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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?