Full model answers for all of these questions are available here

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  • Sex & Gender and sex-role stereotypes
  • Androgyny and measuring androgyny including the Bem Sex Role Inventory


  • Chromosomes and atypical sex chromosome patterns: Klinefelter’s syndrome and Turner’s syndrome
  • Testosterone, oestrogen and oxytocin in sex and gender
  • Evaluation of biological explanations


  • Kohlberg’s theory, gender identity, gender stability and gender constancy
  • Gender schema theory


  • Oedipus complex
  • Electra complex
  • Evaluation of psychodynamic explanations
  • Identification and internalisation


  • Social-psychological explanations of gender: social learning theory
  • The influence of culture and media on gender roles


  • Gender identity disorder
  • Biological and social explanations for gender identity disorder


SPECIMEN PAPER 1 (AQA A-level Psychology revision guide)

 Explain what is meant by ‘androgyny’. {2 marks]


Read the item and then answer the questions that follow.

In a study of androgyny, a group of 100 18-year-old students completed a self-report sex-role inventory. The inventory gave two sets of scores: a femininity score and a masculinity score. Each set of scores was on a scale of 0–20, with 0 representing no masculinity or no femininity and 20 representing extreme masculinity or extreme femininity.

The researchers calculated measures of central tendency for the masculinity scores. They found that the mean masculinity score was 10.3, the median masculinity score was 9.5 and the mode masculinity score was 7.

Sketch a graph to show the most likely distribution curve for the masculinity scores in his study. Label the axes of your graph and mark on it the positions of the mean, median and mode. [3 marks]


What sort of distribution does your graph show? [1 mark]


Explain one limitation of a self-report technique [1 mark]


Which one of the following statements about Freud’s psychoanalytic theory of gender development is false? Write the letter of your chosen answer in your answer booklet.

Freud suggested little boys

A           are afraid of their father.

B           are jealous of their father.

C           are jealous of their mother.

D           have come to internalise their father’s views.

E           have a romantic attachment to their mother.

[1 mark]


Describe and evaluate Kohlberg’s explanation of gender development. [16 marks]


SPECIMEN PAPER 2 (A-level Psychology resources)

Briefly outline the biological explanation for gender identity disorder. [2 marks]


Explain two limitations of the biological explanation for gender identity disorder. [6 marks]


Read the item and answer the question that follows.

Social psychologists are writing a report about their research into children’s toys.

They write, ‘Parents still tend to buy pink for girls. In fact, it is hard to find any adverts aimed at girls that are not ‘pink and fluffy’. For boys, parents tend to buy more competitive or combat-type toys. Good against evil is a common theme in adverts aimed at boys. Even at school, playground activities are different. As children get older, boys and girls tend to have more shared interests like music’.

Discuss the influence of culture and media on the development of gender roles.

Refer to the report above in your answer. [16 marks]


SPECIMEN PAPER 3 (AQA A-level Psychology resources)

Name and briefly outline one syndrome associated with an atypical sex chromosome pattern. [3 marks]


Patrick works as a head baker in a bakery. As part of a work appraisal he has just completed the Bem Sex Role Inventory. His score shows that he is highly androgynous.

Explain how Patrick’s high level of androgyny might be demonstrated in his behaviour at work. [4 marks]


Read the item and then answer the questions that follow.

In a study of gender schema a researcher studied the way in which boys and girls understood gender. An overall understanding score was calculated on the basis of answers to a questionnaire. A high score indicated a very fixed understanding and a low score indicated a flexible understanding.

The scores are shown in Table 2 below.


Explain why the data in Table 2 is primary data and not secondary data. [2 marks]


Explain one strength of primary data. [3 marks]


The researcher decided to extend the study by using an inferential test to see if there was a significant difference between the two sets of scores.

Suggest an appropriate inferential test which the researcher could use. Justify your choice. [4 marks]


Outline and evaluate Freud’s explanation of gender development. [8 marks]


2017 (A-level Psychology notes)

According to psychoanalytic theory, which two of A, B, C, D and E have a very important role in gender development? Write the two correct letters in your answer book. [2 marks]

A           Identification

B           Imitation

C           Initiation

D           Internalisation

E           Interpretation


In 1993, a book about gender was published in New Haven. The book was written by Sandra L Bem from Cornell University. The title was ‘The lenses of gender: transforming the debate on sexual inequality’. The book was published by Yale University Press.

A researcher needs to modify the above information to include Bem’s book in the references section of a scientific report.

