Psychology 230 Course Offerings

Course Information

  • Department: Psychology
  • Prepared By: Psychology Department
  • Prepared Date: Fall 2017
  • Course Title: Gender Psychology
  • Course Code: PSY/WST 230
  • Credits: 3
  • Contact Hours: 45

Catalog Description

This course will examine sex role stereotypes and their effects, research on psychological sex differences, theories of male and female development, sex roles and social institutions - how perceptions of males and females are influenced by schools, religion, and the media; and male and female approaches to sexuality, marriage, and parenthood. Readings and class discussions will be used to help students achieve a greater understanding of the female and the male experience. Prerequisite(s): PSY 101. Credits: 3 (3,0)

  • Prerequisites: PSY 101, PSY 130, OR PSY 131 or permission from Department Chairperson. Prerequisites
  • Note: Students completing this course may not receive credit for WST 230.
  • Required For: None
  • Elective For: All curricula with a social science elective.
  • Texts Currently in Use: To be decided by faculty

Course Outline

Unit I:           Male and Female-Myth vs. Reality

                     A. Sex roles gender roles, stereotypes and power

                     B. Status differences between the sexes--their historical and societal roots

                     C. Similarities and differences between the sexes-biological vs. environmental explanations

                     D. Theories of identification and sex-role socialization

                     E. Early socialization-parents and children

Unit II:           Sex-Role Socialization

                      A. Language--verbal and non-verbal

                      B. The educational system

                      C. Television

                      D. Advertising

                      E. Adolescence--a time of change

                      F. Teenage socialization-Friendship, dating and sexuality

Unit III:           Sex roles and Social Institutions

                       A. Religion

                       B. Science

                       C. The World of Work

                       D. The World of Politics

Unit IV:           Sex Roles in Marriage and Parenthood

                       A. Remaining single

                       B. Power in marriage

                       C. Marriage--male vs. female perspectives

                       D. Diversity in families E. Dual career families

                       F. Single parent families

Unit V:           Sexual Victimization

                      A. Pornography

                      B. Rape

                      C. Domestic Violence


By the end of the course students will

  1. Be able to critique theories of development that both emphasize and ignore the role of gender.
  2. Understand topics that are particularly related to gender: sexual victimization (pornography, rape, domestic violence, power and relationships) aggression, competition and achievement, nurturing and care-taking.
  3. Have explored the relationship between race, gender and class.
  4. Be familiar with research on developmental, intellectual, emotional and social differences related to gender and the difficulties inherent in gender research.
  5. Understand traditional and non-traditional gender roles and the dynamics related to role choice.
  6. Be familiar with theories of gender identity development.
  7. Be familiar with gay/lesbian identity and relationship issues.
  8. Have explored the relationship between gender and labor force participation.
  9. Understand the motivation behind and the impact of both the men’s and women’s movement.


Given the possible emergence of a Women's Studies Program as a concentration under Technical Studies, the Psychology Department has been requested to cross reference one of its courses. This course is PSY230 (Gender Psychology) and we request that the course be cross referenced as PSY/WST230 or another appropriate format. Gender Psychology is one of three already existing courses that will be asked to be cross referenced as part of this new program. Since PSY230 is a Psychology course, only members of the Psychology Department will have the responsibility for teaching it.

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