Psychology 4790G 001 FW23

Special Topics: Social Psychology of Gender

If there is a discrepancy between the outline posted below and the outline posted on the OWL course website, the latter shall prevail.



LONDON               CANADA 

Department of Psychology 



Psychology 4790G    001  

Special Topics: Social Psychology of Gender  






The focus of this course is to develop a deeper understanding of gender relations through the lens of social psychology. Applying a variety of social psychological theories and research, we explore how gender shapes self-conceptions and social interactions across different contexts and domains.  We examine evolutionary and cultural accounts of gender differences, how and why attitudes toward the other gender are ambivalent, and the ways in which even positive female stereotypes tend to uphold the gender status quo. We also explore how sex stereotypes become “gender rules” that result in backlash against non-gender conforming people, with special attention to how the pressure to conform to gender roles limits choices and impedes equality, and how gendered attitudes play out in the workplace and romantic relationships. Throughout the course, we consider the prospects for continued progress in gender equality, including whether lasting change in gender roles, stereotypes and hierarchy is on the horizon, stalled, or sliding backwards.  


Antirequisite: Not Applicable.   


Prerequisite(s): Both Psychology 2801F/G and Psychology 2811A/B, or the former Psychology 2820E, or both the former Psychology 2800E and the former Psychology 2810, PLUS registration in fourth year Main Campus Honours Specialization in Psychology or fourth year Honours Specialization in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience. Fourth year Main Campus Psychology students and Main Campus Psychology Special Students who receive 75% in the prerequisite courses may enrol in this course.   


3 lecture hours; Course Weight: 0.5 


Unless you have either the prerequisites for this course or written special permission from your Dean to enrol in it, you may be removed from this course and it will be deleted from your record. This decision may not be appealed. You will receive no adjustment to your fees in the event that you are dropped from a course for failing to have the necessary prerequisites. 





Instructor:               Dr. Rachel Calogero 

Office and Phone Number:    Room 321, Westminster Hall, x 80403  

Office Hours:              By appointment  

Email:     (include PSYC 4790G in subject line) 


Time and Location of Classes:  In-Person. See Times and Locations posted on Student Centre Timetable

Students who are in emotional/mental distress should refer to Health and Wellness @Western for a complete list of options about how to obtain help. 


Please contact the course instructor if you require material in an alternate format or if you require any other arrangements to make this course more accessible to you. You may also contact Accessible Education at  or 519-661-2147. 








Please note: For courses delivered in an online format, include an online component, or are required to pivot online, students must have a reliable internet connection and computer that are compatible with online learning system requirements. Some courses may also require the use of a remote proctoring platform to ensure assessments are taken fairly in accordance with Western’s policy on Scholastic Discipline for Undergraduate Students and Scholastic Discipline for Graduate Students.  




Rudman, L.A., & Glick, P. (2021). The Social Psychology of Gender: How Power and Intimacy Shape Gender Relations. Second Edition. Guilford Press. 


Additional reading material will be assigned each week and is listed in the course schedule. The readings are available on the course OWL site under the Resources tab. 





This course is devoted to understanding the social psychological processes that shape gender and underlie the effects of gender in everyday life. By the end of the course, students should understand the basic theories, methods, findings, and problems encountered in the social psychological study of gender. We cover a range of topics related to the development of gender, how gender operates in the workplace and romantic relationships, and how gender hierarchies are maintained. This course provides an overview of the most up to date scientific findings in the field, encourages students to evaluate their own myths and misconceptions about gender, and challenges students to think critically about gender relations in their everyday lives.  


Class attendance in this course is mandatory. Lectures and discussions are intended to complement the textbook, which means I will present a blend of content that will include information not in the textbook. Class attendance will significantly increase how much you get out of this course.  


Gender is inherently a sensitive topic and is interwoven with other sensitive topics (social class, race). In a class of this nature and size, we cover sensitive and personally relevant topics, and a variety of opinions and views are to be expected. To ensure a positive learning experience and full participation by all, please listen with an open mind and express your thoughts and responses in a respectful manner. 





