Slides in this set
Sex refers to a biological fact One pair of chromosomes determine an
whether a person is male or Each person has 23 chromosomes (in individual's sex:-
female. each cell of the body). Each of these · XX is female
chromosomes carries hundreds of genes · XY is male.
containing instructions about physical
Gender refers to a person's sense and behavioural characteristics such
of who they are their sense of as eye colour and predisposition to
maleness or femaleness. certain mental illnesses. There is usually a direct link between an
individual's chromosomal sex (XX and
XY) and their external genitalia (vagina
Genetic transmission explains how or penis) and internal genitalia (ovaries
individuals acquire their sex. It may also and testes)
explain some aspects of gender (a person's
sense of whether they are male or female) THE ROLE OF
because of the link between genes and
genitalia and hormones. GENES
Chromosomes initially determine a
person's sex but most gender
HORMONES. The role of hormones in gender
development can be seen by studying
development is actually governed by
hormones. These are produced both A01 individuals who have been exposed
prenatally to abnormal hormone
prenatally (e.g. Testosterone) and in levels intersex individuals.
adolescence (a surge of hormones
Hormones influence the
during puberty leads to secondary Normally external genitalia are in
development of genitalia and/or
sexual characteristics such as accord with genetic sex. However in
affect the development of the brain,
pubic hair). some cases a genetic male embryo is
both of which influence gender
behaviour. exposed to too little male hormone
with the result being that the male
externally appears to be female.
Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome.
Ambiguous Genitalia genetic females may be exposed prenatally to relatively large
doses of male hormones (e.g. Pregnant mothers being given drugs containing male
Berenbaum & Bailey claim that Geschwind & Galaburda sex differences Money & Eghart biological sex was
females with ambiguous genitalia are may be caused by the effects of testosterone not the main factor in gender
often interested in male-type levels on the developing brain. Exposure to development. Sex of rearing was more
activities and are tomboyish, male hormones creates a masculinised important and intersex individuals could
presumably because of the influence brain. successfully be raised as either a boy or
of the male hormones. girl.
Hoag Male and female brains insensitivity was reported in the Batista
differentiate in many ways. For family. 4 children with female genitalia Quadagno found that female monkeys
example, girls generally appear to be and raised as girls. who were deliberately exposed to
better at social skills (such as testosterone during prenatal development
empathising) than boys, and are later engaged in more rough-and-tumble
more talkative, less good at spatial
navigation and so on.
THE ROLE OF play than other females and were more
Reiner & Gearhart studied 16 genetic Case Study Bruce Reimer Boy
males born with almost no penis, 2 were HORMONES. was raised as a girl called Brenda. His
raised as males and remained males. case ended tragically with suicide. This
The remaining 14 were raised as females A02 case seems to suggest that biological
and of these 8 reassigned themselves as sex is the primary factor contributing to
males by the age of 16. This suggests Bown Genetic sex no longer a sense of gender.
that biological factors have a key role in determines gender. In 1991 there was
gender development. a ruling that genetic sex would no
longer determine entry to the Olympic
Baron-Cohen Girls are generally games. Individuals are now excluded Diamond & Sigmundson suggest
better at understanding what people from women's events only if they are that genetic sex is important in the
think and feel (empathisers) whilst boys obviously physically male. development of gender identity, based
are better at categorising and on the case study of Bruce/Brenda.
understanding systems (systemisers).…read more
Research Methods Much evidence into this area comes from case
studies or small samples of abnormal individuals. The main problem is
lack of generalisability from abnormal individuals to the wider
A further criticism is that intersexes may
be more vulnerable to social influences
than normal individuals because their
biological ambiguities mean they have to
search harder for clues to their identity
hence lacking generalisability.
THE ROLE OF
Research shows that biological factors
Real World Application Biological determinism is a
(nature) are very important in determining
real world issue in sports because occasionally XY
genetic identity, but socialisation and
individuals have competed as females and had an
personal cognitive processes (nurture)
unfair advantage (since males are more muscular.
Research has led to genetic sex being tested due to
abnormalities from individuals competing.…read more
The biosocial approach is an Evolutionary theory proposes that selective pressures caused both physical and
approach which encompasses psychological sex differences.
both biological and social
Social role theory argues that the
One a biological male or female is The key to gender development is biologically-based physical differences
born, social labelling and the label that a person is given. between men and women allow them to
differential treatment of boys and perform certain tasks more efficiently.
girls interact with biological factors Evolved physical differences mean that
(prenatal exposure to testosterone) men are assigned the social role of
to steer development. Nature and hunter, and women are assigned the
Nurture. social role of the homemaker.
THE BIOSOCIAL Psychological differences then emerge
such as greater aggressiveness or the
APPROACH TO tendency to be empathic.
Childbearing and nursing of infants
mean that women are well placed to
DEVELOPMENT. What men and women seek in a
partner can be related to their social
roles rather than to the reproductive
care for young children but are less
able to take on roles which require A01 value of traits (the evolutionary view)
extended absence from home, such
as hunting. Men's greater speed and According to social role theory, in
upper body strength facilitate their societies where strength is not
efficient performance of tasks that required for occupational roles outside Women maximise their outcomes by
require intensive bursts of energy the home where there is alternative selecting a man who is a good wage
and strength. care for children, social roles will be earner, and men maximise their
more similar between men and outcomes by seeking a mate who is
women and psychological differences successful in the domestic role.
reduced. Different social roles can explain
sex differences in mate choice.…read more
Money & Ehrhardt Biosocial Eagly & Wood Hormonal differences Eagly & Wood Social Role Theory the
Theory it is sex of rearing that is between men and women may be the evolutionary explanation of gender
the pivotal point in gender outcome of social roles and psychological development is not fully correct. Selective
development. Biology is likely to sex differences rather than the cause. pressures do not cause both physical and
determine sex of rearing as a baby is psychological differences; they only cause
sexed at birth and everything else Gangestad et al gender equality was physical differences and these lead to sex
follows from that. If a genetic male is not related to sex differences and role allocations which in turn create
mislabelled as a girl and treated as a evolutionary theory can provide a better psychological sex differences. These are
girl before the age of 3, he would explanation for the joint effects of seen as the consequence of the different
acquire the gender identity of a girl. biology and culture. roles to which men and women are assigned
rather than vice versa.
John/Joan study lack of evidence.
THE BIOSOCIAL Wood Sex differences is a
more appropriate term then
APPROACH TO gender differences.
GENDER Luxen evolutionary theory can still
Luxen Social role theory has a high
ethical appeal because sex roles are DEVELOPMENT. explain the division between male and
female gender roles. Reasons include
perceived as social and therefore more
flexible. A02 selective pressure and sex differences
Gangestad et al there are significant
universals in gender behaviour, there Eagly & Wood Re-examined Buss's
are significant cultural variations in study of 37 cultures when women had
gender differences. a higher status and male-female division
was less pronounced, sex differences in
mating preferences became less
pronounced. This suggests that social
roles are the driving force in
psychological sex differences.…read more
Social constructionist approach human behaviour is an invention
or outcome of a particular society of culture. Behaviours are best
understood in terms of the social context in which they occur.
Real World Application Value of social & APPROACHES
role approach is that it leads to changes in
social roles and so to changes in
The evolutionary approach is DEVELOPMENT.
determinist (our genes will specify
exactly how we will behave).
Evolutionary psychologists suggest that
genes only predispose individuals to
behave in certain ways, but do not
dictate what an individual chooses to
do. Other factors can determine
behaviour, such as cultures in which
people live as well as our personal
experiences and decisions.…read more