The Psychology of Sex and Gender / Edition 1

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Psychology of Sex and Gender provides students with a balanced examination of the influences of sex and gender on behavior and development. The book takes a truly global perspective when examining the relationship between and among sex, gender, and factors such as sexual orientation, race and ethnicity, and religious and geographical diversity.

This richly illustrated book offers a lively writing style and makes research relevant to the lives of students, engaging student interest by including student responses from journaling assignments, excerpts from student papers, and personal perspectives.

Dr. Smith’s approach to sex and gender is multidisciplinary. She includes research and theoretical contributions drawn not only from psychology but also from biology, sociology, history, philosophy, and anthropology.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780205393114
  • Publisher: Pearson
  • Publication date: 4/14/2006
  • Series: MySearchLab Series for Psychology Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 608
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Barbara Smith
Barbara Smith

Barbara Smith is the host of a syndicated television series and appears regularly on NBC's Today show. She owns three B. Smith's restaurants in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Sag Harbor, New York, and is the editor in chief of the newly launched magazine B. Smith Style. She lives in New York City and Sag Harbor.

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Table of Contents






1. Why a Psychology of Sex and Gender?

Why a Psychology of Sex and Gender?

The Terminology of Sex and Gender

Introduction to the Psychology of Sex and Gender

Traditional Psychology and the Experience of Women

A Misrepresentation of Men?

Development of Women = s Studies and Men = s Studies

Women's Studies from a Psychological Perspective

Men's Studies from a Psychological Perspective

Personal Perspectives: Societal Expectations, the Family, and the Individual

Why Sex and Gender Studies?

Goals of Gender Studies

Academic goals

Social goals

Personal goals

Chapter Summary


Suggested Readings

Suggested Films

Other Resources

Research Project: Societal Expectations, the Family, and the Individual


Self-Evaluation Sample Form

Discussion Questions

A Common Vocabulary

Notes and Comments

2. Methodological Considerations When Studying Sex and Gender

The Scientific Analysis of Sex and Gender

The Scientific Method

Approaches Commonly Used to Study of Sex and Gender

Experimental Approach

Naturalistic Observation

Case Study Approach

Survey and Interview Approach

Meta-analysis Approach

Considerations When Selecting A Research Design

Longitudinal Design

Cross-sectional Design

Cross-sequential Design

Data Analysis

Sex and Gender as Subject and Response Variables

Sex as a Subject Variable

Gender as a Subject Variable

Sex and Gender as Response Variables

Issues Related to a Global Research Approach

Issues Related to Social Analyses

Sex, Gender, and Culture: Issues with Generalizability

Personal Perspectives: A Lack of Multiculturalism in Education

Advantages of Incorporating a Global Perspective into our Research Programs

Avoiding Problems of Bias in Research: Diversity as a Continuing Issue

How Does Generalizability Relate to the Text?

Chapter Summary


Suggested Readings

Suggested Films

Research Project: Practical Issues Related to Research

Discussion Questions

A Common Vocabulary

Notes and Comments

3. Stereotypes, Mythology, Media Messages

Stereotyping As a Cognitive Strategy

Are Men and Women Fundamentally Different From Each Other?

Stereotyping as a Cognitive Strategy

Common Beliefs

Investigatory Project: Stereotypes

An Historical Overview of Stereotypes: Major Mythological Themes

Male as Powerful

Male as Normative

Female as Evil

Female as Giver of Life

Female as Sexual Being

Investigatory Project: Underlying Themes of Gender Stereotypes

How the Study of Myths Relates to Gender Studies

Manifestation of Mythological Themes Related to Females

Manifestation of Mythological Themes Related to Males

Modern-Day Myths as Reflected by the Media

Representations of Boys and Men

Representations of Girls and Women

A Market-Based Explanation for Gender Stereotyping in the Media

Potential for the Internalization of Dominant Beliefs

Personal Perspectives: Do Stereotypes Influence Behavior?

Why Does Stereotyping in the Media Continue To Be So Pervasive?

Chapter Summary


Suggested Readings

Suggested Films

Other Resources

Investigatory Project: Self-fulfilling Prophecies

Discussion Questions

A Common Vocabulary

Notes and Comments


4. Theoretial Explanations for Gender Identity: Biological through Neo-Freudian Perpsectives

What is a Theory?

