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Sex and Gender (Biological Psychology)

Sex: Biological term that tells us whether an individual is male or female
Gender: Psychological term that tells us whether an individual is masculine or feminine

Key concepts:

Sex is determined at conception, when sperm fertilises an egg
Person sex obvious through characteristics from birth…

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Chromosome: Part of a cell that contains genetic information

Biological approach believes that an individual's gender is decided at the same
time their sex is- conception
New foetus forms and has 2 sex chromosomes as part of its genetic make up
Pair of chromosomes decide whether it will be male…

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Evolution: A process by which species adapt to their environment in order to survive and

Biological approach believes human behaviour is instinctive
Instincts developed to help us survive and reproduce
Hence, this approach says gender roles are instinctive
Males and females have physical difference (Penis/Vagina), also have
psychological differences…

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Says gender less to do with biology and nature, more to do with nurture and
Particularly focuses on role of parents

Parental relationships:

Oedipus complex: A conflict that occurs when boys unconsciously desire their mothers but
fear their father finding out
Electra complex: A conflict that occurs when girls…

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Biological approach supported by caste study reported on by Diamond and
Sigmundson in 1997
They aimed to show that a child cannot be socialised to take on the role on the
opposite sex


Diamond and Sigmundson studied case of boy who had been raised as a girl
Conducted interviews…

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Just because Bruce could not adapt to
his new gender role does not mean that
other boys would not be able to
Bruce may have been exception to rule
Case studies based on naturally occurring Case of Bruce complicated by certain
situations, so it is not possible to control key…

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Many psychologists argue this is because of socialisation, we bring up girls and
teach them to be successful
Interestingly, before 1980's males did better at school than females
This could be because girls were not encouraged to be successful in education
Or because school curriculum now take into account girls'…

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Many cognitive psychologists take an information processing approach to
studying memory
They believe human memory processes bits of information in stages, much
like a computer processes data
Cognitive psychologists find it useful to compare human memory with
computer memory
They believe this helps them to explain how the human memory…

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have to be that literal. When we conjure up an image in our minds or recall a song,
these are outputs too.

Accessibility and Availability:

It has been suggested retrieval and output are not straightforward. Computers may be
good at finding store info but humans' experience `forgetting' everyday.

Accessibility problems:…

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Main idea behind this is that the human memory system is made up of various
separate and distinct stores
Also believes that memory is affected by 2 main factors: time and space
Importance of time seen by the labels given to the 2 main stores: short-term
memory (STM) and long-term…




good but way to much information stick to key information but thanx anyway




Sumaya Rahman


Lol, im glad it helped. Got me an A*, hope u guys smashed it too.



love you doughb

Sumaya Rahman


Haha, hope it helped you Samuel. 

Joe Haigh


This is brilliant - will no doubt help me so much for my exams.  Thanks so much!!

Joe Haigh


This is brilliant - will no doubt help me so much for my exams.  Thanks so much!!

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