Psychology of Gender

Discipline: Psychology
Instructor: Hebl
Credits: 3

Field Work: Day 1 - Tuesday, 12 January | Hawaii, United States Download Syllabus

Are men and women more alike or different? Is sexual orientation innate? Should female workers really “lean in,” as Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg suggests? What are the consequences of advertisements on women’s self-esteem? Are male models getting thinner too? Are there still gender differences in the classroom? How can we inspire women to succeed in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) courses?

The purpose of this course is to pose answers to these and other questions related to the psychology of gender, especially in the context of the cultures we will visit during the voyage. This course will provide an overview of research and theory on gender in psychology and we will examine the myths and stereotypes associated with men and women in our society, the social and psychological gender differences that have been identified in research, and the evidence and theoretical arguments concerning the origin of these differences. This course will be taught from an empirical perspective and findings will focus on those obtained in experimental psychological research.  Thus, we will identify the studies being conducted and the answers currently being proposed by the research community on longstanding and contemporary issues pertaining to the psychology of gender. In addition, we will cover selected topics that tie in to the study of gender including discrimination, leadership, negotiations, and sexual orientation. Finally, this course will be punctuated with trips to some countries that have large amounts of gender disparities, and we will explore this theoretically and with firsthand visits.

Field Work

Country: Hawaii, United States
Day: 1 - Tuesday, 12 January

The Field Lab will occur in Honolulu, Hawaii, on January 12th. This lab will involve a day-long visit in which we will learn about multicultural views on gender, as experienced through the different Polynesian cultures of New Zealand, Fiji, Hawaii, Samoa, and Rapa Nui. We will travel to the Polynesian Cultural Center, where we will meet with our guide, experientially learn by taking part in different hands-on exercises, enjoy a barbecue buffet, and reflect about gender differences during our return to the ship.

Academic Objectives:
1. Examine gender similarities and differences across the varied micronesian countries
2. Learn firsthand by observing gender practices that vary according to culture by viewing demonstrations, engaging in cultural skills and gendered practices, and hear talks and performances by the different men and women from Micronesian countries
3. Reflect on how these gendered practices are similar and different to students own cultures, and the societal and genetic origins of such gender differences