Hallmarks of a Good Theory

Development of a Theory

The Biological Perspective

The Processes of Sex Determination and Sex Differentiation

Sex-Linked Traits and Disorders

Evidence for the Contribution of Genetic Material to Sex Determination and Sex Differentiation

Evidence for Hormonal Mediation of Sex Differentiation

The Role of Hormones on Cognitive Tasks

Research Report: Sex Differentiation of Cognitive Abilities

Evidence from Animal Models of the Biological Basis for Aggressive Behavior

A Sociobiological Perspective

A Critical Analysis of Biological Theory

Freudian Psychoanalytic Perspective

A Profile: Sigmund Freud

Freud's Concept of the Psyche

Freud and the Male Oedipal Complex

Freud and the Female as a Castrated Male

The Social Identification Process and Development of the Superego

Fixation at the Phallic Stage of Psychosexual Development

A Critical Analysis of Freudian Psychoanalytic Theory

NeoFreudian Contributions to the Psychoanalytic Perspective

A Psychology of Women: Helene Deutsch

Psychosocial Theory: Erik Erikson

Object Relations Theory: Margaret Mahler and Nancy Chodorow

Commonalities of Psychoanalytic and Object Relations Theories

A Critical Analysis of NeoFreudian Psychoanalytic Theory and Object Relations Theory

Chapter Summary

Resources for

Suggested Readings

Suggested Films

Other Resources

Discussion Questions

A Common Vocabulary

Notes and Comment

5. Theoretical Explanations for Gender Identity: Cognitive through Environmental Perspectives

Cognitive Perspectives

Cognitive Developmental Theory: Lawrence Kohlberg

Cognitive development: Jean Piaget

Piaget's stages

Assumptions of Cognitive Developmentalists

Gender Schema Theory: Sandra Bem

A Critical Analysis of Kohlberg’s Developmental Theory and Bem’s Gender Schema Theory

Moral Reasoning: Are There Developmental Patterns Related to Gender?

Investigatory Report: Moral Reasoning

Gender Differences in the Development of Moral Reasoning According to Lawrence Kohlberg

Biographical Sketch: Lawrence Kohlberg

Socialization and Moral Reasoning According to Carol Gilligan

Biographical Sketch: Carol Gilligan

Environmental Perspectives

Operant Conditioning Theory: B. F. Skinner

Social Learning Theory: John Dollard, Neal Miller, Walter Mischel, and Albert Bandura

Research Report: Gender Differences in Modeling

Broader Social Influences

Investigatory Project: Social Influences and Symbolism

A Critical Analysis of Learning Theories

Theory and the Acquisition of Gender Identity and Sex Typing

Chapter Summary


Suggested Readings

Suggested Films

Other Resources

Investigatory Project: Morality and the Law

Discussion Questions

A Common Vocabulary

Notes and Comments


6. A Developmental Overview: Prenatal Development through Childhood

An Overview of Development

Key Developmental Principles Relevant to the Study of Sex and Gender

Prenatal Development

Developmental beginnings: Chromosomal Sex

Developmental beginnings: Gonadal Sex

Developmental Beginnings: Hormonal Sex

Child Development in the Physical Domain

Neural Development

Physical Growth

Motor Development

Activity Patterns

Child Development in the Cognitive Domain

Sensation and Perception

Tactile sensitivity





Early Social Perceptions

Language Development

Child Development in the Socioemotional Domain

Social Attachments

Biographical Sketch: Mary D. Salter Ainsworth

Modern Family Structure

Sex, Gender, and Play

Experiment 1: Peer Preference

Chapter Summary


Suggested Readings

Suggested Films

Other Resources

Classroom Activity

Doll and Parrots: Nurturing as a "Girl Thing"

Mom, where=s the coffee and bread?

Discussion Questions

A Common Vocabulary

Notes and comments

7. Topics in Childhood


Developmental Outcomes Related to the Nature of Attachment Style

Student Assignment Excerpt: Bullies and Victims

Self-esteem and Identity Development

The Nature and Causes of Child Abuse

Investigatory Project: Child Abuse Worldwide and Intervention

The Consequences of Child Abuse


Play, Gender, and Social Relationships

Investigative Project: Learning From Schoolchildren

Experiment 1: Gender Labels and Play Styles

A Biological Perspective of Play

Experiment 2: Play and Peer Sex Discrimination (Bower, 1989)

Psychoanalytic and Object Relations Perspectives of Play

A Cognitive Developmental Explanation for Play

Gender Schema Theory and Play

Social Learning Theory, Operant Theory and Play

Early Education

Educational Opportunities from a Systems Perspective

Developmental Disabilities

Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity (ADHD) and Schooling

Personal Perspectives: ADHD and Development

Creativity and Gender

Creative Writing

Childrens’ Artwork

Investigatory Project: Art and Gender

Chapter Summary


Suggested Readings

Suggested Films

Other Resources

Discussion Questions

A Common Vocabulary

Notes and Comments

8. A Developmental Overview: Adolescence and Young Adulthood

History of Adolescent Psychology

Adolescence: Stage or Transition?

