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Psychology Essay Assignment on Gender Role and Gender Development Analysis

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Psychology Essay Assignment on Gender Role and Gender Development Analysis

Assignment 1

Gender Role and Gender Development Analysis (3-4 pages, double-spaced, 12 point font)

My gender:Male age:22 Nationality:China Major:FI

Due: after discussion in class of gender development and gender identity (Ch. 4 – 6)

Points: 25% of total course points on a 250 or 1000 point scale.

Purpose: To practice applying specific theorectical perspectives. To understand how different theories (social learning, cognitive development, psychodynamic, etc.) can lead to different explanations and interpretations.


Step one – Take the Bem Sex Role Inventory

Dr. Sandra Bem developed the Sex Role Inventory to challenge the then predominant view that masculinity and femininity were polar opposites, and that a masculinity-femininity score that did not match your gender was a sign of poor mental health. Dr. Bem thought that it was possible for someone to have a combination of traits traditionally defined as masculine and feminine, and furthermore, that this was actually the healthiest psychological state. Recent research, however, has found that men and women who score higher in traits associated with masculinity seem to have better mental health. Some researchers argue that the reason for this finding is that the traits associated with masculinity are the traits most desired and rewarded in Western capitalist economies.

Below are links to two free versions. Take only ONE of these.

1. Bem Sex Role Inventory – – the original developed by Sandra Bem in the 1970’s. Print out the PDF and take it, then score using instructions below.

2. Open Sex Role Inventory – – This is an open source, modernized measure of masculinity and femininity.

Scoring the Bem Sex Role Inventory:

à First, add up ratings for these items: 1, 4, 7, 10, 13, 16, 19, 22, 25, 28, 31, 34, 37, 40,

43, 46, 49, 52, 55, and 58. Divide the total by 20. This is the masculinity score.

à Next, add up the ratings for these items: 2, 5, 8, 11, 14, 17, 20, 23, 26, 29, 32, 35, 38, 41, 44,

47, 50, 53, 56, and 59. Divide the total by 20. This is the femininity score.

(note, the other items are “fillers” and are not scored.)

You can use each of the gender sub-scales on its own as a continuous variable, or classify each participant into Bem’s gender categories in the following way:

àClassify each participant into one of the following four categories:

Androgynous: Masculinity score is at or above 4.9 AND Femininity score is at or above 4.9
Undifferentiated: Masculinity score is at or below 4.8 AND Femininity score is at or below 4.8
Masculine: Masculinity score is at or above 4.9 AND Femininity score is at or below 4.8
Feminine: Masculinity score is at or below 4.8 AND Femininity score is at or above 4.9
Step Two – Write A Reflection Paper: How Does Your Gender Influence You?

Begin by using the questions below to reflect on the influences that have shaped you, and the sources of those influences. Once you’ve done that, see which theories we’ve discussed in class so far seem to BEST explain how you developed your gender identity and express it.

What were you encouraged to do/not do, or to be/not be in order to be considered masculine or feminine when you were growing up:
What did you learn about adulthood and what men and women are expected to do, or not to do?
What were/are the sources of those messages? Identify a minimum of five from this list of message sources: YOUR FAMILY (parents, siblings, other relatives); YOUR FRIENDS; YOUR COMMUNITY OR GROUPS YOU AFFILIATATED WITH (sports, scouts, jobs/work, worship etc); SCHOOL (teachers, the curriculum, sports); MEDIA (social media, television, movies, music, print media, videogames, and internet). Other sources include TOYS/GAMES/ACTIVITIES, RELIGION, PEERS.
Do you conform to or challenge these expectations?
Did you ever feel the need to hide, change, or modify an aspect of yourself because of gender expectations that were placed on you?
Relate your answers to these questions to your results on the Bem Sex Role Inventory. Do your scores seem accurate to you? Why or why not?
Which 2-3 theories about gender development and gender identity BEST explain how you have been shaped/ influenced by gender and the expectations that may have been placed upon you? For example: biology, evolution, psychodynamic theories of development, social learning, cognitive development, social roles, gender schemas, etc. Which of these theoretical perspectives seem the most plausible to you in explaining how you developed your gender identity and how you express your gender today? For each theoretical perspective you identify, please properly name the theory, briefly define the theory, show how the theory applies to you, and include a citation in APA format. For example:“The psychodynamic perspective (Brannon, 2017), which refers to …..[summarize the theory] best explains my gender development.”


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