Assignment: Gender Influences on Physical and Mental Health

Assignment: Gender Influences on Physical and Mental Health

Assignment: Gender Influences on Physical and Mental Health

“Women are sicker; men die quicker.” This familiar quotation suggests that there are gender-related differences related to health. For purposes of this Application, gender-related issues are grouped in three categories: 1) morbidity and mortality rates, 2) health-related behaviors, and 3) treatment by gender by the health care system.


A quick review of health statistics shows that the morbidity (sickness) and mortality (death) rates for specific diseases and other health issues (e.g., violence, mental health problems, homicide) are different for men and women. For example, men are diagnosed with and die from specific cancers (such as, lung cancer and colon cancer) at a higher rate than women. Women are diagnosed with breast cancer at higher rates than men (though more than 2,600 men each year are diagnosed with breast cancer.) When looking at mental health problems, antisocial and avoidant behaviors are more common in men, while borderline disorder, histrionic disorder, and depression are more often seen in women. While this difference in disease and disorder prevalence and mortality is interesting, it would be useful to know why there are differences between men and women.

Another area to consider when looking at health and gender is behavior. That is, do men and women behave differently when it comes to health? And what about the “behavior” of the health care system when it comes to gender. Does it treat men and women differently?

Health-related behaviors fall into two basic categories: preventative behaviors and direct health-related behaviors. For example, seeing a physician for an annual check-up and health screening, eating well, exercising, and maintaining low stress levels are preventative behaviors. Engaging in high risk sports and other activities, smoking, working in a dangerous job, and the like are direct health-related behaviors. The reality is that men and women behave differently when it comes to health.

A third health-related factor that may come into play when questioning the gender differences in health issues is how the health care system treats men and women. For example, men and women are screened differently, diagnosed differently, and treated differently for many health problems. There may also be gender bias in the diagnostic tools used for mental health disorders. Assignment: Gender Influences on Physical and Mental Health

To fully understand the gender-related differences in physical and mental health, it is useful to analyze a specific health issue in depth. What are the differences, why are there differences, and what is the impact of these differences? These are common questions in the area of psychology of gender.

To prepare for this assignment:

  • Review Chapter 13 in the course text, Gender: Psychological Perspectives. Focus on the gender-related differences and similarities in issues related to health, including the incidence, mortality rates, diagnoses, and prognoses for various health issues; lifestyle and behavioral differences that lead to and/or possibly prevent health problems, and issues related to health delivery systems.
  • Review the article on gender effects on health and health care.
  • Select a physical or mental issue that interests you that has gender-related differences, and explore this health issue in some depth.
  • Consider the following elements in your analysis:
    • What are the differences between genders in the incidence, mortality rate, diagnosis, and prognosis of that health issue?
    • What are the gender-related lifestyle and behavioral differences that lead to and prevent the health issue?
    • What influence might gender have on how men and women are treated by health care professionals and the health care system?

The assignment (3–5 pages):

  • Briefly describe the physical or mental health issue you have selected.
  • Compare (similarities and differences) the following factors for men and women:
    • The incidence, mortality rate, diagnosis, and prognosis of that health issue
    • The lifestyle and behavior differences that lead to and/or may prevent the health issue
    • Issues related to health care access, diagnosis, and treatment by health care professionals
  • Discuss your insights on gender differences and your thoughts about how these gender differences might impact individuals from each gender, the health care system, and society as a whole.

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    Gender: Psychological Perspectives synthesizes the latest research on gender to help students think critically about the differences between research fi ndings and stereotypes, provoking them to examine and revise their own preconceptions. The text examines the behavioral, biological, and social contexts in which women and men express gendered behaviors. The text’s unique pedagogical program helps students understand the portrayal of gender in the media and the application of gender research in the real world. Headlines from the news open each chapter to engage the reader. Gendered Voices boxes present true personal accounts of people’s lives. According to the Media boxes highlight gender-related coverage in newspapers, magazines, books, TV, and movies, while According to the Research boxes offer the latest scientifi cally based research to help students analyze the accuracy and fairness of gender images presented in the media. Additionally, Considering Diversity sections emphasize the cross-cultural perspective of gender.

