438 Gender Identity and Gender Roles

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       438      Chapter 11 Gender and Sexuality

                CONCEPT CHART 11.1
                Gender Identity and Gender Roles
         Concept                  Description                                 Additional Comments

         Gender identity          The psychological sense of being            The determinants of gender identity remain under study, but both biological
                                  male or female                              influences (prenatal shaping of the brain along gender-specific lines) and en-
                                                                              vironmental influences (being raised as a boy or girl) may be involved.

         Gender roles             Cultural expectations of the                Theoretical views on the acquisition of gender roles include social-cognitive
                                  behaviors and social roles deemed           theory (observational learning and reinforcement), gender-schema theory
                                  appropriate for men and women               (gender schemas as ways of organizing behavior and as frameworks for self-
                                                                              evaluation), evolutionary theory (gender roles representing genetic predispo-
                                                                              sitions), and sociocultural theory (gender roles as cultural adaptations).

            Concept 11.10                                  traits you’re likely to possess. But must we assume that masculinity and femi-
       According to psychologist Sandra Bem,               ninity represent mutually exclusive categories? Why couldn’t you have mascu-
       people can be psychologically androgy-              line traits such as independence and assertiveness and feminine traits such as
       nous in the sense of possessing high                nurturance and empathy? Psychologist Sandra Bem believes you could (Bem,
       levels of both masculine and feminine               1993). Using a gender-role inventory she developed that includes separate mea-
       traits.                                             sures of masculinity and femininity, she found that men and women could be
                                                           either high or low in either masculine traits or feminine traits. Some people pos-
                                                           sessed high levels of both masculine and feminine traits and were classified in
                                                           terms of their gender-role identification as psychologically androgynous (see
                                                           Figure 11.1). Others who were low on both dimensions were classified as “un-
                                                           differentiated.” The androgynous person may have the best of both worlds—able
                                                           to draw upon “masculine” assertiveness or independence in business dealings and
                                                           upon “feminine” nurturance and sensitivity when interacting with a child or baby
                                                                Evidence shows that men and women prefer androgynous partners as dates
                                                           and as mates (Green & Kenrick, 1994). Basically, they prefer partners who are
                                                           both expressive (a feminine trait) and instrumental (capable of acting effectively in
                                                           the world, a masculine trait).
                                                                Before going further, you may wish to review Concept Chart 11.1, which pro-
                                                           vides an overview of gender identity and gender roles.



                                                                      Masculine         Feminine      Undifferentiated   Psychologically
        androgynous A term used to describe                                                                               androgynous
        people who possess high levels of both                     Figure 11.1 Gender-Role Identification
        masculine and feminine traits.                             How would you classify yourself in terms of gender-role
        dyslexia A learning disorder character-                    identification—as masculine, feminine, undifferentiated, or
        ized by impaired ability to read.                          psychologically androgynous?

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