1. Define and distinguish major theoretical frameworks on the social psychology of gender 

lectures; readings; discussion 

discussion; muddy point papers 

2. Identify key concepts and processes in the social psychological study of gender  

lectures; readings; discussion 

discussion; muddy point papers; science communication project 

3. Explain how power and intimacy shape gender relations and gender hierarchies 

lectures; readings; discussion 

discussion; muddy point papers; science communication project 

4.  Explain effects of gender attitudes and roles in everyday life domains 

lectures; readings; discussion 

discussion; muddy point papers; photo journal; science communication project 

5. Recognize and demonstrate how gender shapes our everyday lives and experiences 

lectures; readings; discussion 

discussion; photo journal; science communication project 

6. Be able to speak to other people about gender and complex social issues 

lectures; readings; discussion 

discussion; photo journal; science communication project 






The evaluation and assessment formats for this course were created to assess the learning objectives as listed in section 4.0 and are considered necessary for meeting these learning objectives. 


1 – Participation (33% of overall mark) 


Attendance and Discussion 


This class is interactive so it will not be possible to replicate this learning when many classes are missed. I know that absences are sometimes unavoidable, but please try to notify me in advance if you are unable to attend. If something is interfering with your ability to attend class, please come talk to me.  


Readings are listed on the course schedule and must be completed before class. Please come ready to participate! Participation means that you are prepared and engaged. Your comments and questions should related to the course material.  


Students will earn up to two participation points during each class meeting, and the points will be averaged across the semester to determine the total participation grade: 


0 = unexcused absence 


1 = present but not engaged: did not contribute, did not come prepared, only stated personal opinions, engaged in disruptive activities (e.g., texting, having side conversations, arriving late, leaving early, etc.) 


2 = present and engaged: asked or answered questions about the readings, comments demonstrated engagement with readings, drawing connections between readings or concepts, considering the real-word implications of the course material, working collaboratively in small group activities, etc. 


Every student is allowed one free absence during the term—you can miss one class meeting, no questions asked, without it being counted as “unexcused.” 


I want to make sure everyone is getting the most out of this class, so if you are having difficulty with participation (for whatever reason) please contact me and we can discuss options.  


Muddy Point Papers 


Throughout the term, students will complete Muddy Point Papers (MPP). In these short writing assignments, students will describe (1) the main points of and (2) the questions that they had in response to one of the assigned readings. This assignment allows students to demonstrate that they have read and engaged with the readings. 

Each paper is worth a total of 4 points (2 points for the Main Points, 2 points for the Muddy Points). MPP will be due before class (by 1:30pm) on the day they are due and submitted on OWL. Detailed instructions and a grading rubric are posted on OWL. 


See the course schedule for MPP reading assignments and due dates. 



2 – Photo Journal Project (33% of overall mark) 


Students will work on a photo-journal project over the course of the semester. The photo-journal project contains both a group component and an individual component. The overarching purpose of the assignment is to help students engage with course material outside of the classroom and draw connections between course material and real-world experiences. 


Weekly Photos 


Students will take photos each week that are related to the course topics. You can take photos of people, places, objects, or anything else in your daily life that is relevant to this class. At the beginning of the semester, the instructor will create groups of 2-3 students. Every member of the group must take at least one photo every week. In class, groups will be given time to discuss their photos, decide which TWO they want to submit, and choose who will write the captions for the photos and submit them by the due date. 


Groups must submit TWO photos with a title and caption by emailing them to me ( Each photo must have a title that reflects the meaning or point of the photo. Each photo must have a caption that includes (1) one to two sentences describing the image and where it was taken, and (2) two to three sentences relating the image to the course material (e.g., readings, lectures, videos, terms/concepts). Each photo with title is worth 1 point and each caption is worth 4 points. 


Detailed instructions and a grading rubric are posted on OWL. See the course schedule for the photo due dates. 


Group Grade 


At the end of the semester, students will grade the contributions of all group members (including a self-grade). This grade will consist of three questions, each worth up to 4 points: 


Did this group member have at least one photo to contribute each week?  

(0 = never, 1 = rarely, 2 = sometimes, 3 = usually, 4 = always) 


Did this group member actively participate in the discussions about the photos? 

(0 = never, 1 = rarely, 2 = sometimes, 3 = usually, 4 = always) 


Did this group member help in writing the captions and posting the photos? 

(0 = never, 1 = rarely, 2 = sometimes, 3 = usually, 4 = always) 


The points assigned to each group member will be averaged to create a contribution score for each student. 



3 – Science Communication Project (34% of overall mark) 


The final assignment will be an individually prepared science communication project. The purpose of this assignment is to reflect on your observations of course topics in everyday life through your photos and what you have learned in class and communicate that knowledge to others. Students will critically analyze the photos by identifying themes that arose in their own groups’ photos (which may include submitted and unsubmitted photos), and connect these to the course material (e.g., readings, lectures) and share with others in an engaging way. These projects often take the form of a zine where photos and images are integrated with blurbs and mini articles to engage readers and get people interested and understanding the role of gender in our lives. The project can also take the form of a website or blog or other media format. Students will present their projects at the end of the term.  


