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The Psychology of Sex and Gender

The Psychology of Sex and Gender

Second Edition

January 2021 | 744 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Meeting the needs of gender science today, The Psychology of Sex and Gender provides students with balanced coverage of men and women that is grounded in psychological science. The dynamic author team of Jennifer K. Bosson, Camille E. Buckner, and Joseph A. Vandello paints a complete, vibrant picture of the field through the presentation of classic and cutting-edge research, historical contexts, examples from pop culture, cross-cultural universality and variation, and coverage of nonbinary identities. In keeping with the growing scholarship of teaching and learning (SOTL), the text encourages students to identify and evaluate their own myths and misconceptions, participate in real-world debates, and pause to think critically along the way. The thoroughly revised Second Edition integrates an expanded focus on diversity and inclusion, enhances pedagogy based on SOTL, and provides the most up-to-date scientific findings in the field.

About the Authors
CHAPTER 1 • Introducing Sex and Gender
Introducing Sex and Gender

How Do We Explain Central Concepts in the Psychology of Sex and Gender?

What Makes Sex and Gender So Complicated?

How Have Gender Movements Shaped History?

About This Book

CHAPTER 2 • Studying Sex and Gender
Studying Sex and Gender

What Is the Meaning of Difference?

What Is Science?

What Are the Primary Methods Used in Sex and Gender Research?

How Do We Draw Conclusions From Multiple Studies?

What Are Some Biases Common in Sex and Gender Research?

How Do We Address Challenges in Sex and Gender Research?

CHAPTER 3 • The Nature and Nurture of Sex and Gender
The Nature and Nurture of Sex and Gender

Nature Versus Nurture or Nature and Nurture?

How Do Nature and Nurture Shape Sex Differentiation?

How Do Nature and Nurture Shape Sex Assignment and Gender Identity?

What Do Sex Differences in Brain Structure Reveal?

How Do Theories of Sex Differences Account for Nature and Nurture?

CHAPTER 4 • Gender Development
Gender Development

How Central Are Sex and Gender in Early Development?

What Are the Major Theoretical Approaches to Gender Development?

What Are the Experiences of Gender-Nonconforming Children?

How Do Sex and Gender Shape Development in Adolescence and Emerging Adulthood?

How Do Sex and Gender Shape Development in Middle and Late Adulthood?

CHAPTER 5 • The Contents and Origins of Gender Stereotypes
The Contents and Origins of Gender Stereotypes

What Are the Contents and Structure of Gender Stereotypes?

Where Do Gender Stereotypes Come From?

What Are Some Consequences of Gender Stereotyping?

Are Gender Stereotypes Accurate?

So How Universal Are Gender Stereotypes, Really?

CHAPTER 6 • Power, Sexism, and Discrimination
Power, Sexism, and Discrimination

How Do Power and Privilege Relate to Sex and Gender?

What Is Sexism, and Why Does It Persist?

What Is Gender Discrimination?

How Can We Resist and Reduce Gender Discrimination?

CHAPTER 7 • Cognitive Abilities and Aptitudes
Cognitive Abilities and Aptitudes

What Is Cognitive Ability?

What Are the Sex Differences and Similarities in Cognitive Abilities?

How Do Individual Differences and Context Influence Cognitive Performance?

How Do Sex and Gender Relate to Outcomes in School and STEM Fields?

CHAPTER 8 • Language, Communication, and Emotion
Language, Communication, and Emotion

How Do Gender-Related Words Influence Social Perception?

What Roles Do Sex and Gender Play in Verbal Communication?

What Roles Do Sex and Gender Play in Nonverbal Communication?

How Do Sex and Gender Shape the Experience, Expression, and Identification of Emotions?

CHAPTER 9 • Sexual Orientation and Sexuality
Sexual Orientation and Sexuality

How Do Understandings of Sexuality and Sexual Orientation

Differ Across Time and Culture?

What Is Sexual Orientation?

How Does Sexual Orientation Develop?

Why Do People Differ in Sexual Orientation?

How Do Sex and Gender Contribute to the Experience of Sexuality?

How Does Sexuality Change Over the Life Course?

CHAPTER 10 • Interpersonal Relationships
Interpersonal Relationships

What Roles Do Sex and Gender Play in Social Networks and Friendships?

What Roles Do Sex and Gender Play in Interpersonal Attraction?

What Is the Nature of Marriage—Past and Present?

What Roles Do Sex and Gender Play in Committed Relationships?

What Roles Do Sex and Gender Play in Parenting and Family Relationships?

CHAPTER 11 • Work and Home
Work and Home

How Have Work and Home Labor Divisions Changed?

How Do People Divide Housework and Childcare at Home?

How Does Gender Operate in the Workplace?

How Can We Explain the Gender Wage Gap?

How Do Work and Family Roles Interact?

CHAPTER 12 • Gender and Physical Health
Gender and Physical Health

How Have Understandings of Health and Longevity Changed Over Time?

How Do Biological Factors Shape Sex Differences in Health?

How Do Social Factors Contribute to Sex Disparities in Health?

How Do Multiple Systems of Discrimination Shape Health and Health Care?

What Do We Know About Sex-Specific Health Issues?

