Spring 2025

Sex Differences in Psychology 

Listed in: Psychology, as PSYC-205


Sarah M. Turgeon (Section 01)


Are men more aggressive? Do women talk more? We will consider sex and gender as variables in psychological research, focusing on areas in which sex differences have been noted, such as spatial reasoning, play behavior, aggression, and mental illness. We will examine the literature in these areas and consider the arguments for and against the notion that these differences are meaningful. We will engage with both human and animal literature to attempt to disentangle the roles of biological variables and societal influence in creating these differences. We will also consider how researchers consider sex and gender as separate variables and how research can better accommodate a more nonbinary gender model. During the course of the semester, students will work in groups to develop research proposals, which they will present to the class for feedback.  Research teams will then design their studies and collect their data with frequent "lab meeting" style group discussions.  The semester will conclude with group presentations and individual research-style write-ups of the experiments. This course fulfills the lab/research methods required for the Psychology major.  

Requisites: Psychology 100 and either Stats 122, Stats 111, or Stats 135. Limited to 18.  Spring semester. Professor Turgeon.

How to handle overenrollment: Preference will be given to psychology majors who need the course to fulfill the Lab/Research Methods requirement for the majors. Juniors will be given preference over sophomores

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: There will be an emphasis on reading, research, and writing.

Course Materials


Other years: Offered in Fall 2023, Spring 2025