Biosocial Approach to Gender

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  • Created by: jg1234
  • Created on: 17-02-16 09:49

Key Assumptions

the biological and environmental factors intersected to create gender identity - biological factors interact with social factors to create a person's gender 


  • a child's sex acts as a signpost determining all of their future treatment 
  • once a child's sex is labelled, the social context exerts itself 
  • differential treatment follows after the gender labelling has occured 
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Smith & Lloyd

Baby X Baby Y 

  • babies were dressed in unisex snowsuits 
  • they were labelled with either male or female names 
  • the results showed that the babies were treated differently depending on their percieved sex 
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Albanian sworn virgins

  • females in Albania adopted the male gender 
  • they cut their hair short, dressed like males, did male jobs etc 
  • they swore never to marry again 
  • they were also given the full rights and privalges that males had 
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Mac an Ghail

There were four types of masculinity found in British schools 

  • New Entrepenuers 
  • Macho Lads 
  • Real Englishmen 
  • Academic Achievers 

this is showing that there is social factors affecting people's gender causing them to act in the ways that the do 

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Social Role Theory

Eagly & Wood devised this theory 

  • social roles were constructed due to sex role allocation which then lead to gender development to take place
  • roles that were assigned to people based on their biological sex lead to physiological differences occuring in people 
  • hormone differences in gender are viewed as being socially influenced 
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  • most of the studies are conducted as field experiments - this makes it high in mundane realism and external validity 
  • the results can easily be generalised to the population 
  • they arent very scientific - the methods used and the data collected are suggesting that psychology isn't a science 
  • it says that there is more than one factor causing a person's gender - this means that the approach isn't deterministic or reductionist 
  • nature v nurture debat - the approach says that both nature and nurture influence a person's gender 
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