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   Course Title    Psychology of Gender
Lecturer    Leyla Ismayilova
Institution    The Azerbaijan Branch of Moscow Open Social University
Country    Azerbaijan

Aim of the course:

The main aim of this course is to consider gender from a psychological point of view and the formation of competence in the field of new social researches – Gender Studies at students, and also to develop personal and professional qualities required for the psychologists as a future specialists.


  1. To give the main notions, definitions

  2. To show the needs in the theoretical researches and the main directions, achievements and perspectives

  3. To consider the differences between men and women

  4. Psychological analysis of the main sphere of life (education, job, family, leisure, society, etc.)

  5. To work out the positions of equality, tolerance and respect to others (gender, culture, nation, religion); to reveal students’ positions, attitudes, beliefs and values in relation to gender

  1. Role of the course in the overall degree curriculum

    This course is intended for Psychology Department students, especially for ones specialized in the field of applied or practical psychology. This course is a special, additional course in the frame of social psychology and forms a part of the curriculum for higher courses or postgraduate students.

  2. Methods used

    The course is based around a series of twelve discrete topics or themes. A lecture together with an associated discussion is offered for each topic. The lecture presents a general overview of the topic, covering major theories and contemporary researches. Sometimes I will use role-plays, tests and movies.

  3. Course content

  1. Introduction. Aim and objectives of the course "Psychology of gender". Gender as subject in different sciences (philosophy, sociology, etc.). Specialties of the psychological analysis of gender.

    Discussion: Why do we research gender? Why is this knowledge necessary for psychologist?

  2. Theory. Definition of gender, difference between sex and gender. Contemporary directions of theoretical researches, main achievements and perspectives of the future psychological researches.

    Discussion: perspectives of psychological researches of gender.

  3. Childhood. Formation and development of person in ontogenesis. Sexual and gender identity. Childhood development and sex differences.

    Exercise: "What did I think about boys/girls, when I was a child?"

  4. Biology. Biological foundation and gender. Biological differences between man and woman and their influence on differences in psychics. Gender, biology and human behavior.

    Exercise: "Who is better?"

  5. Body and sexuality. Essentialist models of sexuality. Masturbation, its significance in sexual development. Sexual abuses and deviations. Homosexualism. Transexualism and transvestitism. Psychological analysis of possible reasons. Opposite points of view on the nature of sexual deviations.

    Exercise: "What do I think about my body?"
    Discussion: "Homosexualism is illness"
    Game: "Would you sell your genitals for a million dollars?"

  6. Education. Theoretical perspectives.

    Exercise: "What does education mean for me? My attitudes and values."
    "What can I change in my life"

  7. Job. Differences in motivation and attitudes. Gender in organization. Woman and career, stereotypes.

    Discussion: Psychological climate in organization
    Exercise: "My boss is a woman"
    Role-play: conflict situation in my organization, ways of resolution

  8. Parenting and the family. Marriage. Pregnancy and motherhood. Abortion. Cognitive developmental approaches to parenting and gender. The role of father and mother in child development. "Motherly" and "fatherly" aspects of love (E. Fromm).

    Movie "When a man loves the woman" and consequent discussion.
    Role-play: conflict situation in family, ways of resolution

  9. Health and illness, psychopathology. Gender differences. Psychological explanations for differences. Gender-related disorders. Childhood sexual abuse. Gender identity disorders.

    Exercise: "Why do I think that I am a woman/man"
    "Is my gender my passport?"

  10. Society. Man and woman in sport. Man, woman and crime. Women in prisons. Gender and violence (social, physical, sexual). Reasons and consequences of the development and mental health of a person. Victimization of women. Gender and politics. Women’s movements, feminism.

    Exercise: "Can a woman became a president in my country?"
    Discussion: "What do I think about feminism"

  11. Culture. Role of culture in the formation of gender. Presentations and stereotypes about women and men in different cultures. Prejudices: religious, national, sexual, etc. Gender in history, art and literature. Learning gender from religion. Media and TV as important sources of formation for stereotypes and their influence. Aggression and alienation as more important problems in society in XX. century.

    Movie "Before the rain" and consequent discussion.
    Games: "What do I think about your sex" (what do men think about women and vice versa).

  12. Personality. Personal development and growth. Responsibility, freedom and the choice of main characteristics of a mature person. Self-awareness and self-identity. Anti-prejudice and anti-bias, tolerance and respect for others, sex, nation and culture as main principles of formation and development of a person.

    Test "Who am I ?"
    Exercise: "I can be all I want"


  1. Readings


  1. K. Trew "Psychology and gender"

  2. "Sugar and spice" – book for work with young girls.

  3. J. Williams "Psychology of women"

  4. L. Branon "Gender: psychological perspectives"

  5. S. Duck "Human relationships"

  6. B. Madoc-Jones "An introduction in Women’s Study"

  7. M. Hecht "Communication prejudice"

  8. K. Barstein "My gender work book"


  1. C. Renzetti, D. Curran "Women, men and society"

  2. E. Fromm "Art of love"

  3. Dearling "The new youth games book"


  1. Assessment

The group assessment procedure endeavors to take account of various forms of contribution. First, a register of attendance is one of the components of final assessment. Secondly, an active participation in discussions during semester. Third, during semester the students write an essay on a topic of their choice for deeper research and analysis of supposed topics (10-15 pages). The last component of assessment is an interview report consisting of questions by main topics.

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