    This text is intended for undergraduate or graduate courses on the psychology of gender, psychology of sex, psychology of women or men, gender issues, sex roles, women in society, and women’s or men’s studies. It is also applicable to sociology and anthropology courses on diversity.

    Seventh Edition Highlights

    • 12 new headlines on topics ranging from gender and the Flynn effect to gender ste- reotyping that affects men

    • Coverage of gender issues in aging adults and transgendered individuals • Expanded coverage of diversity issues in the US and around the globe, including the

    latest research from China, Japan, and Europe • More tables, fi gures, and photos to provide summaries of text in an easy-to-absorb

    format • End-of-chapter summaries and glossary • Suggested readings for further exploration of chapter topics • A companion website at where instructors will fi nd

    lecture outlines, PowerPoint slides, student activities, test questions, and website and video suggestions; and students will fi nd fl ashcards, student learner objectives, chapter outlines, and links to related websites and further reading

    Linda Brannon is Professor of Psychology at McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana.



    “Gender is a very important contribution to the study of gender in psychology. Its innovative format and unique organization provide for an enjoyable learning experience for students of psychology.”

    —Florence L. Denmark, Pace University

    “Gender strikes the perfect balance between biological and social factors that inform the psychology of gender. Even more importantly, this text is solidly based on scientifi c research fi ndings rather than venturing into the minefi eld of gender politics.” Assignment: Gender Influences on Physical and Mental Health

    —Linda Heath, Loyola University Chicago

    “Gender provides a readable review of both classic and recent research on gender. Linda Brannon is consistently balanced and empirical in her stance, and original in the way she threads varied topics together to give the reader a comprehensive and nuanced understand- ing of gender.”

    —Maureen C. McHugh, Indiana University of Pennsylvania

    “Gender thoroughly covers the latest research on traditional topics, such as relationships and sexuality, and clearly presents newer topics such as homosexuality, transsexuals, and sexual abuse. Excellent for psychology and sociology courses.”

    —Nancy Netting, University of British Columbia Okanagan, Canada

    “I have been happily using Gender for many editions now, and defi nitely plan to continue having seen the same excellent writing, research foundation, and easy-to-follow organization in the seventh edition. My students like this text; I highly recommend it.”

    —Karen J. Prager, The University of Texas at Dallas



    Gender Psychological Perspectives

    Seventh Edition

    Linda Brannon



    Seventh edition published 2017 by Routledge 711 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10017

    and by Routledge 2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon, OX14 4RN

    Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business

    © 2017 Taylor & Francis

    The right of Linda Brannon to be identifi ed as the author of this work has been asserted by them in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

    All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilised in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers.

    Trademark notice: Product or corporate names may be trademarks or registered trademarks, and are used only for identifi cation and explanation without intent to infringe. Assignment: Gender Influences on Physical and Mental Health

    First published 1996 by Allyn and Bacon

    Sixth edition published 2010 by Psychology Press

    Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data Names: Brannon, Linda, 1948– author. Title: Gender : psychological perspectives / Linda Brannon. Description: Seventh Edition. | New York : Routledge, 2017. | Revised edition of the author’s Gender, 2015. Identifi ers: LCCN 2016046499 | ISBN 9781138182356 (hardback : alk. paper) |

    ISBN 9781138182349 (pbk. : alk. paper) | ISBN 9781315621821 (ebk) Subjects: LCSH: Sex differences (Psychology)—Textbooks. | Gender

    identity—Textbooks. Classifi cation: LCC BF692.2 .B73 2017 | DDC 155.3—dc23 LC record available at

