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Gender bias in Psychology

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Introduction

Katie Scott "There have been many instances of Psychological research that have shown gender biases. These biases may distort the value of such research". With Reference to issues such as those raised by the quotation, discuss gender bias in Psychology. Many major theories and research are characterized by a gender bias resulting from a male norm perspective. However, traditional research methods have also been biased towards males such as the development of feminist's research methods such as unstructured interviews. Controlled laboratory experiments usually are more beneficial to men because of the conditions that they are more comfortable with. Gender Bias in Psychological research has been suggested it can exist from the point of formulation of the question. Denmark et al suggested that gender bias is found at all stages of research. He was involved in the 1988 APA committee on non sexist research. Their report found that the way that research problems are conceptualised may be influenced by the assumptions and understandings of the researcher about gender (i.e. by their schemas about gender). This may introduce gender bias in town ways; the way the question is asked automatically assumes that there is a difference between men and women, so therefore the answer to the question would probably be gender biased too. Questions such as 'what are the differences between men and women?' it would be difficult to give an unbiased answer. ...read more.

Middle

of care which does not need to be progressed to stage six, Kohlberg suggested that this is not as important as morality of justice. This theory may exclude women from some jobs where moral decisions must be made such as doctors, or high court judges. This says that men are superior to women or have a stronger conscience. However this view is problematic in the case it does not fit into today's society, it has political implications and does not fit in with modern society where there are same sex couples and single parents. On the other hand, there are some studies that suggest that Kohlberg and Gilligan's view is inaccurate. Hoffman found that girls are better that resisting temptation than boys. It is parenting styles that are what shapes a child into a morally mature person rather than what gender they are. Beta Bias ignores and minimises the differences between men and women. With Beta bias it is usually the case of results been based on one gender but being generalised to both such as in Kohlberg's and Freud's theories of moral development. Beta bias applies all findings to all mankind. Many research studies are problematic as they the sample is gender biased; this affects the results and provides invalid and inaccurate feedback. A good example of a beta biased sample is Asch's study of visual perception which looked at opinions and social pressure. ...read more.

Conclusion

Women's development is significantly different from males so can we really generalise moral development to the rest of society from an all male sample? Consequently the methodology appears to be a problem. Also andocentric research fails to allow the researcher to address gender differences; it only shows that men apparently develop further morals than women. Androcentric bias in research may make women feel inferior to men. Sometimes assumptions are made about women in experimental or conformist situations. Eagley (1978) found women may be more conformist generally in experimental situations, from this we assume they may be more conformist. However this finding has failed to address a comparison with men and how conformist they are in experimental situations. Eagley may have over simplified or over exaggerated the situation and put forward the assumption that the male is the norm e.g. men do not conform as easily which sets up the stereo type that men are strong and morally superior. It is difficult to totally overcome gender bias in theory and research; some of the most influential theories within psychology as a whole are based on males only, but are meant to apply equally to both sexes. Also pre assumed ideas in society are difficult to overcome because of the fact that most ideas are based on men, anything different to that stereotypical idea of normal behaviour may be seen as abnormal in some way, women behaviour will obviously differ from men, this must be taken into account in research or gender bias will distort the value of such research. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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