Nature Nurture Debate

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  • Nature Nurture Debate
    • Nurture
      • Gender is learnt through experience
      • Some Cross cultural research highlights cultural variations in gender
        • Gender roles don't appear to be common across different societies as would expect if gender was innate
        • Evidence strengthens case gender is culturally determind
      • Gender is a product of socialisation, its learnt
        • Dependent on environmental experiences, family upbringing, societies expectations play key role in persons gender
          • Means most girls learn to behave in a feminine way (vice versa)
          • Explains cultural variations in gender related behaviour (gender open to influence)
            • Different cultures = different beliefs/norms and peoples behaviour influenced by the expectations of their society
              • Mead
        • Explains why some people adopt gender role not expected of them, why gender may change overtime, can be learnt/unlearnt
        • Beliefs/norms transmitted by agents of socialisation e.g parents
      • Sex role stereotypes
        • Influential groups reinforce certain behaviours/discourage others depending on society's expectations
          • Individuals expected to behave in a way associated with their sex (males-masc)
            • Different cultures identify what it means to be masc/fem
              • Babies are born without gender but unethical to raise a boy as a girl
                • Diamond and Sigmundson
          • Pre-set expectations of how men and women should behave
            • Fagot
              • A = Investigated effects of parental behaviour upon gender role development. P= Observed families
                • F = Parents reacted more favourably to child when engaged in gender appropriate behaviour (vice versa)
                  • C = Parents reinforce certain behaviour through socialisation through sex role stereotyping their children
                    • C= Know being observed, may behave differently (validity). Temporal validity (70s) todays parent may treat more equally. Nature of sex role stereotypes can change as attitues change
        • Furnham and Farragher
          • A = Demonstrate sex-role stereotypes used as part of UK tv advertising
    • Nature
      • Person's gender innate/born with it
        • Explains there is a strong relationship between sex and gender
          • Same way genetics/hormones determine sex, also determine whether someone behaves in a masculine or feminine way
            • Diamond and Sigmundson
              • A =  investigate the role of biology in development of gender role
                • P = 8 month old accidentally lost penis during circumcision. On recommendation of Dr Money parents decided to reassigned his gender. Operation constructed vagina, became Brenda. Socialised as a Girl from then onwards
                  • F = Initially appeared to adapt well, behaving in a feminine way, reported success. Puberty, lost interest in feminine activities, felt different, masculine Gender Identity. As teen, discovered born male, lived on as a man, penis reconstructed
                    • C = Effects nature outweigh attempts to nurture. Wasn't reassigned until 2-3yrs, masculine GI may stem from fact not raised as a girl from birth.
                      • C = Case study. Twin brother obvious male role model in close proximity reassignment may have worked. Wasn't reassigned until 2-3yrs, masculine GI may stem from fact not raised as a girl from birth
          • Each sex shared same physiology and anatomy, therefore many psychological traits in common
          • Men and women naturally different - allow to reproduce, basic animal instinct, so masculine/fem behaviour must be instinctive
            • Buss Survey
              • A = Investigate heterosexual mate preferences. P = Survey carried out across all continents, asked rate importance of range of traits in potential mate
                • F = Men in all categories rated good looks and youth higher than women. Women, financial prospects and dependability higher.
                  • C = Supports evolutionary theory - instinctively seek out diff traits in potential mates. For men, indicates womans ability to have children, Women indicates able to provide for them and stay around for baby.
                    • C = Questions pre-set. Means respondants not able to offer other traits regard as important. Buss = Westerner, may not have identified trait other cultures may seek in a mate - unreliable findings
      • Cross cultural research
        • Universal feature suggest innate basis for gender
        • Useful- if a behaviour is a product of human nature should occur across world regardless of upbringing
      • Criticisms
        • How explain cases where a person doesn't adopt the gender role expected of their sex, when no genetic abnormalities
        • If men and women naturally different, how explain sexes becoming more similar/androgynous
        • The Criticisms of Mead may actually suppot tht some gender-specific behaviours are innate
          • A = Investigate sim/diff across gender roles in different culutures
            • P = Carried out ethnographic study, by living with various tribes in New Guinea
              • F = 1st tribe = both sexes feminine (caring), both parents said to 'bear a child', mean took to bed when baby born. 2nd = both masculine (assertive, arrogant), both parents detested childcare, sleeping babies hung out of the way in dark places. 3rd = reversed GR compared to Western - females independent and took care of trading, men gossiped and considered incapable making serious decisions
                • C = Gender roles dependent on culture, not universal
                  • C= Detailed observations, may have become too involved, sometimes considered too subjective Bias interpretation, exaggerating similarities between sexes. Understating that males were aggressive in all tribes
  • P = Analysed ads for role and location of central figure, type of product advertised, use of humour, sex, voiceover
    • F = Men more presented in professional, celeb roles, women familial roles (mothers). Women in domestic locations, men doing leisure activities/work, women sell household products, 70% voiceover male
    • A = Demonstrate sex-role stereotypes used as part of UK tv advertising
  • C = Many stereotypes society has for men and women. Suggests men less capable running home, bringing up kids and women lack status and authority to sell products
    • C = Open to interpretation and can't assume people influenced by this, may extract different/no meaning. Cant assume passively respond but large evidence suggests people often identify and imitate what see in media
    • F = Men more presented in professional, celeb roles, women familial roles (mothers). Women in domestic locations, men doing leisure activities/work, women sell household products, 70% voiceover male

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