bio social approach



Combines biological and social influences

Biological factors influence behaviour there are social forces that shape our behaviour

Basic biological traits we are born with can be changed

Once a baby has been identified as boy or girl they are treated very differently- these social forces interact with biological factors to determine a child’s gender identity  

1 of 9

we are not just male or female

There are categories with in these groups not all men and women are the same- some men more feminine some women are more masculine - differences due to social influences   

2 of 9

Eagly and wood

Gender roles are based on the bio physical differences between males and females- differences then lead to psychological differences between the genders

Males generally bigger/stronger then females- this is a bio difference

Because of this males in most cultures take on hunting roles/females the role of the home marker

Psychological differences then emerge as a result of these social forces  

3 of 9

Eagly and wood also suggest

Hormonal differences between men/ women may be the outcome of gendered behaviour rather than the cause  

4 of 9

the bio social approach can also explain

Why in developed industrialised cultures gender roles are not as pronounced as those in developing cultures

In non-industrialised cultures there is not a lot of jobs for women to do other then look after the children  

Times of conflict women are to take on roles that are traditionally male- e.g buld ships

Women were biological able to take on those roles but not socialised to take on those roles 

5 of 9

the bio social approach assumes that

Biological gender does not automatically result in the same psychological gender, according to this approach how a child is raised and socialised could influence its gender identity

E.g. a baby is born a boy but raised as female the child will have a female identity


The case of David Raymer 

6 of 9

Gender dysphoria

This is a condition where people feel trapped in the body of the wrong sex, there gender identiy does not match their physical anatomy  

this could have been caused by the way a person has been socialised 

7 of 9

Reaker 86

 looked at 36 boys who showed cross gender identity a history of cross dressing and cross gender play behaviour

75% most disturbed and 21% least disturbed there was no farther figure

In cases where there was a farther figure 60% if them he was described as psychologically distnat 

Lack of farther figure may have meant there was no one socialise the boys 

8 of 9

Zhou et al

Studied an area of the brain called the BSTc located in the hypothalamus

This structure fully developed by the age of 5

In post-mortems of 6 male to female transsexuals it was found to be the same size as heterosexual women

Unless the transsexuals had there BSTc measured before they underwent drug treatment

Their behaviour may of also influenced the size of their BSTc 

9 of 9


No comments have yet been made

Similar Psychology resources:

See all Psychology resources »See all Gender resources »