Culture and Gender


The concept of giving priority to one's own goals over group goals
and defining one's identity in terms of personal attributes rather
than group goals. (Also known as "independence.")



Giving priority to the goals of one's groups (often one's extended
family or work group) and defining one's identity accordingly.
(Also known as "interdependence" or "connectedness.")


Evolutionary Psychology vs. Culture

- Evolutionary psychology--the study of the evolution of behavior
  using principles of natural selection.
- Culture--the enduring behaviors, ideas, attitudes, and traditions
  shared by a large group of people and transmitted from one
  generation to the next.


Vontress' Five Cultures



Gender Differences

Interdependence vs. Connectedness

   Males  Females
 Emotion  Aggression  Empathy vs.
 Group Interaction  Task

Social Dominance: Communication

 Males  Females
 Directive  Democratic
 Direct  Indirect
 Interrupt More  Interrupt Less

 Feminine Talk  Masculine Talk
 Use talk to build and sustain rapport with others.  Use talk to assert yourself and your ideas.
 Share yourself and learn about others through disclosing.  Personal disclosures can make you vulnerable.
 Use talk to create symmetry or equality between people.  Use talk to establish your status and power.
 Matching experiences with others shows understanding and empathy ("I know how you feel").  Matching experiences is a competitive strategy to command attendtion ("I can top that").
 To support others, express understanding of their feelings.  To support others, do something helpful--give advice or solve a problem for them.
 Include others in conversation by asking their opinions and encouraging them to elaborate. Wait your turn to speak so others can participate.  Don't share the talk stage with others; wrest it from them with communication. Interrupt others to make your own points.
 Keep the conversation going by asking questions and sharing interest in others' ideas.  Each person is on her or his own; it's not your job to help others join in.
 Be responsive. Let others know how you hear and care about what they say.  Use responses to make your own points and to outshine others.
 Be tentative so that others feel free to add their ideas.  Be assertive so others perceive you as confident and in command.
 Talking is a human relationship in which details and interesting side comments enhance depth of connection.  Talking is a linear sequence that should convey information and accomplish goals. Extraneous details get in the way and achieve nothing.


Class Discussions

   Leader  Secretary
 Male  94  47
 Female  80  127

Male Leader/Female Secretary: 62
Female Leader/Male Secretary: 16


Maccoby's Gender Segregation Findings

--Gender segregation is widespread
--Resistant to change
--Spontaneous choice
--Segregation strong even in gender neutral activities
--Preference seen even earlier than age 3
--Independent of other individual differences measures


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