What is the truth about males and females and their feelings and expression of emotion? The story is that women are emotional and freely express those emotions while men either don't have feelings or, if they do, do not express them. Even if this generalization were true, factors in addition to gender are at play, including the general culture in which each gender is raised and the expectations for behavior within that culture.
In this Application Assignment, you will analyze the differences in emotion and emotional expression between men and women and explore factors that may influence these differences, including the environment, society, culture, etc.
To prepare for this assignment:
- Review Chapter 7 of the course text, Gender: Psychological Perspectives. Focus both on what the various studies and assessment results say about gender differences in specific cognitive abilities, as well as potential factors that might influence these differences.
- Review the article, "Sex Differences in Emotion: A Critical Review of the Literature and Implications for Counseling Psychology." Focus on the general findings related to sex differences in emotion and where these findings support and contradict each other.
- Review the article, "Cross-Cultural Differences in Children's Emotional Reactions to a Disappointing Situation." Focus on this article as one example of what may be reasons for differences in emotional expression across cultures.
- Think about ways in which emotions impact individuals and their relationships with others in work situations, school situations, and in family and personal relationships.
- Consider how men and women you know typically respond emotionally. How are they similar and how are they different?
- Think about what contributes to differences that do exist between the men and women you know. What role, if any, does culture play in the differences? What is the expectation or stereotype associated with the response of each gender?
- Reflect on the impact of emotional responses or lack thereof on individuals and on society as a whole.
The assignment (1–3 pages):
- Briefly explain one way in which emotion impacts individuals in relationship to others in a specific situation (work, school, sports, family, relationships, etc.)
- Analyze gender differences in this emotion by addressing the following:
- Briefly explain how the expectation or stereotype related to this emotion—the experience and expression of it—is different for each gender.
- Briefly explain where the expectation or stereotype of this emotional feeling and expression come from.
- Pick one culture that is different from your own in terms of expectations of emotion and gender. Explain how emotional expression is similar and different for this culture.
- Explain any conclusions or insights you have about gender and emotion.