Write the full reference for this book as it should appear in the reference section of the researcher’s report. [2 marks]


Two mothers are talking about their respective children Ben and Dido. One of the children has Turner’s syndrome and the other has Klinefelter’s syndrome.

Ben’s mum says, ‘He had problems at school, and there were physical differences too.’

Dido’s mum says, ‘She did better at schoolwork in some ways than other children. But physically, there will always be noticeable differences.’

Referring to the comments about Ben and Dido, outline Turner’s syndrome and Klinefelter’s syndrome. [4 marks]


Discuss what psychological research has told us about atypical gender development. [16 marks]


2018 (AQA A-level Psychology notes)

Briefly outline what is meant by ‘gender schema’. [2 marks]


Outline social learning theory as an explanation for gender development.

Explain one strength of social learning theory as an explanation for gender development. [6 marks]


Researchers wished to study the link between androgyny and psychological health. They surveyed a stratified sample of 100 18-year-old students from four different schools. Some schools had a large number of students and others had a smaller number of students. The students were asked to rate themselves on an androgyny scale and then answered a series of questions. The questions focused on students’ self-esteem and how they felt about their relationships with others.

Explain how the researchers could have obtained a stratified sample from the four different schools. [4 marks]


At the end of the survey, the researchers wished to treat the students ethically. They used the following statement in their debriefing:

‘Thank you for taking part in the survey. Your data will be very useful. Have you any questions?’

Suggest two additional points that could be added to the debriefing statement to better ensure ethical treatment of the students. [4 marks]


Discuss Bem’s research into androgyny. Refer to the likely findings of the study above in your answer. [8 marks]


2019 (A-level Psychology revision notes)

Outline and briefly discuss Freud’s theory of the Oedipus complex as an explanation for gender development in boys. [8 marks]


Describe and evaluate Kohlberg’s explanation for gender development. [16 marks]


2020 (AQA A-level Psychology revision notes)

Which one of the following best describes Kohlberg’s gender stability stage? Write the correct letter in your answer book. [1 mark]

A           Knowing what gender you are now and believing that your gender is stable in different contexts and across different situations.

B           Knowing what gender you are now and understanding that you have always been the same gender and will stay the same gender in the future.

C           Knowing what gender you are now but thinking that you were a different gender in the past and could be a different gender in the future.

D           Knowing what gender you are now but wanting to be a different gender at different times and in different situations.


In a study of sex-role stereotypes and the understanding of gender, a psychology student used a group of 7-year-old children. Each child was shown two pictures.

  • Picture 1 showed people carrying out sex-stereotypical activities.
  • Picture 2 showed people carrying out non-sex-stereotypical activities.

The student asked the children to say how much they liked each picture on a scale of 1–10.

The student decided to test for a significant difference between the judgements of the two pictures. He proposed using an unrelated t-test to analyse the data.

Suggest a more appropriate statistical test of difference for the student to use with this data. Explain two reasons for your choice based on the description of the study. [5 marks]


The student who carried out the study selected the two pictures. He decided himself which were sex-stereotypical activities and which were non-sex-stereotypical activities.

Explain how the study could be improved by selecting the pictures another way. [2 marks]


Discuss sex-role stereotypes. Refer to the likely outcome of the student’s study in your answer. [8 marks]


Outline Bem’s research into androgyny. Explain one or more limitation(s) of Bem’s research. [8 marks]


2021 (How to revise for A-level Psychology)

Describe the role of chromosomes in sex and gender. [4 marks]


Beatrix is three years old. At her nursery, there are lots of toys to play with but Beatrix nearly always chooses to play with the dolls and the toy kitchen. When she comes home from nursery she tells her mother about other girls at nursery but hardly ever mentions any of the boys.

Use your knowledge of gender schema theory to explain Beatrix’s behaviour at nursery and at home. [4 marks]


Discuss what psychological research has told us about the influence of social learning on gender development. [16 marks]


2022 (Psychology A-level revision)

Olga and Frank are talking about their five-year-old son, Donny.

Olga says, “Remember when he was very little and he used to say he would be a mummy when he grew up?”

Frank replies, “Now look at him at the playground. He only plays with tractors and wants to be ‘a tractor man’. He has no interest in watching his sister and the other girls. He concentrates on what the other boys are doing and why.”

Use your knowledge of cognitive explanations for gender development to explain the comments made by Olga and Frank. [8 marks]


Discuss the role of chromosomes and hormones in sex and gender. [16 marks]