Detailed instructions and grading rubrics for this assignment are posted on OWL. 




Missed coursework will be marked as a 0. Please see Section 11.0 for the University’s policies regarding the documentation required to accommodate illness or other absences. In the case of an approved accommodation for illness or other absences, deadlines for missed coursework will be rescheduled. 


        PLEASE NOTE: Because this is an essay course, as per Senate Regulations, you must pass the             

        essay component to pass the course. That is, the average mark for your written assignments must      

        be at least 50%. 


        This course is exempt from the Senate requirement that students receive assessment of their work       

        accounting for at least 15% of their final grade at least three full days before the date of the deadline        

        for withdrawal from a course without academic penalty.  


The expectation for course grades within the Psychology Department is that they will be distributed around the following averages: 


70% 1000-level to 2099-level courses 

72% 2100-2999-level courses 

75% 3000-level courses 

80% 4000-level courses 


The Psychology Department follows Western’s grading guidelines, which are as follows (see: 


A+ 90-100 One could scarcely expect better from a student at this level 

A 80-89 Superior work that is clearly above average 

B 70-79 Good work, meeting all requirements, and eminently satisfactory 

C 60-69 Competent work, meeting requirements 

D 50-59 Fair work, minimally acceptable 

F below 50 Fail 


Note that in the event that course grades are significantly higher or lower than these averages, instructors may be required to make adjustments to course grades. Such adjustment might include the normalization of one or more course components and/or the re-weighting of various course components. 


Policy on Grade Rounding: Please note that although course grades within the Psychology Department are rounded to the nearest whole number, no further grade rounding will be done. No additional assignments will be offered to enhance a final grade; nor will requests to change a grade because it is needed for a future program be considered. To maximize your grade, do your best on each and every assessment within the course. 





All due dates for assignments are listed in the course schedule. 







Topics and Readings 




​Introduction to Social Psychology of Gender​ 




Understanding Gender 


  • Rudman & Glick – Chapter 1 
  • How to read empirical articles 
  • Paul. C. (2016): Why do we teach girls that it’s cute to be scared? (The New York Times) 
  • Bowleg (2008): When Black + lesbian + woman ¹ Black lesbian woman 

[Note: the section titled “Analyzing Intersectionality Data” (p.317-320) is very advanced, so you do not have to read/know this section in detail] 




Dominance, Interdependence, & Ambivalence 


  • Rudman & Glick – Chapter 2 
  • Kirsch & Murnen (2015): “Hot girls” and “cool dudes” 


Week 2 Photos Due (by 8 pm) 


MPP #1 due by 1:30pm (write on the Kirsch & Murnen reading) 



Development of Gender Relations 


  • Rudman & Glick – Chapter 3 
  • Fine (2010): Delusions of Gender, Chapters 9-11 
  • Savage. M. (October 3, 2022): The parents raising their children without gender (BBC) 


Week 3 Photos Due (by 8 pm) 


MPP #2 due by 1:30pm (write on any one of the Fine chapters 



Gender Stereotypes and Maintaining Hierarchy 


  • Rudman & Glick – Chapter 4 & 5 
  • Haines et al. (2016): The times they are a-changing…or are they not? 
  • Maroist, G. (March 8, 2023). The often unbearable cost of being a woman with an opinion online. 


Week 4 Photos Due (by 8 pm) 


MPP #3 due by 1:30pm (write on the Haines et al. reading) 



Gender at Work 


  • Rudman & Glick – Chapter 6 
  • Brescoll (2016): Leading with their hearts 
  • Brewster et al. (2014): Voices from beyond 


Week 5 Photos Due (by 8 pm) 


MPP #4 due by 1:30pm (write on the Brewster et al. reading) 



Spring Reading Week 




Female Bodies and Beauty 


  • Rudman & Glick – Chapter 7 
  • Bartky (1991): Femininity and Domination,  Chapter 2 
  • McMillan Cottom, T. (2016): When Your (Brown) Body is a (White) Wonderland  
  • Tovar, V. (2018): You Have the Right to Remain Fat, pp.15-25 (What are Fatphobia and Diet Culture), pp. 45-59 (Internalized Inferiority and Sexism), pp. 61-73 (Bros Love Thinness: Heteromasculinity and Whiteness) 

