Karen J. Prager, Ph.D., A.B.P.P.

Professor of Psychology and  Program Head for Gender Studies

Diplomate in Family Psychology

The University of Texas at Dallas

More Information About Dr. Prager's work


Research on Intimacy

Processes in Couple Relationships 

Teaching and Professional Practice

Selected Papers and Publications


For Students:




Click here to return to the Psychology of Gender syllabus

Wondering what kinds of items will be on the multiple-choice exams?  Here are some samples from old tests.

1. The general gender-related pattern of intimacy in friendship is:

> a. women disclose more of their private thoughts and feelings to their friends than men do.

b. men disclose more of their private thoughts and feelings to their friends than women do.

c. women and men are equally likely to disclose personal thoughts and feelings to their friends.

d. none of the above.

2. The pattern above is most pronounced for which U.S. subpopulation?

a. Native Americans

> b. White Americans

c. African Americans

d. Asian Americans

3. An account of gender and intimacy through the life span was presented in class. In this account, intimate interactions and relationships foster healthy adaptations by:

> a. fulfilling needs and helping to address concerns.

b. protecting people from a harsh and uncaring world.

c. telling people what to do at each new developmental crossroads.

d. none of the above

4. Children first start showing a preference for playing with children of their own sex at what age?

a. infancy

> b. toddlerhood: around 3 years of age

c. elementary school: around 7 years of age

d. in adolescence: around 12-13 years of age.

5. A pattern in which girls' same-sex friendships are more intimate than boys' is clearly apparent by what age?

a. toddlerhood

b. elementary school

> c. adolescence

d. middle age

6. How might girls' and boys' same-sex play groups affect their intimate relationships?

a. They encourage gender conformity and thereby discourage intimacy.

> b. They encourage gender conformity which, in the case of girls, encourages the development of intimate relationships.

c. They provide opportunities for boys, more than for girls, to express themselves openly and to share their vulnerabilities.

d. They prevent the formation of intimate relationships through threats of disloyalty.


22. When your text says that the typical father can be described as "functionally absent," it means:

a. the father fulfills the function of breadwinner.

> b. the father is physically present but does not actively look to children's needs

c. the father fails to function as a good spouse for his wife.

d. the fathers fails to buffer his children from their mother's stress.

23. The motherhood mandate refers to the notion that:

a. mothers are mandated to spend all their time taking care of their children.

b. mothers are mandated to protect their husbands from the day-to-day hassles of childcare.

> c. all women need to be mothers.

d. mothers instinctively know how to care for their children.

24. How do children of employed mothers fare compared to those whose mothers are full-time caregivers? Relative to children of homemakers, children of employed mothers:

a. are socially adroit but intellectually delayed.

b. are insecurely attached.

c. are intellectually adroit, but socially withdrawn and incompetent.

> d. are neither adversely affected nor advantaged.

25. The "second shift" mentioned in the text refers to:

a. the difficulties of maintaining an active sexual relationship in the face of multiple work and family responsibilities.

> b. the nearly full-time job working mothers face after hours in the form of housework and child care.

c. the increasingly egalitarian arrangements in families, in which mothers and fathers pitch in together to maintain their family life.

d. the cost of running a household in the 1990s.

26. When a woman about her age, who is currently working as a journalist and White House fellow, asked her about the ages of her children, Deborah Fallows reported feeling hurt and anger. Her emotions are best attributed to:

a. her resentment about being forced to give up her career to be a full-time homemaker.

> b. her ambivalence about her choice to be a homemaker: she is partly pleased and partly sad about her choice.

c. her belief that full-time homemaking is not, in general, a worthy way for a woman to spend her time.

d. her belief that journalism is an unsuitable occupation for a woman.

1. The dominant (Euro-American) culture in the U.S. has its cultural and ideological roots in:

a. Greek culture and thought.

b. Enlightenment rationalism.

c. European colonialism/imperialism.

d. Western Christianity.

e. all of the above.

2. The first American group to be affected by European colonialism was:

a. African-American.

b. Native American.

c. Spanish-American.

d. Asian-American.

2. According to Almquist, European explorers interpreted the relative gender equality in some of the Native American societies they encountered as indicating that:

a. feminism had taken hold in these societies.

b. men did not take adequate care of women and children.

c. this was a good model for their own societies.

d. the Native American societies were ahead of their time.

3. Gender equality in some Native American societies was compromised when European conquerors insisted that:

a. women take sole responsibility for child-rearing.

b. women wear veils and head-coverings.

c. men beat their wives to ensure their submission.

d. men have sole and complete ownership of all property.

e. none of the above.