Biographical Sketches: Granville Stanley Hall and Erik Homberger Erikson

Adolescent Physical Development

Development of Primary and Secondary Sex Characteristics

Female Maturation

Psychological experience of adolescent girls

Male Maturation

Psychological experience of adolescent boys

Individual Differences in Physical Development

Personal Perspectives: Rate of Maturation

Adolescent Cognitive Development

A Piagetian View of Adolescent Cognitive Development


School adjustment

Academic attitudes and choices

Journal Excerpt: A Young Woman’s Experience with Math

Academic performance and self-esteem

Adolescent Socioemotional Development

Family Relationships

Peer Relationships

School as a social setting: An intervention

Investigatory Project: The Influence of Educational Settings on Gender Stereotypes

Development of intimate relationships

Identity and sexual orientation

Personal Perspective: Coming Out

Personal Perspective: Bisexual Orientation

Personal Perspectives: Negative Outcomes Related to Sexual Orientation

Function of Dating

Personal Perspectives: Cross-Cultural Issues and Dating

Personal Perspective: Homosexual Teens and Dating

Chapter Summary


Suggested Readings

Suggested Films

Discussion Questions

A Common Vocabulary

Notes and Comments

9. Topics in Adolescence and Young Adulthood

Adolescents, Young Adults, and Sexuality

Personal Perspective: Sexual Activity and Education

Developing Sexual Attitudes

Gender and Sexual Attitudes

Religion, Sexual Attitudes, and Behavior

Sexual Behavior: Autoerotic Activities

Personal Perspectives: Autoerotic Activities

Sexual Behavior: Intercourse

Cultural Diversity and Sexual Behavior

Potential Consequences of Early Sexual Activity

Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Contraceptive Use

Early Parenthood

Family and Cultural Values

Sex Education

Sex Education Programs in the Schools

Book excerpt: Developing Refusal Skills

Other Sources of Sex Education

Physical and Psychological Health

Externalization of Conflict: Juvenile Delinquency

Conflict, aggression, and gender

Student Paper Excerpt: Bullying

Investigatory Project: Troubled Teens

Relational conflict

Internalization of Conflict: Suicide and Eating Disorders


Investigatory Report: Suicide and Young Adolescents

Eating disorders and body image

Personal Perspectives: Eating Disorders, Self-image, and Body Image

Chapter Summary


Suggested Readings

Suggested Films

Other Resources

Research Project: A Social Function for Religion

Discussion Questions

Investigatory Project: Eating Disorders

A Common Vocabulary

Notes and Comments

10. A Developmental Overview: Adulthood

Adult Development in the Physical Domain

General Physical Decline

Age-Related Weight Changes

Structural Changes

The Sexual-Reproductive System

Hormonal Cycling in Females

Cognitive correlates of the menstrual cycle

Premenstrual syndrome/premenstrual dysphoric disorder

Definitional issues

Methodological issues


Hormonal Fluctuations in Males

Middle Age and Reproductive Changes


Is there male menopause?

Aging and the prostate gland

Breast and ovarian cancer

Sexuality and the Later Adult Years

Sexual activity and the elderly

Sexual orientation

Adult Development in the Cognitive Domain

Adult Sensation and Perception






Visuospatial and Verbal Abilities

Spatial skills and visuospatial abilities

Verbal abilities

Lateralization of Cognitive Function

Patterns of Cognitive Change

Adult Development in the Social Domain


Falling in Love

What do Adults Look For in a Relationship?

Characteristics of Single Adults

Characteristics of Divorced and Widowed Singles

Characteristics of Cohabiting and Married Couples

Decision-Making and Influence Strategies in Relationships

Reactions to Relationship Dissolution

Personal Perspective: The End of a Marriage

Chapter Summary

Resources for Students and Instructors

Suggested Readings

Suggested Films

Other Resources

Discussion Questions

A Common Vocabulary

Notes and Comments

11. Current Topics in Adulthood


Reproductive Complications


Sexual dysfunction

Sexually transmitted diseases and the elderly

Psychiatric Problems

Borderline and narcissistic personality disorders


Excerpt from student paper: Suicide and the Elderly

Anorexia nervosa and the elderly

Healthcare Policy and Gender


Verbal Communication: Production and Comprehension

Communication Strategies in Relationships




Intimate Relationships

Personal factors

Relational factors

Cultural factors

An eclectic explanation

Personal Perspectives: Gender Role Specialization

Parenting: Stability or Change in Gender Roles?

Biological basis for parenting

An object relations perspective

Point and counterpoint


Division of Labor in the Home

Labor Outside of the Home

Chapter Summary


Suggested Readings

Suggested Films

Other Resources

Investigatory Projects

Discussion Questions

A Common Vocabulary

Notes and Comments



Author Index

Subject Index

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