sex, gender and GID

sex = biological inate status

females = **, males = XY 

chromosones influence hormonal changes in the body e.g oestrogen in women 

gender = psychological status 

identification as masculine or feminine 

more fluid and tailored 

gender idenity disorder

sex does not correspond to their gender 

gender reassingment surgery allows people to bring sex in line with gender 

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sex role stereotypes

social expectations shared by cultures or groups 

reinforced by members of society 

some may have basis in reality e.g men may be more likely to do DIY but no biological reason 

inncorrect assumptions = sexism 

furnham and farrager 

study of tv adverts 

men = proffesional context like office jobs 

women = domestic setting 

shows the role of the media 

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balance of masc and fem traits, attitudes and behaviours 

suggests high angrogny = better psychological wellbeing 

better at adapting to situations

but all about balance, e.g masucline female is not androgynous 

BEM sex role inventory 

scale to measure androgyny 

masc = dominant, completive

fem = gentle, sympathetic

netural = friendly, unpredictable 

7 point scale from 'true of me' to 'never true of me', masc and fem catagories were more frequent 

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androgyny evaluation

valid and reliable 

- 50 males and females, agreed reflected their own gender, same results found a month later 

inacurate assumptions 

- angrogyny = psychologically healthy however masc traits are more valued in western society 


- scale suggests gender can be measured but gender is complex and shouldnt be oversimplified 


- issues with social desirability, also questions are subjective and biased 

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biological explanations

gender development governed by hormones

puberty triggers secondary sexual characteristics such as body hair 

testosterone = development of male sex organs and linked to aggressive behaviour 

oestrogen = controls female sex characteristics such as menstration and linked to PMS 

oxytocin = stimulates lactation and facilitates bonding as produced during cuddling 

chromosone 23 determines biological sex 

determined by sperm that fertilies egg is X or Y 

SRY gene = gene that determines sex in Y chromosone 

causes androgens to be produced 

without this egg becomes female 

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biological evaluation

supporting evidence 

- prision population offenders with highest testosterone likley to have sexually violence crimes 


- males with 10 weekly injectins of testosterone or placebo found no difference in aggression 


- claimed to be social construction as stereotypes female emotions, may be over exaggeration 

other approaches 

- does not consider SLT and idea of cross culture where androgyny is more accepted than western 

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atypical chromosome patterns

turners syndrome in women

XO structure, 45 rather than 46 chromosomes 

no regular menstruation, broad sheild chest and no breasts, underdeveloped hips, webbed neck 

higher reading ability but lower performance on spacial and visual tasks, socially immature 

klinefelters syndrome in men 

XXY structure, 66% not aware until later life and examination 

reduced body hair and breast development, health problems assocaited with women e.g breast cancer 

poor language and reading, lack interest in sex, bad at problem solving and stressful situations 

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atypical chromosome patterns evaluations

nature nurtue debate 

- highlight psychological differences, support for nature debate as biological differences and inate infuences 

practical applications 

- diagnosed earlier benefit more, so good to learn more and explain so can live normal lives

external factors 

social immaturity can be due to the way people act towards them due to illness, not illness itself 

individual differences 

can cause different apperance, means those can be treated differently, means cant be good contribution to nature nurture debate 

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kohlbergs theory

cognitive developmental approach 

way you think changes with age so more capable of logical thinking 

3 stages that are gradual 

1. gender idenity - 2 years old 

idenitify people as women or men but limited to labelling, no idea of permance 

2. gender stability - 4 years old 

realise they will stay same gender, hard to apply to others e.g man with long hair but can apply to situations such as a male nurse 

3. gender constancy - 6 years old 

realise gender remains constant, can be applied to everyone, start to search for gender appropriate role models, may be amused about man in dress but understands he is a man 

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kohlbergs theory evaluation

supporting evidence 

- when children showed images of males and females doing same task, children in constancy stage spent longer because they idenified. 


