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Introduction and Biological Influences on Gender
Sex: male/ female biological sex

Gender: an ambiguous term but usually means a sense of masculinity or femininity
Also known as gender identity
Also encompasses psychological characteristics and gender role behaviours associated with being
male or female

Biological Influences on Gender Development


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of 16. This is therefore unsupporting of Moneys claims and supporting of the biological influences
explanation of gender development.

The gender outcome for individuals cannot be attributed to just one factor. The eventual outcome
for each individual when establishing gender appears to be complex and an unpredictable
combination of genes,…

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questionnaire given to one culture, may not make sense in another, making it very difficult to keep
consistent in a study. Another criticism of evolutionary explanations is that they are speculative,
they are not formed on a factual basis. For example, the appearance of division of labour and the

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P: Support for gender roles
E : Comes from a no. of sources historical data, experiments, observations, q's, comparative
studies and cross cultural studies. Main issue with CC studies is the data actually representative of
the culture. E.g. people aren't honest in q's.
E : Another criticism they are speculative.…

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cause both physical and psychological sex differences. Eagly and Wood however suggest that
selective pressures cause physical differences and these leads to sex role allocations which in turn
create psychological sex differences. The evolutionary view suggests that social roles grow out of
biologically determined psychological differences.

Division of Labour:

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Biology will determine how they are reared. If intersex, they will be the label they are

Selective pressures cause physical differences, which lead to sex role allocations, which
create psychological sex differences.
Division of labour is due to certain physical differences enabling different roles to…

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Gender Dysphoria is also known as gender identity disorder. It is characterised by a mismatch
between biological appearance and the way they feel about their gender.
People with gender Dysphoria:
Are unambiguously male or female in appearance but are uncomfortable with the sex
Feel they were born the wrong…

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boys mothers depression following an abortion which occurred at the age of 3, a time when
children are sensitive to gender issues Coates et al suggests that the trauma may have led to
cross gender fantasy as a means of resolving the ensuing anxiety.


There are actual implications for…

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Gender Schema Theory
Martin and Halverson 1981

Children learn schemas related to gender from their interactions with other children and adults or
the media. They learn about what toys are appropriate for each gender, clothes, hair ,etc. These
gender schemas are like naive theories about appropriate behaviour for men and…

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constancy. Furthermore, Zosuls et al (2009) supported gender schema by illustrating children
could label their gender group earlier than indicated, when observed playing. They were using
gender labels by the age of 19 months. Ultimately the clash between the two theories led to
Stagnor and Ruble (1989) proposing a unifying…


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