Week 6 Photos Due (by 8 pm) 


MPP #5 due by 1:30pm (write on the Tovar reading) 



Love, Romance, and Sex 


  • Rudman & Glick – Chapter 8 & 9 
  • Saini, A. (2017). Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong and the New Research that’s Rewriting the Story, Chapter 6 
  • Traister, R. (2016). All the Single Ladies, Chapter 1 
  • Alba, B. (August 1, 2023). Is traditional heterosexual romance sexist? (The Conversation) 

Week 8 Photos Due (by 8 pm) 


MPP #6 due by 1:30pm (write on the Saini reading) 





  • Rudman & Glick – Chapter 10 
  • McDermott et al. (2018). In search of positive masculine role norms 
  • McElroy, A. (January 13, 2022). This isn’t your old toxic masculinity. It has taken an insidious new form. (The New York Times) 
  • Abdelmahmoud, E. (May 31, 2023). Ted Lasso, and the fantasy of soft masculinity. (The New York Times) 

Week 9 Photos Due (by 8 pm) 


MPP #7 due by 1:30pm (write on the McDermott reading) 



​No Class - Conference​ 

Week 10 Photos Due (by 8 pm) 




Violence, Dominance, & Control 


  • Rudman & Glick – Chapter 11 
  • Pascoe & Hollander (2016): Good guys don’t rape 
  • Saini, A. (2017). Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong and the New Research that’s Rewriting the Story, Chapter 7 
  • Valenti, J. (April 26, 2018). When misogynists become terrorists. (New York Times) 


Week 11 Photos Due (by 8 pm) 


MPP #8 due by 1:30pm (write on the Pascoe & Hollander reading) 



Science Communication & Film Finale 












We acknowledge that Western University is located on the traditional lands of the Anishinaabek, Haudenosaunee, Lūnaapéewak and Attawandaron peoples, on lands connected with the London Township and Sombra Treaties of 1796 and the Dish with One Spoon Covenant Wampum. 


With this, we respect the longstanding relationships that Indigenous Nations have to this land, as they are the original caretakers. We acknowledge historical and ongoing injustices that Indigenous Peoples (e.g., First Nations, Métis and Inuit) endure in Canada, and we accept responsibility as a public institution to contribute toward revealing and correcting miseducation, as well as renewing respectful relationships with Indigenous communities through our teaching, research and community service. 





Students are responsible for understanding the nature and avoiding the occurrence of plagiarism and other scholastic offences. Plagiarism and cheating are considered very serious offences because they undermine the integrity of research and education. Actions constituting a scholastic offence are described at the following link: 


As of Sept. 1, 2009, the Department of Psychology will take the following steps to detect scholastic offences. All multiple-choice tests and exams will be checked for similarities in the pattern of responses using reliable software, and records will be made of student seating locations in all tests and exams. All written assignments will be submitted to TurnItIn, a service designed to detect and deter plagiarism by comparing written material to over 5 billion pages of content located on the Internet or in TurnItIn’s databases. All papers submitted for such checking will be included as source documents in the reference database for the purpose of detecting plagiarism of papers subsequently submitted to the system. Use of the service is subject to the licensing agreement, currently between Western and ( 


Computer-marked multiple-choice tests and/or exams will be subject to submission for similarity review by software that will check for unusual coincidences in answer patterns that may indicate cheating. 


In classes that involve the use of a personal response system (PRS), data collected using the PRS will only be used in a manner consistent to that described in this outline. It is the instructor’s responsibility to make every effort to ensure that data remain confidential. However, students should be aware that as with all forms of electronic communication, privacy is not guaranteed. Your PRS login credentials are for your sole use only. Students attempting to use another student’s credentials to submit data through the PRS may be subject to academic misconduct proceedings.  


Possible penalties for a scholastic offence include failure of the assignment/exam, failure of the course, suspension from the University, and expulsion from the University. 




