Biosocial Approach to Gender Development


Money and Ehrhardt

Once a biological male or female is born, social labelling and differential treatment interact with biological factors to steer development

The theory attempted to integrate nature and nurture

Sex of rearing is a pivotal point in gender development

If a genetic male is miss labelled as a girl and treated as a girl, he would acquire the identity of a girl

The label is the key

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Eagly and Wood

Selective pressures only cause physical differences

These lead to sex role allocations which create psychological sex differences

Division of labour is a product of biologically based differences

Mate choice preferences are determined by social role

Hormonal differences are the outcome of social roles and psychological differences

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Challenged by David Reimer

Study of abnormal individuals doesn't reflect normal gender development


Evolutionary theory is a simpler explanation

Selective pressures act on behaviour as well as physical factors

Gender differences arise without socialization

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Issues, Debates and Applications (IDA)

Social construtionism- differences in gender role are not inevitable

Real World Application- value of social role approach, leads to changes in social roles and so to changes in psychological differences.

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