    ISBN: 978-1-138-18235-6 (hbk) ISBN: 978-1-138-18234-9 (pbk) ISBN: 978-1-315-62182-1 (ebk)

    Typeset in Garamond by Apex CoVantage, LLC



    Preface xv Acknowledgments xx About the Author xxi

    1 The Study of Gender 1

    2 Researching Sex and Gender 22

    3 Gender Stereotypes: Masculinity and Femininity 46

    4 Hormones and Chromosomes 77

    5 Theories of Gender Development 109

    6 Developing Gender Identity 136

    7 Intelligence and Cognitive Abilities 170

    8 Emotion 201

    9 Relationships 235

    10 Sexuality 280

    11 School 324

    12 Careers and Work 355

    13 Health and Fitness 390

    14 Stress, Coping, and Psychopathology 429

    Brief Contents



    vi Brief Contents

    15 Treatment for Mental Disorders 468

    16 How Different? 499

    Index 521



    Preface xv Acknowledgments xx About the Author xxi

    1 The Study of Gender 1

    Headline: “The End of Men,” Atlantic Monthly , July/August, 2010 1 History of the Study of Sex Differences in Psychology 3

    The Study of Individual Differences 4 Psychoanalysis 4

    The Development of Women’s Studies 6 The History of Feminist Movements 6 Sex or Gender? 9 Women in Psychology 10 The Appearance of the Men’s Movement 12

    Considering Diversity 15 Summary 17 Glossary 18 Suggested Readings 18 Suggested Websites 19 References 19

    2 Researching Sex and Gender 22

    Headline: “Does Gender Matter?” Nature, July 13, 2006 22 How Science Developed 22 Approaches to Research 24

    Quantitative Research Methods 24 Experimental Designs 25 Ex Post Facto Studies 26 Surveys 27 Correlational Studies 28

    Qualitative Research Methods 29 Interviews 29 Ethnography 30 Focus Groups 30




    viii Contents

    Researchers’ Choices 31 Gender Bias in Research 32

    Sources of Bias 32 Ways to Deal with Bias in Science 37

    Advocating Transformation 38 Decreasing Bias 39

    Summary 40 Glossary 41 Suggested Readings 42 Suggested Websites 42 References 42

    3 Gender Stereotypes: Masculinity and Femininity 46

    Headline: “Gender Stereotypes Don’t Die Easily” Vancouver Sun, June 27, 2013 46 History of Stereotypes of Women and Men 46

    The Cult of True Womanhood 47 Masculinities 48

    Conceptualizing and Measuring Masculinity and Femininity 50 Explicit Measures of Stereotyping 50 Implicit Measures of Stereotyping 52

    The Process and Implications of Stereotyping 53 Stereotyping, Prejudice, and Discrimination 53 Perceptions of Women and Men 54 Stereotypes over the Lifespan 59 Negative Effects of Stereotyping 61

    Stereotype Threat 61 Benevolent Sexism 64

    Considering Diversity 65 Summary 68 Glossary 69 Suggested Readings 69 Suggested Websites 70 References 70

    4 Hormones and Chromosomes 77

    Headline: “Venus and Mars Collide” New Scientist, March 5, 2011 77 The Endocrine System and Steroid Hormones 77 Sexual Differentiation 79

    Chromosomes 79 Prenatal Development of Male and Female Physiology 79

    The Reproductive Organs 79 The Nervous System 82

    Changes during Puberty 83 Changes during Adulthood 85 Variations in Sexual Development 86



    Contents ix

    Variations in Number of Sex Chromosomes 86 Problems Related to Prenatal Hormone Exposure 88

    Hormones and Behavior Instability 90 Premenstrual Syndrome 90 Testosterone and Aggression 96

    Considering Diversity 99 Summary 100 Glossary 102 Suggested Readings 103 Suggested Websites 103 References 103

    5 Theories of Gender Development 109

    Headline: “Code Pink” Mother Jones , September/October, 2009 109 The Psychodynamic Approach to Gender Development 110

