How does this work? Biological predispositions lead to different social reactions which shape individuals. E. G. Male babies more irritable, which may lead to caregivers treating them less warmly, which might be expressed as traits like independence/aggressive Innate differences dictate how society is organized, which in turn create expectancies about what males and females are like. For example, Men occupy roles of power and women tends to occupy submissive roles within in our society (e. G. Doctor- nurse/ manager-secretary) which leads us to expect men to be more powerful and women to be submissive.
Physical preferences (size, strength) dictate the sorts of activities and roles given to males and females in society (e. G. Males go to war) which in turn creates gender roles we teach our children. Sex role oscillation- read Con and summaries here EVIDENCE FOR: Wood and Eagle (2002)- hormones (page 83 Lips) Competition: The bifocals theory might explain men’s attraction to and engagement with competitive roles by noting both the social expectation that men will be competitive and the tendency for men’s testosterone levels to rise when they are expected to be in competitive situations.
Endurance: The hero might explain women attraction to and involvement in the mothering role by noting both the cultural pressures toward motherhood for women and the hormonal changes that accompany child birth and seem to stimulate nurturing behavior. ] Wood & Eagle 2002-Allocation of sex roles based on biological attributes (Lips pop) Bifocals theory predicts that there would be most consistency in gender roles across societies in which such roles are not clearly tied to sex differences in physics attributes: male size and strength and female capacity for pregnancy and lactation.
It also predicts sex differences will vary hectically among societies according to the conditions that affect the impact of pregnancy, childbirth an nursing on women’s activities or the impact of size and strength on men’s activities. Smith and Lloyd 1978: Baby X (Gross page 525) The ‘baby X’ experiments involved dressing babies in unisex snowsuits and giving them names which were sometimes relevant to their gender and sometimes not. When adults played with them they treated the babies according to the genders that they believed them to be.
This indicates that a persons biological makeup becomes part of his/her social environment wrought others reactions to it. Sexual behavior differences (Plotting IPPP) Men have a desire for more sex than women. Men have approximately 18 sexual partners in a lifetime, whereas females have 4 Or 5 sexual partners in their lifetime. An international study of 1 0,000 individuals were asked to state their top priorities in choosing a mate. Across all cultures and all racial, political and religious groups, men generally value physical attractiveness more than women, while women value financial resources twice as much as men do.
This maybe due to the bifocals theory, as it says that differences in sexual activities and in values for selecting mates developed from traditional cultural divisions of their labor: Women were primarily caregivers and homemakers, while men were primarily providers and protectors. Wood and Eagle (2002) Cross cultural support Cross cultural evidence reveals a consistent tendency for societies to be organized to enable mothers to bear and care for children and to take advantage of men’s strength and speed.
Pseudo hermaphrodite (Gross, p. 525) Money and Earthward studied girls that were initially raised as boys. When the mistake was discovered, their genitals were surgically corrected and hey were reassigned and raised as girls. They claimed that it is possible to change the sex, without any undue psychological harm being done, provided this occurs within a ‘critical’ or ‘sensitive period’ of about and a half to three years. But after this, the reassignment to the opposite sex can cause extreme psychological disturbance.
TASK: Respond to the following stimulus items with reference to the bifocals theory Of gender development. 1 . A study by Holloway and Hess found that parents explained their daughters’ successes in math’s as due to effort and good teaching, but for boys it was due to ability. Failure in math’s was said to e the result of lack of ability in girls but lack of effort in boys. 2. Huston found that advertisements for boys’ toys were” loud and fast”; where as those for girls’ toys were “soft and fuzzy’.