Psych Discussion Response

Original Question:

Gender Differences in Personality 

Forum Assignment for the Week:

This week, our discussion is about male and female differences in personality.What male and female differences in personality have you observed and where do you think they come from (e.g., are they learned, inborn, etc.)? NOTE: If you believe more than one personality theory explains male/female differences, give concrete examples. Link the theory you choose solidly to the personality differences you describe to provide evidence of your thorough comprehension of your selected theory by your accurate application of it rather than just picking a theory by name and listing characteristics believed by the general public to differ between genders. You must describe how the theory you choose explains specific differences.

Reply to the following response with 200 words minimum.  (please make response as if having a conversation, respond directly to some of the statements in below post.)

   According to the text book, different cognition performance between males and females are limited.  Females generally show advantages in verbal fluency, perceptual speed, accuracy and fine motor skills. Conversely, males outperform females in spatial, working memory and mathematical abilities. The gender schema theory simply states that culture and social expectations weight heavily in the perception of gender abilities and behavior. The social roles approach to male-female differences reveals gender relevant activities are tied to the demands of social situations (Friedman & Schustack, 2012).

To build on that, social behaviors that differ between the two sexes are essentially embedded in the social roles, including gender roles that will influence the behaviors exhibited. Masculinity and femininity perceptions are also influenced by environmental factors or demands. Gender is an important influential factor that determines many traits to an individual’s personality, though perception and expectations are not always reliable. With our ever-growing society and modern developments, this is particularly an important variable. Same sex couples can adopt children, during that child’s developmental stages; they will observe and associate gender and roles. This applies to all different types of households and what they encompass. One parent, two parents, same or different sex parents, single child, siblings, and the list is endless. Individual personality development is subject to a myriad of variables that it is challenging to choose one theory directly that describes personality development more than another. I believe that Erik Erickson’s theory of life-long development that INCLUDES society and its influences assist with developing either feminine or masculine traits (Friedman & Schustack, 2012).

One real world example of how the Gender Schema Theory and Erik Erikson’s theory applies in the development in children and their discovery of male vs female roles. Children will learn and adjust their own behavior as a boy or girl based off their culture or what occurs in their own household. This will begin before a child is even born. Once a pregnant mother discovered the sex of her baby, she will announce the gender to her friends and family and as “it’s a boy” or “it’s a girl”. From that moment on, color themes are chosen for decoration and clothing, typically blues and greens for a boy and pinks for a girl. As a young girl observes and learns from her parents (environment), she begins to notice her mother in the kitchen, always cooking and cleaning. The young girl will begin to associate cooking with gender as part of her schema. Eventually, this girl will likely take interest to cooking or even categorize cooking as an act of feminine behavior. This type of experience can also apply to young boys who shadow their father or old brother. Eventually, this type of association will lead to stereotyping and the separation between gender and their role. Each stage of life, environmental/social influences, and gender association or perception all play a role in the developmental process of personality.


Friedman, H. S., & Schustack, M. W. (2012). Personality: Classic Theories and Modern Research, 5thed. Boston, MA: Pearson: Allyn & Bacon.

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