    Freud’s View of Gender Identity Development 110 Horney’s Theory of Gender 111 Contemporary Psychodynamic Theories of Gender Development 113

    Chodorow’s Emphasis on Mothering 113 Kaschak’s Antigone Phase 115

    Social Learning Theory and Gender 116 Cognitive Theories of Gender Development 123

    Cognitive Developmental Theory 123 Gender Schema Theory 126

    Which Theory is Best? 127 Summary 130 Glossary 131 Suggested Readings 131 Suggested Websites 132 References 132

    6 Developing Gender Identity 136

    Headline: “A Boy’s Life” The Atlantic , November 2008 136 Gender Identity Development 136

    Development during Childhood 137 The Sequence of Childhood Gender Role Development 138 Differences between Girls and Boys 140

    Later Development 141 Infl uences on Gender Identity Development 145

    Biological Factors and Gender Development 145 Family Environment and Gender Development 148 Peers and Gender Development 151 The Media and Gender Development 152

    Gender Bias in the Media 153 Children and Media 155



    x Contents

    Considering Diversity 157 Summary 159 Glossary 160 Suggested Readings 160 Suggested Websites 161 References 161

    7 Intelligence and Cognitive Abilities 170

    Headline: “Is the Female of the Species Really More Intelligent Than the Male?” The Telegraph , July 17, 2012 170

    Cognitive Abilities 170 Verbal Performance 173 Mathematical and Quantitative Performance 174 Spatial Performance 178 Other Cognitive Abilities 182

    Source of the Differences 186 Biological Evidence for Gender Differences in Cognitive Abilities 186 Evidence for Other Sources of Gender Differences 188

    Implications of Gender-Related Differences 189 Considering Diversity 191 Summary 192 Glossary 193 Suggested Readings 193 Suggested Websites 193 References 194

    8 Emotion 201

    Headline: “Do Get Mad” New Scientist , February 9, 2013 201 Gender in the Experience and Expression of Emotion 201

    The Myth of Maternal Instinct 204 Maternal Deprivation and Its Consequences for Nurturing 204 Gender and Caring for Children 206

    The Prominence of Male Aggression 209 Anger and Aggression 210 Developmental Gender Differences in Aggression 211 Gender and Aggression during Adulthood 214 Gender and Crime 215 Sexual Violence 219

    Expressivity and Emotion 222 Considering Diversity 224 Summary 225 Glossary 226 Suggested Readings 227 Suggested Websites 227 References 227



    Contents xi

    9 Relationships 235

    Headline: “The New Rules of Dating” Men’s Fitness , February, 2013 235 Friendships 236

    Development of Styles 236 Friendships over the Lifespan 239 Flexibility of Styles 242

    Love Relationships 243 Dating 244 Marriage and Committed Relationships 247

    Concepts of Love and Marriage 250 Communication between Partners 252 Balance of Power 253 Division of Household Labor 255 Confl ict and Violence 257 Stability of Relationships 259

    Dissolving Relationships 261 Considering Diversity 265 Summary 267 Glossary 268 Suggested Readings 268 Suggested Websites 269 References 269

    10 Sexuality 280

    Headline: “How to End to War over Sex Ed,” Time Atlantic , April 6, 2009 280 The Study of Sexuality 281

    Sex Surveys 281 The Kinsey Surveys 281 Hunt’s Playboy Foundation Survey 284 The National Health and Social Life Survey 285 National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior 285 Gender Differences (and Similarities) in Sexual Attitudes and Behavior 286

    Masters and Johnson’s Approach 289 Childhood Sexuality: Exploration and Abuse 290 Heterosexuality 294

    During Adolescence 295 During Adulthood 298

    Homosexuality 303 During Adolescence 306 During Adulthood 308

    Bisexuality 311 Considering Diversity 312 Summary 313 Glossary 315 Suggested Readings 315



    xii Contents

    Suggested Websites 316 References 316