Sex Differences And The Degree To Which They Exist In Men And Women

4153 words - 17 pages

Sex Differences and the Degree to Which They Exist in Men and Women

Sex and Gender (Deaux, 1985)
The purpose of this article was to come to solid conclusions about the issue of sex and gender differences. Deaux arrived at these conclusions through comprehensive review of studies conducted on the issue in the past. The criteria he used to review this information was he only used psychological literature, he ignored broad physiological data unless related to a specific behavior, and did not use clinical or therapeutic research. As well he only dealt in areas of sex differences where there was wide spread research and held the most promise to explain how sex and gender influenced behavior. In addition he only focussed his research on adult studies leaving adolescent studies for other scientist. I will handle the summary of this article by breaking it up into the same sub-topics Deaux did and writing summaries of what he found about each.
Cognitive Skills:
-Mathematical Ability: In this area he found that men tend to be able to do some specific mental tasks better, such tasks were metal rotation and tests the involved horizontally-vertically manipulating objects. He found no differences in spatial visualization that required more sequential and analytic strategy. As well there was evidence that training could alter performance for men or women.
-Verbal Ability: Finds that women may have better verbal ability, but this difference is weak at best.
-In general: Finds that over the past twenty years women have been making gains in cognitive skills relative to men, this caution's the belief that behavior differences are indeed biological.
Personality Traits and Disposition:
-Achievement: Finds that women score higher in work and men are significantly higher on both mastery and competition. Finds subjective task value is the better predictor of both male and female choices in achievement domains.
-Masculinity and Femininity: Finds that this area is very broad and any reliable empirical system for measuring these differences will probably not be possible.
-Moral Development: Finds that actual differences are small but men show violence imagery in response to affiliation themes where achievement situations are more likely to elicit violence imagery in women.
Social Behaviors:
-Aggression: Finds that there is generally a 5% difference in males being more aggressive but in actuality it depends on the situation, weather attacking, defending or other variants. As well there is supportive evidence in the amount of aggressive crimes committed by men in comparison to women. As well Deaux notes that this difference seems to be biological in nature with differences noticed at the age of 6 and below.
-Conformity and Social Influence: Finds that women will more easily conform. There is 1% difference/variance in behaviors accounted for by sex.
-Non-verbal Behavior: found that women have superiority in both encoding and decoding non-verbal cues,...

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