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Slide 1

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Biosocial approach to
gender development
Madeha Batool…read more

Slide 2

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Well what is it?
Biosocial is the combination of the biological approach and also taking into account other
factors that make it less reductionist as well taking into account social influences.
Good points about this model:
More reliable as it considers the research of both the biological and social approaches to
gender development:
It's not deterministic
It is not reductionist
Understands that genes AND the influence of parents/peer/media are equally important
Broad range of material and support…read more

Slide 3

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Social factors
· Influence of
· Parents
· Media
· Peers
· Social labelling
Biological factors
· Genes
· XX and XY chromosomes
· Hormones
· Testosterone
· oestrogen…read more

Slide 4

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Biological AO1
Gender is determined during the prenatal development of the foetus
Children are given XX (female) or XY (male) chromosomes which determine their gender for
the future.
Money and Ehrhardt predicted that if a male is mislabelled as a female, and treated as girl,
before the age of three, he would acquire the gender of a female. So according to them gender
development is the label a person is given.
Dr Money - David Reimer case study
· Attempted to make David a female using social reinforcement to convince him that he was a female
(renamed David as "Brenda")
· Failed to make David feel that he was a female
· David ignored Dr Money as early as age 9-11
· Returned to living as a man at 15
· Proved that genetics are more successful in gender labelling than social factors…read more

Slide 5

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Dr Money's research was highly criticised:
Ethical issue: protection of participant (Money took inappropriate photos of David and his
twin brother, Brian)
Low ecological validity: unique case study and the tragic deaths of the twins showed that it
was not applicable to normal situations and also not replicable
Helps us to understand the importance of the nature/nurture debate
Longitudinal study: description of the twins across different and critical points of their lives.
The twins were studied for over 13 years and we can tell exactly when David began to feel
male again (9-11 years)…read more

Slide 6

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Social approach AO1
Children learn their behaviour through observing same-sex models and being rewarded for
demonstrating sex-appropriate behaviour (reinforcement)
Bandura's Social Learning Theory
· Children replicated the actions of an adult--Bobo dolls
· Children are directly influenced by both the media and the behaviour of adults
Eagly and wood (1972)
· Argue that the evolutionary explanation isn't fully correct
· Suggest that selective pressures don't cause both physical and psychological differences
· It states selective pressures lead to psychological sex differences. This leads to different
social roles for men and women
· The psychological differences are men are more aggressive and women have a tendency to
empathise with others.…read more

Slide 7

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