Stage 4: Psychology: Gender and Early Childhood
Module leader: Moira Maguire
This paper willl be presented during the formal examination session in January. Answer 2 questions, ONE from section A and ONE from section B.
Section A: Theories: Answer ONE question
‘Thus, popular neuroscience is well placed to entice people to overlook psychological and sociological data showing that gender difference is contingent on historical period, ethnicity, socio-economic group and social context, and instead, to conclude that gender differences are immutable and inevitable and the product of fixed differences between the ‘male brain’ and the ‘female brain’ (Fine, 2010, p. 282).
Critically discuss and consider the extent to which you agree with Fine’s argument regarding the impact of ‘neurosexism’ on popular understandings of gender difference.
The case of David Reimer was originally presented as evidence that gender is learned. Later, when it was clear that the gender reassignment had not been successful the case was seen as evidence that gender identity is innate. Drawing on the research evidence, critically discuss the case drawing conclusions regarding what it tells us about gender development. (100 marks)
SECTION B: Applications: Answer ONE question
McCabe et al (2011) argue that the under-representation of female characters in children’s media ‘…reflects a ‘’symbolic annihilation’ because it denies existence to women and girls…As such, children’s books reinforce, legitimate and reproduce a patriarchal gender system’ (p.198). (a) Select at least 2 popular children’s books aimed at 4-6 year olds. Critically consider the ways in which gender is represented in these books and discuss with reference to the findings of McCabe et al (2011) and other relevant research. (30 marks) (b) Using evidence, critically discuss the impact on children of gender...