If a remote proctoring service is used, the service will require you to provide personal information (including some biometric data). The session will be recorded. In the event that in-person exams are unexpectedly canceled, you may only be given notice of the use of a proctoring service a short time in advance. More information about remote proctoring is available in the Online Proctoring Guidelines. Please ensure you are familiar with any proctoring service’s technical requirements before the exam. Additional guidance is available at the following link: 


* Please note that Zoom servers are located outside Canada. If you would prefer to use only your first name or a nickname to login to Zoom, please provide this information to the instructor in advance of the test or examination. See this link for technical requirements:   




Western’s policy on Accommodation for Medical Illness can be found at: 


If you experience an extenuating circumstance (e.g., illness, injury) sufficiently significant to temporarily make you unable to meet academic requirements, you may request accommodation through the following routes:  

  1. For medical absences, submitting a Student Medical Certificate (SMC) signed by a licensed medical or mental health practitioner in order to be eligible for Academic Consideration;  
  1. For non-medical absences, submitting appropriate documentation (e.g., obituary, police report, accident report, court order, etc.) to Academic Counselling in their Faculty of registration in order to be eligible for academic consideration. Students are encouraged to contact their Academic Counselling unit to clarify what documentation is appropriate. 


Students must see the Academic Counsellor and submit all required documentation in order to be approved for certain accommodation. 


Students seeking academic consideration: 

  • are advised to consider carefully the implications of postponing tests or midterm exams or delaying handing in work;   
  • must communicate with their instructors no later than 24 hours after the end of the period covered SMC, or immediately upon their return following a documented absence 


Students seeking accommodation for religious purposes are advised to contact Academic Counselling at least three weeks prior to the religious event and as soon as possible after the start of the term. 




In the event of a COVID-19 resurgence or any other event that necessitates the course delivery moving away from face-to-face interaction, all remaining course content will be delivered entirely online, either synchronously (i.e., at the times indicated in the timetable) or asynchronously (e.g., posted on OWL for students to view at their convenience). The grading scheme will not change. Any remaining assessments will also be conducted online, as determined by the course instructor. 




In courses involving online interactions, the Psychology Department expects students to honour the following rules of etiquette: 

  • please “arrive” to class on time 
  • please use your computer and/or laptop if possible (as opposed to a cell phone or tablet) 
  • please ensure that you are in a private location to protect the confidentiality of discussions in the event that a class discussion deals with sensitive or personal material 
  • to minimize background noise, kindly mute your microphone for the entire class until you are invited to speak, unless directed otherwise 
  • In classes larger than 30 participants please turn off your video camera for the entire class unless you are invited to speak 
  • In classes of 30 students or fewer, where video chat procedures are being used, please be prepared to turn your video camera off at the instructor’s request if the internet connection becomes unstable 
  • Unless invited by your instructor, do not share your screen in the meeting 


The course instructor will act as moderator for the class and will deal with any questions from participants. To participate please consider the following: 

  • If you wish to speak, use the “raise hand” function and wait for the instructor to acknowledge you before beginning your comment or question. 
  • Please remember to unmute your microphone and turn on your video camera before speaking. 
  • Self-identify when speaking. 
  • Please remember to mute your mic and turn off your video camera after speaking (unless directed otherwise). 


General considerations of “netiquette”: 

  • Keep in mind the different cultural and linguistic backgrounds of the students in the course. 
  • Be courteous toward the instructor, your colleagues, and authors whose work you are discussing. 
  • Be respectful of the diversity of viewpoints that you will encounter in the class and in your readings. The exchange of diverse ideas and opinions is part of the scholarly environment. “Flaming” is never appropriate. 
  • Be professional and scholarly in all online postings. Use proper grammar and spelling. Cite the ideas of others appropriately. 


Note that disruptive behaviour of any type during online classes, including inappropriate use of the chat function, is unacceptable. Students found guilty of Zoom-bombing a class or of other serious online offenses may be subject to disciplinary measures under the Code of Student Conduct. 




Office of the Registrar:   


Student Development Services:  


Psychology Undergraduate Program: 


If you wish to appeal a grade, please read the policy documentation at: 

Please first contact the course instructor. If your issue is not resolved, you may make your appeal to the Undergraduate Chair in Psychology ( 


Copyright Statement: Lectures and course materials, including power point presentations, outlines, videos and similar materials, are protected by copyright. You may take notes and make copies of course materials for your own educational use. You may not record lectures, reproduce (or allow others to reproduce), post or distribute any course materials publicly and/or for commercial purposes without the instructor’s written consent. 


Policy on the Recording of Synchronous Sessions: Some or all of the remote learning sessions for this course (if scheduled) may be recorded. The data captured during these recordings may include your image, voice recordings, chat logs and personal identifiers (name displayed on the screen). The recordings will be used for educational purposes related to this course, including evaluations. The recordings may be disclosed to other individuals participating in the course for their private or group study purposes. Please contact the instructor if you have any concerns related to session recordings. Participants in this course are not permitted to privately record the sessions, except where recording is an approved accommodation, or the student has the prior written permission of the instructor.