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Slide 1

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The Role of Genes and Hormones
Gender topic 1…read more

Slide 2

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The role of Genes in
gender development AO1
· Everyone has 23 pairs of chromosomes in each body cell
· These chromosomes carry genes which contain information about both physical
and behavioural characteristics
· ONE pair of chromosomes contains information about the individuals sex:
­ XX chromosome = female
­ XY chromosome = male
· There is usually a link between an individuals chromosomal sex and their:
­ External genitalia (vagina/penis)
­ Internal genitalia (ovaries/testes)
· In prenatal development individuals start the same
· After 3 months, if the foetus is to be male the testes will produce testosterone
which will lead to the development of a penis.…read more

Slide 3

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The role of Hormones in gender
development AO1
· The main factor that determines a persons
gender development is hormones
· There are two bursts of hormone production:
­ The prenatal production of testosterone to develop
the male penis
­ The adolescent production of hormones
(testosterone or oestrogen) which leads to
secondary sexual characteristics e.g. pubic
hair/breasts…read more

Slide 4

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The role of Hormones in gender
development AO1
· Some individuals are exposed to too much or
too little hormones
Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome Some biological females are
· The Batista Family had 4 boys in the family exposed to abnormal amounts of
who were insensitive to testosterone male hormones e.g. the drugs
· Testosterone had no effect prenatally so used by pregnant mothers
the boys were born without penises and
raised as girls... · This can result in ambiguous
· During puberty the large amount of external genitalia ­ they're
testosterone that was produced caused usually identified as female at
their penises to grow birth
· They then reverted to boys! · They may exhibit tomboyish
· Explanation: other family members had this characteristics
condition so they were fully expecting it…read more

Slide 5

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The role of Hormones in brain
development AO1
· Male brains are different from female brains...
· Hoag (2008)
­ Females are better at social skills such as empathising and are more
­ Males are better at spatial tasks e.g. map reading
· Geschwind and Galaburda (1987)
­ This may be to due to the effects of testosterone on the brain
­ Males: exposed to more testosterone prenatally which may result
in a masculine brain
­ Females: if exposed to high testosterone they may be more
masculinised…read more

Slide 6

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The importance of genetic
factors AO2
· According to John Money (1972), the way a child is bought up is
a greater determinant of gender than biological factors
· His study of David Reimar didn't support this!
­ He and his twin at 6 months were to have a circumcision to cure a
urination problem but tragically David's penis was burnt off
­ Dr money had his penis and testes removed and he should be
raised as a girl named Brenda
­ He regularly met with the twins over the next 10 years
­ He reported the gender assignment a success
­ Brenda became depressed, was bullied
­ When he was told the truth by his parents he reverted to a boy
­ In 2004 he killed himself and his twin also committed suicide.…read more

Slide 7

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