Gender Differences in Personality Are Women and Men Really That Different? Mark Joyce A00025340 Judith Butler once said “There is no gender identity behind the expressions of gender... Identity is performatively constituted by the very 'expressions' that are said to be its results”, which is a great quote for the topic of gender differences in personality. Over the past century many researchers have studied the gender differences in personality and many theories have been stated. When looking at the most recent articles written three major topics kept coming up, personality based on cognition and leadership, gender differences in personality tests and gender differences in social behavior. After doing research it was evident that the study of gender differences still has room for improvement and advancement due to the facts of stereotypes and expectations, it is evident that in order to study personality you must begin at the evolutionary aspects of our ancestors and how people behaved to survive. With a study done by psychologist Janet Shibley Hyde PhD of the University of Wisconsin in Madison, she showed that men and women are basically alike in terms of personality, cognitive ability and leadership, by doing an analysis of 46 meta-analyses that were conducted during the last two decades of the twenty century. She discovered that males and females from childhood to adulthood are a lot alike on most psychological variables. When using meta-analytical techniques in the nineteen eighties she analyze how her earlier studies assessed the impact of gender on many psychological abilities and traits, including cognitive abilities, verbal and non-verbal communication, aggression, leadership, self esteem, moral reasoning and motor behaviors. The psychological variables examined by doctor Hyde only had a few main differences, compared with women, men could throw farther, were more physically aggressive, masturbated more frequently, and held a more positive attitude towards sex in an uncommitted relationship. Doctor Hyde stated that the myths of gender differences can hurt women’s opportunities in the work place and how myths can hurt in developing personality, she used the widespread myth that boys are better than girls at math but according to meta- analysis, boys and girls preform equally well in math until high school, at that point boys gain a small advantage, that may not reflect on biology but as social expectations, she also says that parents expectations of their children's success in math relates strongly to the children's self confidence and performance, which may show the importance of the growth in personality in the years of adolescence. With Janet Hyde's studies we can see the roots of personality and gender before stereotypes are set in the mind. Rosalind Barnett and Caryl Rivers in their book “How Gender Myths are Hurting our Relationships, our Children, and our Jobs” states that it is most likely that it is most likely the job that dictates the behavior and not the gender, the book also states that certain men and women may have personalities and talents that make them more suitable for a specific role, but personality and talent are individual, not gender based. They also state that men and women both experience aggression, but given social situations, they differ in how often and how directly they permit themselves to express it, aggression is not a property of one sex or the other. Also in the book Carol Giligan stated that every theory of how human beings grow and thrive took males as the norm the theories would influence parenting, education and careers, for example Sigmund Freud focused heavily on the father's role in a child's early development. His main idea was the Oedipal crisis in the young boys life and how the boy must separate from their relationship with their mother and develop a superego that will get them through life. A boy who makes it through the crisis has a healthy sense of self and is...
References: American Psychological Association, October 20, 2005, Men and Women: No Big Difference, Psychology Matters Brainy Quotes (2008), http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/judithbutl181886.html Eagly, A. H., Wood, W., & Johannnesen-Schmidt, M. C. (2004). The social role theory of sex differences and similarities: Implications for partner preference. In A. H. Eagly, A. Beall, & R. J. Sternberg (Eds.), Psychology of gender (2nd ed, pp. 269-295). New York: Guilford Gender Differences (2008), http://web.syr.edu/~jaclar01/gender.html Gender differences (2008), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender_differences#Psychology Rosalind C. Barnett, CarylRivers (2004) Same Difference; How Gender Myths are Hurting our Relationships, our Children and our Jobs, New York, Basic Books
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