Loading...

PSYCH406: Gender and Sexuality

Unit 6: Cognitive Abilities   This is the first of two units that will look at the practical applications of gender difference.  This unit will examine cognitive abilities across the sexes.  While “cognitive abilities” does include intelligence (and while we will speak about intelligence in this unit), please note that “cognitive ability” does not refer exclusively to intelligence.  When we study cognitive abilities, we generally look at different aspects of how we think and use our mental resources, including (but certainly not limited to) perception, motivation, spatial recognition, and memory.  While psychologist has not researched how gender relates to each of these processes (for some, no correlation can be found!), there are some notable differences between the genders with regards to some of these processes.  While many of these studies are sound, many do not report perfect correlation (i.e. many of the findings are not true for every woman or every man).  They are instead generalizations based on what typically occurs.  

Unit 6 Time Advisory
This unit should take you approximately 12 hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 6.1: 4 hours

☐    Subunit 6.2: 4 hours

☐    Subunit 6.3: 4 hours

Unit6 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this section, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the commonalities and differences between the cognitive abilities of genders.
  • Demonstrate an understanding the gender differences in intelligences, including verbal, spatial and mental rotation.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of academic achievement differences between genders.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of math and science achievement between genders.
  • Demonstrate an understanding gender differences in motivation.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the gender differences in fear of failure and success.

6.1 General Intelligence   6.1.1 Verbal Abilities   - Reading: Northwestern University, Douglas D. Burnham et al’s “Review of Sex Differences in Neural Processing of Language Among Children” Link: Northwestern University, Douglas D. Burnham et al’s “Review of Sex Differences in Neural Processing of Language Among Children” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Read these two pages.  Note that this article covers material you need to know for section 6.1.1.
 
Note on the Text: This review was originally published in Neuropsychologia, Volume 46, Issue 5, 2008, Pages 1349-1362.    
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: National Association for Same Sex Public Education: Abigal James’s “Cognitive Gender Differences” Link: National Association for Same Sex Public Education: Abigal James’s “Cognitive Gender Differences” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Read this article.  Note this article covers material you need to know for sections 6.1.1 through 6.1.4 and 6.1.9.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

6.1.2 Spatial Abilities   6.1.3 Spatial Perception   6.1.4 Mental Rotation   6.1.5 Spacing Visualizations   - Reading: Georgia Institute of Technology: Kathleen P. McNulty’s “Gender Differences in Spatial Abilities: A Meta-Analysis” Link: Georgia Institute of Technology: Kathleen P. McNulty’s “Gender Differences in Spatial Abilities: A Meta-Analysis” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Go to the above link.  Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the “View/Open” link to access the material.  Read this material.  Note this article covers material you need to know for section 6.1.5 through 6.1.8.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

6.1.6 Aiming at a Target   6.1.7 Spatial Location Memory   6.1.8 Map Reading and Directions   6.1.9 Why Do Differences Occur? Genetics, Androgen Effects, and Lateralization/Brain Structure Differential   - Reading: National Association for Same Sex Public Education: Leonard Sax’s “Gender Differences in the Sequence of Brain Development” Link: National Association for Same Sex Public Education: Leonard Sax’s “Gender Differences in the Sequence of Brain Development” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Read this article.  This material provides an overview of the research relating to section 6.1.9.  After reading the overview, click on the link to access the original study (midway through page 1), an NIH/NIMH study entitled “Sexual Dimorphism of Brain Developmental Trajectories During Childhood and Adolescence.”  Note these articles cover material you need to know for section 6.1.9.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

6.2 Academic Achievement   - Reading: Wisconsin Center for Education Research: Elizabeth Fennema’s “Gender and Mathematics: What Is Known and What Do I Wish Was Known?” Link: Wisconsin Center for Education Research:  Elizabeth Fennema’s “Gender and Mathematics: What Is Known and What Do I Wish Was Known?” (HTML)

 Instructions: Read this article.  Note this article covers material
you need to know for section 6.2.1 through 6.2.4. This material was
presented by Dr. Fennema at the Fifth Annual Forum of the National
Institute for Science Education, held May 22-23, 2000 in Detroit,
Michigan.  
    
 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

6.2.1 Mathematical Ability   6.2.2 Small Differences in Math Abilities (Similar to Verbal Abilities)   6.2.3 Differences Appear to End by End of High School   6.2.4 Math Problem Solving   6.2.5 Math Experience vs. Expectations: Do Men Have Higher Expectations for Math Ability than Women?   - Reading: Southern Illinois University Edwardsville: Thomas O. Jewitt’s “And They Is Us: Gender Issues in Instruction of Science” Link: Southern Illinois University Edwardsville: Thomas O. Jewitt’s “And They Is Us: Gender Issues in Instruction of Science” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Read this paper by going to the above link and clicking on the “ERIC Full Text” tab on the top left of the page.  Note that this article covers material you need to know for subunits 6.2.5 through 6.2.8.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

6.2.6 Most Math-Gifted Individuals are Males   6.2.7 Science Ability: Similar to Mathematical Ability   6.2.8 Girls Take Fewer Advanced Classes in Science and Math   6.2.9 Why Do Differences Occur? Possible Combination of Biological and Environmental Effects   - Reading: National Association for Same Sex Public Education: Leonard Sax’s “Learning Style Differences: What Are Some Differences In How Girls And Boys Learn?” Link: National Association for Same Sex Public Education: Leonard Sax’s “Learning Style Differences: What Are Some Differences In How Girls And Boys Learn?“ (HTML)
 
Instructions: Read this article.  Note that this article covers material you need to know for section 6.2.9.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

6.3 Motivation   - Reading: David C. McClelland (Harvard University) and Alfred S. Alschuler (Missouri: Washington University)’s “Achievement Motivation Development Project: Final Report” Link: David C. McClelland (Harvard University) and Alfred S. Alschuler (Missouri: Washington University)’s “Achievement Motivation Development Project: Final Report” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Read this article by going to the above link and clicking on the “ERIC Full Text” tab on the top left of the page. Note that this article covers material you need to know for subunits 6.3.1 through 6.3.5. 
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

6.3.1 McClelland Motivation Studies   6.3.2 Unmotivated and Unaroused States   6.3.3 Motivated Males Use Achievement Related Imagery   6.3.4 Motivated and Unmotivated Females Used the Same Amount of Achievement Related Imagery   6.3.5 McClelland’s Theory More Likely for Males than Females   6.3.6 Atkinson & Feather’s Revision: Hope For Success and Fear of Failure   - Reading: University of Western Sydney: Andrew J. Martin’s “Boys and Motivation” Link: University of Western Sydney: Andrew J. Martin’s “Boys and Motivation” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Go to the above link and click on the “ERIC Full Text” tab on the top left of the page.  Note this article covers material you need to know for subunits 6.3.6 through 6.3.8.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

6.3.7 Women Scored Higher on Fear of Failure   6.3.8 Differences Between High and Low Fear of Failure Individuals (Both Male and Female