- biological approach as used cognitive maturation, cross cultural studies shows universitility 


found that children aged 4 felt good about playing with gender appropriate toys as contradicts kohlbergs idea that it comes later on in maturity 


- tailored to the age of the child but a 6 year old may not acurately describe their feelings as articulately as they are occouring 

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gender schema theory

cognitive theory suggets actively structure own learning 

schemas = mental packages of organised knowleged that devlop via experience

develop at 2-3 when idenity is formed 

search for gender `approproiate info earlier than kohlbergs 

dont need constancy to develop gender shchemas 

behaviour based on stereotypes like 'boys like cars' 

by age 6 have a fixed idea of gender 

ingroups: same gender as you, want to identify so more attention paid. assists in self esteem

elaborate schema developed by age 8 

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gender schema evaluation

research support 

- children spent longer looking at photographs of own gender when they older, gives theory validity 

explanitory power 

- why children have rigid gender beleifs, ingroup concept explains why gender for outgroup not taken in 


- cognitive factors may not outbalance social factors and may not explain why schemas form 

no links 

- many people who have sex equality veiws may have stereotypical basis e.g may beleive in this but still wife cook dinner while husbands works 

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psychodynamic theory

phallic stage is where gender is developed 

pre phallic = neither masc or fem 

oedipus complex = fancies mum, wants to kill dad, internalises with dad because fear of being castrated, masculine behaviours

electra complex = copetition with mothers for fathers love, penis envy, blame mother for lack of penis but later identify with her and feminine behaviours 

little hans = moved fear of castration onto horses via displacement, to ignore unconcious 

conflict resolved by identiifying with own gender 

leads to internalisation 

attitudes and behaviours are shaped via this 

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psychodynamic theory evaluation

limited support 

- suggests children with liberal fathers may develop differently however no evidence to support this, in fact suggests that liberal fathers more secure in masculinity 

female development 

- penis envy reflects male dominated society that may not reflect today. means challenges idea gender is constructed on desire 

relies on parents 

- gender difference parents, which would mean single parents and gay parents develop incorectly but only 1 in 37 are reportedly so 


- cannot scientifically study unconcious basis of theory, means you can never prove it 

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social learning theory

ackowledges role of context 

by reinforcement and observation 

differential reinforcement = children reinforced for gender appropriate behaviour e.g boys praised for aggression 

vicarious reinforcement = a girl sees her mother pretty becos makeup so wants to wear it 

vicarious punishment = a boy sees boy being called sissy so doesnt act this way 

identification occours with role models. behaviour is then modelled if observed 

1. attention - following what fave footballer does 

2. retention - remembering the skills 

3. motivation - desire to be like hero 

4. motor reproduction - be physically capable to do so 

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social learning theory evaluation

supporting evidence 

-  6 month old babies dressed in opposite gender 'clothes' but given appropriate toys by particpants which shows how gender is reinforced at a young age 

explanatory power 

- explain changing gender roles, stereotypes are less rigid and this shift in social norms. can explain what the biological approach cant. 

no clear progression 

- psychodynamic has clear stages which the social learning theory doesnt. modelling could occour later than observation. 

biological factors 

- none of these taken into consideration biological factors that may contribute. inate factors are very important.

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culture and media

media = more likley to imitate social roles of those who are same sex reinforced 

media creates stereotypes 

men portrayed as independent, women portrayed as domestic in television, adverts and media 

media enforces gender sterotypical views 

exposure = more stereotypical veiws, vicariously reinforced as seen the sucess of adopting these attitudes in media 

gender is varied across cultures 

mead research on tribal groups supports nurture as women were more dominant and men more submissive, reverse of western ideals

consistent mate preferences across 37 countries, supports nature 

men prefer women young and pretty, women prefer men wealth and resources 

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culture and media evaluation

mead research 

- researcher bias as was not objective as he only chose what supported them. means he cant be used to support culture and gender 

imposed etics 

- western researchers implying their research on other cultures is imposed. problematic and decrease the validity 


- does not resolve debate as evidence for both sides, cannot determine where it begins. may be a combination of both 

counter evidence 

media can show counter-stereotypes also and attitudes could be taken from these. cannot solely blame media. 

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gender identity disorder

mis match between gender and sex 

brain sex theory = suggest its caused by brain areas that are incompatiable with sex. areas form different between sexes 

BED NUCLEAS OF THE STRIA TERMINALS CENREAL DUSION' = 40% larger in males than females. but transgender men had a BSTc of the female size. 

twin studies = 39% of MX that had GID concordance rates 

psychodynamic theory = explained by seperation anxiety. identify with mother to rid of anxiety so then are transgender. 

gender schema theory = suggests counter stereotype activities create androgynous schema because portrayed as normal

become more interested in activies that may cause a child to have GID 

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gender identity disorder evaluation

critical brain sex theory 

- criticised as hormone therapy affects size of BTSc which means could be the reason for difference, rather than a cause of GID

twin studies 

- evidence weak because hard to differenciate without between nature and nurture. population is small so hard to generalise 


- explanation oversimplifies GID as it reduces without looking at psychological or social factors. always an interaction. 


- approach lacks support as it is based on unconcious that cant be studied 

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