CHAPTER 13 • Gender and Psychological Health
Gender and Psychological Health

How Are Mental Illnesses Defined, Classified, and Conceptualized?

What Contributes to Sex Differences in Internalizing Disorders?

What Contributes to Sex Differences in Externalizing Disorders?

What Roles Do Sex and Gender Play in Eating and Body Image Disorders?

How Do LGBTQ Statuses Relate to Mental Health?

What Roles Do Sex and Gender Play in Mental Health Help-Seeking?

What Roles Do Sex and Gender Play in Happiness and Well-Being?

CHAPTER 14 • Aggression and Violence
Aggression and Violence

Are There Sex Differences in Aggression?

What Are the Major Forms of Gender-Based Aggression and Violence?

What Explains Gender-Based Aggression and Violence?

What Is the Relationship Between Pornography and Sexual Aggression?

CHAPTER 15 • Gender Past, Present, and Future
Gender Past, Present, and Future

Gender Past: Where Were We (in the 19th and 20th Centuries)?

Gender Present: Where Are We Now (in the 21st Century)?

Gender Future: Where Are We Going?

Revisiting Our Challenge to You: Critical Thinking

Subject Index
Author Index


Instructor Teaching Site

Online resources included with this text

The online resources for your text are available via the password-protected Instructor Resource Site, which offers access to all text-specific resources, including a test bank and editable, chapter-specific PowerPoint® slides.
Student Study Site
The open-access Student Study Site makes it easy for students to maximize their study time, anywhere, anytime. It offers flashcards that strengthen understanding of key terms and concepts, as well as learning objectives that reinforce the most important material.
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Il testo è davvero ben fatto, molto completo, ma incontro la difficoltà della lingua per i miei studenti. Sarà però consigliato nel caso in cui uno di loro volesse concludere la tesi su genere e/o sessualità

Professor Luca Balugani
Scienze dell’Educazione e della Formazione, Istituto Giuseppe Toniolo di Studi Superiori
December 5, 2023

I thought the instructor resources were extremely helpful. I thought the real life examples were also relevant. Many topics were covered in an easy to understand way. I wish that more chapters focused outside the binary. FOr example, the section on sexism was focused mainly on sexism experienced by women.

Professor Alana Friedlander
Psychology Dept, Roosevelt University
October 16, 2022

This is a welcome addition to the A level extension reading material. It adds depth and value to the definitions offered by the awarding body and is in a clear format.

Mrs Claire Lunn
Humanities, Exeter College
October 15, 2021
Key features


  • An expanded focus on diversity and inclusion includes more use of gender-inclusive pronouns (they/them) and terms (Latinx); more empirical research examining gender-related outcomes at the intersections of different social identities (sex, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation); and more diverse ranges of cultures, experiences, and perspectives.
  • Enhanced structure and pedagogy drawn from the scholarship of teaching and learning (SOTL) better facilitates student comprehension.
  • A dedicated final chapter, Gender Past, Present, and Future, prompts students to use past and present understandings of gender psychology to identify unanswered questions that will likely shape the future of the field.
  • Bolstered pedagogical features further capture student interest and encourage connections.
    • 20 new Sidebar boxes cover timely people, topics, and events like Lizzo, body positivity, and the #MeToo movement.
    • 20 new Stop and Think questions and updated chapter debates prompt students to use and fine-tune their critical thinking skills.
  • Reorganized and streamlined content moves sections, subsections, and debates within chapters and combines or expands existing sections to enhance clarity and flow of information.
  • Updated content includes over 500 new references to keep readers up to date on the most current scientific findings from gender psychology and related fields that study sex and gender.

  • An emphasis on diversity weaved into the text rather than in separate boxed features shows students that the psychology of sex and gender is about everyone, not just those who occupy mainstream or privileged social groups.
  • Pedagogical tools based on the scholarship of teaching and learning (SOTL) allow students to transfer knowledge gained beyond the end of the learning experience.
    • Text concepts illustrated with pop culture examples capture and hold student interest and prompt them to connect the material to what they already know.
    • Short Test Your Knowledge quizzes at the beginning of chapters ask students to engage in metacognition about their knowledge, perspectives, and assumptions; answers appear at the end of chapters.
    • Thematic content is weaved throughout the text to help students organize new material in deeper and more meaningful associative networks that span across different chapters.
    • Application of knowledge to other course material, current events, and personal experiences is encouraged to deepen the level of student understanding and retention.
  • Chapter-opening learning objectives aligned with SOTL provide students with the concrete actions (describe, analyze, apply) that they will be able to complete after reading each chapter to demonstrate mastery of the material.
  • Journey of Research features examine the colorful histories of topics from a scholarly perspective over time to demonstrate that science is a continually evolving process.
  • Stop and Think questions that incorporate all levels of Bloom’s taxonomy prompt students to activate their critical thinking skills.
  • Debate features draw from the many lively disagreements in the field to present both sides of an issue in an unbiased way for readers to draw their own informed conclusions.
  • Attention-grabbing Sidebar boxes in each chapter offer details about high interest topics or new and exciting research findings.
  • Chapter-ending summaries provide recaps tied back to chapter-opening learning objectives. 

For instructors

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