Does culture construct gender roles? Or do gender roles merely reflect men’s and women’s natural behavior tendencies?
GENES, CULTURE, and GENDER
Understand how nature (genes) influences our behavior
Understand how nurture (experiences) influences our behavior
Understand the role culture plays on our behavior
Discuss how gender develops
Articulate how nature and nurture interact in our lives
Behavior Genetics (NATURE)
Do genes make us different?
Sure, but they also make us the same.
Our DNA are 99.9 % the same – we are all family!
Environment can “turn on” genes making them active (expressed)
Identical twins reared separately are remarkably alike
People who grow up together, biologically related or not, don’t resemble one another in personality too much
These findings favor nature over nurture.
Discussion: Are we constrained by our genes?
What role does parenting/teaching/coaching now play if we are mainly determined by our genes?
Our predisposed genes react to the environment – environments trigger gene activity
People with identical genes but differing experiences have similar, but not identical minds
Genes have the potential to influence development, but environmental triggers can switch them on or off (epigenetics)
Nature via nurture
NURTURE’S INFLUENCE ON Development
Culture – enduring behaviors, attitudes, values, and traditions shared by a group of people and transmitted from one generation to the next
Norms vary across cultures
Cultures evolve over time
Norms – rules for accepted and expected behavior
Individualism and Collectivism – Review
Individualism – giving priority to one’s own goals over group goals and defining one’s identity in terms of personal attributes rather than group identifications
Collectivism – giving priority to the goals of one’s group (often one’s extended family or work group) and defining one’s identity accordingly
|Self||Independent (identity from individual traits)||Interdependent (identity from belonging)|
|Life task||Discover and express one’s uniqueness||Maintain connections, fit in, perform role|
|What matters||Me—personal achievement and fulfillment; rights and liberties; self-esteem||Us—group goals and solidarity; social responsibilities and relationships; family duty|
|Coping method||Change reality||Accommodate to reality (conformity)|
|Morality||Defined by individuals (self-based)||Define by social networks (duty-based)|
|Relationships||Many, often temporary or casual; confrontation acceptable||Few, close and enduring; harmony valued|
|Attributing behavior||Behavior reflects one’s personality and attitudes||Behavior reflects social norms and roles|
Notes on Individualism and Collectivism
Each country’s “individualism” or “collectivism” will differ from another country’s “individualism” or “collectivism”
There is diversity within cultures
People in individualistic countries may have collectivist values or groups
Collectivism doesn’t mean connectedness/social harmony with all people—only to our ingroup; it emphasizes harmony within the groups with which one is attached to (family, company, etc.)
One is not better than the other. Both have strengths and weaknesses.
The Nature of Gender: Our Biology
Gender differences can often be explained by our differing sex chromosomes and differing concentrations of sex hormones
The Y chromosome
Direct vs indirect effect of sex hormones
The Nurture of Gender: Our Culture
What are some gender roles in our culture?
Does culture construct these gender roles? Or do gender roles merely reflect men’s and women’s natural behavior tendencies?
Social learning theory
How have you seen gender roles change in your lifetime?
What will happen to gender differences as role assignments become more equal?
What does this mean for us?
Social learning theory – we learn social behavior and gender identity by observing and imitating and by being rewarded or punished
Chapter 5 Audio Lecture Part 1
Chapter 5 Audio Lecture Part 2