Decsribe and evaluate the biosocial approach to gender development

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Sadhia Malik Psychology Essay
Describe and evaluate the biosocial approach to gender
development (8+16 Marks)
Gender refers to a person's sense of which they are their sense of maleness or
femaleness this relates to the biosocial approach which involves both approaches the
biological and social influences. This essay will look at the two theories biosocial
theories and social role theory, it is thought that the child's gender is consistent with the
way it has been raised, which mainly relies on the parent's response to the baby's
Money at al in 1972 founded the biosocial approach this explained that both biological
factors and social factors can influence gender development. Both theories contradict
the nature and nurture debate. They stated that the key to gender development is the label
that a person is given.
These can explain the interaction between cognitive developmental and social learning
theory the SLT suggests that a child is rewarded for gender specific behaviours and
therefor comes to regard itself as belonging to that gender and the cognitive
developmental states that a child either has a boyish or girlish personality therefor likes
the appropriate things, Which provides the perfect supporting evidence. This approach
also states that the impact of innate, biological factors of a child can be influenced by
the environmental stimuli's which could be the toys. But there is lack of evidence by
Money et al showing the importance of sex typing
The social role theory was founded by Eagly and Wood (1972), This stated that selective
pressure do not cause both psychical and psychological differences they only cause
physical differences and these lead to sex role allocations which in turn create
psychological sex differences this lead to different social roles for women and men.
The psychological difference include that men are more aggressive and women have a
tendency to empathise with others but we also have the mate choice explanation which
back's up the social role theory, this stated that the social role influences mate choice.
Men select women who are nurturing and good at domestic roles which means that
women maximise the outcomes by selecting men who are high earning. But the social
role theory says that biological differences mean that men and women are good at
different tasks.
There is supporting evidence by Buss (1999), he studied mate preferences in both men
and women. He researched 37 cultures, which makes his study far more reliable (cross
cultural research) and found that mate preferences are universal and that men preferred

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Sadhia Malik Psychology Essay
younger, psychically attractive women. On the other hand women preferred men with
high earning. This supports Eagly and Wood's theory and the explanation suggests with
SRT as men seek younger women who are obedient and more likely to fur fill domestic
roles, women seek resources. This theory does not take one side or the other both have
links with one another.…read more


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