4. According to Golombok & Fivush, gender stereotypes are:

a. accurate, up-to-date portrayals of women's and men's behavior

b. negative depictions of women or men

c. beliefs about what it means to be male or female

d. ancient myths about gods and goddesses

5. When we say that traditional "gender roles" are natural, what do we usually mean?

a. That human intervention had no effect on how these roles evolved.

b. That, even without being persuaded, everyone would gravitate to these roles.

c. That these roles represent "instinctive" behavior (i.e., behavior patterns that we are born with).

d. That God ordained these roles or they are morally correct.

e. any or all of the above

4. Scholars used to argue about whether nature (inborn characteristics of people) or nurture (learned characteristics of people) has the most effect on gender roles. Now, most scholars believe this argument is passe or out of date. Why would they think so?

a. Neither inborn characteristics nor learning processes explain gender roles.

b. The effects of nature and nuture are so intertwined that they cannot be meaningfully discussed separately.

c. Scientists have determined that gender roles come solely from inborn characteristics of people.

d. Scientists have determined that gender roles are learned, with no effects from inborn characteristics.

5. Social learning theory is most concerned with how gender roles are _____________.

a. inherited

b. coerced

c. legally institutionalized

d. learned

6. Perry and Bussy's (1979) research asked children to choose between pairs of items (e.g., between bananas and apples) after observing 4 men and 4 women make choices. Children imitated same-sex adult models when all the same-sex adults chose a particular item. When only one of the same-sex adults chose an item, children tended to imitate the majority and ignore the minority. Perry and Bussy concluded from this research that:

a. Children learn gendered behavior primarily through observing and imitating same-sex models.

b. Children are most likely to imitate same-sex models who seem to be typical for their sex.

c. Children do not learn gendered behavior through imitating same-sex models.

d. Adults have little impact on children's behavior.

7. Susan Faludi argues that the media are participating in a "backlash" against women's emancipation when they:

a. blame feminism (or the "women's liberation movement") for the problems it has attempted to redress.

b. document the prevalence of sex discrimination in the workplace.

c. conduct public opinion polls covering a significant segment of the U.S. population

d. refuse to play on people's fears just to sell newspapers or air time.

17. Beall notes that "synthetic a posteriori" knowledge is not constructed while "synthetic a priori" knowledge is constructed. She would support her distinction by arguing:

a. Synthetic a posteriori knowledge only defines terms while synthetic a priori knowledge defines events.

b. Synthetic a posteriori knowledge makes statements about language while synthetic a priori knowledge makes statements about the world.

c. Synthetic a posteriori knowledge is mythological or false while synthetic a priori knowledge is scientific.

d. Synthetic a posteriori knowledge requires verification with evidence while synthetic a prior knowledge cannot be verified.

18. Beall would argue that it is important to study people's understanding of the world because:

a. understanding leads to more understanding.

b. understanding guides action (and social policy).

c. understanding can be false and lead people astray.

d. some people fail to understand and need help.

e. all of the above.

19. Why would Beall believe that understanding of gender is a socially constructed type of understanding?

a. Because cultural factors influence people's perceptions of gender differences.

b. Because people will "insert" gender-related information when it is missing (i.e., with babies whose sex is ambiguous).

c. Because each culture has a completely unique understanding of femininity and masculinity.

d. Because people are positively reinforced for agreeing with traditional notions about gender.

e. a & b

20. According to West and Zimmerman, masculinity and femininity could not be learned solely from "manuals" (even if such things existed) because:

a. hormonal influences on the brain determine most gender-related behavior.

b. gender is as subtle and nuanced as language and must be applied appropriately for every occasion.

c. each person ultimately constructs his or her own unique ideas about gender.

d. masculinity and femininity are not skills but rather are emotional reactions to events.

23. How have researchers gone about the task of identifying the gender stereotypes of adults?

a. They sit in airports and other public places and watch how people walk, talk, and dress.

b. They contrast the behaviors involved in mothering vs. fathering.

c. They contrasted portrayals of female and male characters in books, plays, and movies.

d. They asked people to indicate how much certain psychological traits characterize typical females or typical males.

24. Do gender stereotypes reflect actual behavior with any accuracy?

a. They accurately distinguish between women's and men's interpersonal behavior in a wide variety of situations.

b. They accurately portray the distinct talents and abilities of men and women respectively.

c. They resemble people's self-descriptions.

d. They are based mostly on personal experiences with actual people in our lives.

25. Masculine sex-typed traits fall along a dimension called "agency," which describes ways of enhancing, protecting or distinguishing the self. Feminine sex-typed traits fall along a dimension called "communion," which describes:

a. submissiveness and passivity.

b. sexual allure.

c. courage, strength, and activity.

d. cooperation and collaboration.

26. When adults play with a baby whose sex is indeterminate (for the time being), what are they likely to do?

a. They use gender neutral language and offer gender neutral toys with ease.

b. They claim to know the baby's sex based on one or more of its characteristics.

c. They demanded that the experimenter tell them the baby's sex.

d. They completely ignored the baby.

27. Although it was the same baby crying each time, when adults thought the baby was female they assumed she cried because she was afraid; when adults thought the baby was male they assumed he cried because:

a. he was sad.

b. he was afraid.

c. he was hungry.

d. he was angry.

28. Which of the following is true of the association between television viewing habits and gender stereotyping?

a. There is no association.

b. More T.V. viewing is associated with more flexible ideas about gender in both girls and boys.

c. More T.V. viewing is associated with more stereotypic ideas about gender in girls.

d. More T.V. viewing is associated with more contemptuous attitudes towards girls and women in boys.