupations with gender
       Preschoolers are gender essentialists
       Kohlberg’s cognitive-developmental model

       Gender self-socialization model
             Gender identity, stereotypes, and self-perceptions influence each other via
             stereotype emulation and identity construction
       Gender discrimination

Childhood Gender Differences
       Several reliable gender differences
              Toy and game preference
              Aggressive behavior

Socialization: the process by which society conveys to the individual its expectations for his
or her behavior, values, and beliefs
        Parents are a major source of gender socialization
                Channeling or shaping
                Differential treatment
                Direct instruction
                Modeling


       Parents
                Talk differently with daughters vs. sons, though much of gender teaching in
                parents’ talk is subtle, implicit
                Play differently with daughters vs. sons
                Have different expectations for boys and girls (if they have traditional gender-
                role attitudes)
                Gender socialization practices vary across different ethnic groups in the US
                Childhood

         As children grow older, schools, the media, and peers become increasingly important
         sources of gender socialization

         Schools often transmit stereotypes
                Teachers pay more attention to boys
                Teachers praise girls for decorous conduct and boys for good academic
                performance
                When teachers receive gender-equity training, they respond with more
                equitable teaching
                Gender salience in the classroom

         The media
               Toy commercials: usually gender-specific
               Picture books: feminine traits in female characters
               Video games: patterns of extreme gender stereotyping, including violence
               against women, played more by boys

         Effects on children’s gender-role attitudes

Peers and the Gender Segregation Effect
       Eleanor Maccoby (1998)
               Gendered patterns of behavior are not solely the result of socialization by
               forces such as parents and the media
                       Children seek out same-gender peer groups, which differ in terms of
                       activities
                                Boys: rough play, risk, dominance
                                Girls: self-disclosure, reduce conflict
               Much of childhood gender segregation results from biological or
               psychological forces within the child
               Few gender differences when children play alone

School
         Girls make adjustment to school better than boys
         Girls are more likely to do their homework, earn better grades, have more positive
         interactions with teachers

Sexualization of Girls
       Sexualization: when a person is valued only for sex appeal, is sexually objectified, or
       when sexuality is inappropriately imposed on a person
               APA Task Force Report
               Exposure to Barbie lowers body esteem in 5- to 8-year-old girls
               Objectifying gazes lead to decrements in math performance among women
Tomboys
     Two-thirds of girls were tomboys in childhood
     Starts around age 5, ends around age 12, at the dawn of adolescence

Adolescence
Gender Intensification: increased pressures for gender-role conformity beginning in early
adolescence
       Not as strong as it used to be, or just more subtle

Friendship and Dating
       Same-gender friendships as in adulthood
       But friendship networks become less gender-segregated
       Dating relationships serve a developmental function: learn about self, sexuality
       Heterosexual, gendered scripts, involving power differentials between boy and girl
               Girls valued for appearance, boys for athletics

Sexual Harassment
       AAUW national survey
             79% of boys and 83% of girls experienced peer sexual harassment
             Includes sexual touching, forced kissing, spreading sexual rumors
             Girls are more likely than boys to feel self-conscious, embarrassed, less
             confident, and change behavior

Weight Worries
      Adolescent girls have more negative body esteem than adolescent boys, d = -.58
      Normative discontent
      The role of the media
              Media exposure leads to increased weight concerns
      Ethnic group differences
              White, Latina, and Asian American women
      Fat talk

Transgressions: Athletics and Anger
       Title IX
               One-third of high school athletes in US are girls
               Adolescent team sports participation predicts greater self-esteem in later years
       Lyn Mikel Brown (1998)
               Some adolescent girls actively resist against traditional gender roles

The Search for Identity and a Future
      Erik Erikson (1950)
              Primary adolescent developmental crisis is quest for identity
              Androcentric theory: focus was on males; girls in a state of “identity
              suspension”
      Females define selves in interpersonal terms, developing interpersonal and
      autonomous identities, whereas boys mainly develop an autonomous identity
      Adolescent girls vary considerably among themselves in what components they
      believe will shape their identities
Emerging Adulthood: a suspended state of not being a teenager but not yet being an adult,
extending through early 20s
Women and Work: see chapter 9

Heterosexual Marriage
       86% of American women marry by age 40
       Average age of first marriage: 25 y
       Emerging Adulthood
       Jesse Bernard
              His and Hers marriage
       Marriage is better for men than for women, but good for both
       Quality of marriage is most important

Pregnancy and Childbirth
      First birth at 24 y
      First Trimester
              Morning sickness
              Heightened well-being or emotional turmoil?
      Second Trimester
              Feel fetal movement
      Third Trimester
              Uterus puts pressure on lungs and stomach

       Physical and psychological changes of pregnancy are strongly influenced by
       contextual factors of woman’s life
       Feminist analysis:
              Medicalization of pregnancy and childbirth
              Childbirth options

Motherhood
      Parenthood associated with psychological distress
      Motherhood mandate: the cultural belief that all women should have children, that is,
      be mothers
      Mother Wars
              Most women gain satisfaction from motherhood, but the degree of satisfaction
              depends on contextual factors
      Intensive mothering and impossible ideals
      Voluntary childlessness (or child-free) in women
              Higher in autonomy and achievement orientation
      Psychology’s history of mother-blaming

Divorce
       40-50% of all marriages end in divorce
              Ethnic group differences
       70-75% of divorced women remarry
       Research on psychological effects of divorce is mixed
       Research on economic effects of divorce
              Divorced women and their children are new underclass
              Divorced men experience a 42% increase in standard of living, whereas
              women experience a 73% decrease
       Role strain and role overload
       Divorce is harder on Black women
               Less likely to get child support, more likely to live in poverty

Single Women
       21% of American women are single, never married
             Ethnic group differences
       Advantages of being single:
             Freedom
             Sense of self-sufficiency and competence
       Women who are satisfied with long-term single status
             Satisfying employment that provides economic independence
             Connections to next generation
             Strong social support network

Empty Nest or Prime of Life?
      Empty nest syndrome: depression that middle-aged people supposedly feel when their
      children are grown and have left home, leaving an empty nest
      Lillian B. Rubin (1979)
              Although some women are momentarily sad, lonely, or frightened, they
              weren’t depressed
              Predominant feeling is relief
      Prime of Life
              70% of 60-65 year old women describe current lives as better than when they
              were younger

Body Worries, Again
      Investment in appearance, body dissatisfaction, and television exposure all predict
      actual consideration of cosmetic surgery

Middle Age
Grandmotherhood
       Ethnic group differences in grandmother role
       Grandmother effect
Retirement
       Most studies based on all-male samples
       Women are more likely to retire because of spouse’s retirement
       Income concerns
       Old Age
Old Age
Double standard of aging: cultural norms by which men’s status increases with age but
women’s decreases
Physical Health
       Although women live longer than men, they have more chronic illnesses
       Or do they just report them more?
       Many elderly women live alone
              Ethnic group differences: living with extended family
Widowhood
       Women are more likely to be widowed than men are
       Opportunities for remarriage are limited because of lopsided gender ratio
In Conclusion
Infancy
       gender similarities mostly, though girls show higher inhibitory control & perceptual
       sensitivity
Childhood
       Gender differences in toy & game preferences, gender-segregated play
Adolescence
       Interpersonal and autonomous identity development

Emerging Adulthood
      Good marriage benefits women’s mental and physical health
      Medicalization of pregnancy and childbirth

Middle Age
      Most women fare well during “empty nest”

Old Age
      – Grandmother role is important and meaningful for many women

				
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posted:4/28/2013
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