All of gender.

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  • Created on: 27-01-11 08:30

The Role Of genes and Hormonoes

  • Sex - is A biological Fact (genetic Male/Female)
  • Gender - A persons sense of who they are

Genes - 23 Pairs of chromosomes which carry genese containing instructions and physcial and behavioural characteristics. Genetic transmission explains how individuals acquire their sex

Hormonoes - Chromosomes initially determine sex but gender development is governed by hormonoes.  The influence the development of ..

Genitalia - Normally external genitalia are in accord with genetic sex (penis) However if a genetic embryo is exposed to too little male hormonoe the newborn can appear to be Female - Intersex individuals.

Brain Development - Male and female brains are different. Geschwind and Galaburda - sex difference may be caused by the levels of testosterone on the brain. Can explain why girls exposed prenatally to testosterone were tomboyish

Quadagno - Female monkeys deliberatly exposed to testosterone during prenatal development later engaged in more rough and tumble play (aggressive)

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The Role of Genes and Hormonoes

Money - Claimed that biological Sex was not the main factor in gender development. He recommended that intersex individuals could be successfully bought up boy or girl.  However studies do not support this..

Reiner and Gearhart - 16 genetic males born with no penis. Two raised as males and rest as women. 8 reassigned themselves as male again by 16, suggesting biological factors have an effect in gender development.

Eventual outcome of individual comes from combination of genes, hormonoes, sex and socialisation.

Example - Congenital adrenal Hyperlasia is when females exposed to high levels of male hormonoes resulting in male genitalia. Some gender is accepted others not therefore is part biological (nature) but experience, socialisation (nurture) also play a role.

In olympics you used to not be able to compete if you were an intersex individual. However now only excluded if they are physically male - genetic sex no longer determines gender.

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Evolutionary Explanation

Gender is a product of Sexual Selection - Need to be different to survive.

Ruhn and Stiner - Gender division (men hunting, women providing clothes, shelter) can explain why humans survived and Neanderthals (both men and women hunt)did not. However.. Ignores social explanations (no factual firm basis)

Buss - Men looked for partners who are physically attractive whereas women are interested in the resources they provide. Supported by ..

Waynforth and Dunbar - Used ads to see what they advertised and seeked. 44% males went for physcially attractive (22% women) 50% women offered attractiveness (34% of males did)

Baron and Cohen - E-S Theory - Women are better at empathising and men are better sytematising ( builiding systems) Which developed from men developing hunting skills and women caring for children.

Taylor et al - Males would deal with threats (flight or flee) females would protect themselves and children (tend and befriend) Supported by.. Enris - testing responses of stress by levels of cortisol (males increase, females decrease)

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Implications of Evolutionary Explanation

Stanford - Men became hunters because of selective pressures, used meat as a way of attracting females.

Baron - Cohen - Autism is an example of extrem male brain with exels at systematising and lacks the abilitly to emphathise.

Cognitive Style - Baron-Cohen: Research to show men and women do act in different ways by conducting a questionnaire where they were asked to show how strongly they agreed/disagreed with the statement. Males tended to be systematisers and females empathisers.

It is an bioloical approach - coded info from our genes or behaviour is affected by Nurture (Social approach)

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The Biosocial Approach

Encompases both Bioloical and Social Influences

Gangestad et al - 2 facts to consider with gender

  • Significant Universals in gender behaviour
  • Significant Cultural Variations in Gender differences

Money and Ehrhardt - Biosocial Theory:  Social Labelling and differtial treatment of boys and girls. If a genetic male is mislabelled as a girl and treated like one before 3 he would acquire the identity of a girl.

Eagly and Wood - Social Role Theory: Selective pressures do not cause both physical and psychological differences. They only cause physical differences which create psychological differences.

.. Goes against evolutionary theory that states social roles grow out of our biologically determined pshycological differences.

Physical differences allow to perform certain tasks more effectivly and what we seek in a partner can be related to their social cues rather then traits.

Testerone.. causes men to engage in more athletic competitve events

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Implications to the Biosocial Approach

Biosocial theory ..

Lack of evidence - twin study went against it

Sample Bias - Evidence comes from abnormal individuals so many not be relevant to understand normal gender development.

+ Links Nature and Nurture

- Luxen - Argues that the evolutionary theory can explain the division between male and female ..

Very young children and animals display sex differences in their toy differences ( Biological)

Behaviour is as important ay phyiscal charactistics. So selective pressure would act directly on behaviour creating psychological as well as physical differences.

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Cognitive Developmental Theory

Kohlberg - Gender Constancy Theory .. Young children cannot distinguish between appearance and reality (must be a girl if wearing a dress)

McConaghy - Children shown a line drawing of a men in a dress with genitals visible they said it was a girl .

Children naturally progress from one stage to another as they mature gradually by changes in a childs cognitive ability

1) Gender Labelling (2-3 years) Label due to appearence (long hair- Girl) Thompson - 2 year olds 76% correct at identifying sex, 3 year olds 90%

2) Gender Stabiltity (3 -4 years) Gender consistant over time but do not understand it is consitant over situations (males turn to females when do female activities) Slaby and Frey - asked were you a little boy/girl when born - didnt recognise these traits till were 3 or 4.

3) Gender Consistency ( 6 years) Gender is consistant across time and situations - learn about gender appropriate behaviour. Slaby and Frey - Increase sense of constancy lead to paying more attention to gender appropraite models.

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Cognitive Developmental Theory

Martin and Holverson - Gender Schema Theory ..Key to gender development is seeking to acquire info about ones own gender. However... they argue this happens before gender consistency

Gender labelling is sufficent for a child to identify themselves and take an interest in what behaviours are appropriate.

Schemas are learnt from interactions such as learning which toys are appropriate.

Martin and little: Children under the age of 4 showed no signs of gender stability but displayed strong gender stereotypes about gender roles.. which is before kohlberg suggested.

Ingroup schemas: Schemas appropriate for own gender. Before gender consistency they focus on ingroup schemas and avioud outgroup schemas.

Martin and Halverson: When children under 6 were asked to recall pictures  they recalled most gender consistent ones (male-fireman)

BradBard - told 4-9 year olds neutral toys were labelled either girl/boy. Took greater interest in ingroup toys.

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Commentry Between the Two Cognitive Development Th

Kohlberg Claims gender knowledge cant happen untill gender consistency has occured.

Martin and Halveson say it starts as soon as a child have some awareness of what gender they belong too.

Bussey and Bandura: Boys and girls ages 4 said they felt good about playing with gender stereotypical toys.

Stangor and Ruble: Unifyed the two approaches..

Gender schema: associated with organisation of info affecting memory.  Gender Consistent pictures increased with age

Gender Constancy: Motivational and associated with things such as activity choice. Preference for some sex toys increased with gender constancy.

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Psychological Androgynous

Man/Women Traits.. when people dont fit gender stereotypes


Bem - Better to be Androgynous and select a mixture of Male and Female traits - leading to greater flexibility and psychological adjustment.

Bem - Sex role inventory - 34% of male and 27% of female were androgynous


Bem- Reinformed original Study. Gender schemas are created by the culture we live in therefore society should be androgynous as society is Schematic not individuals

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Explanation of Psychological Androgynous

+ Bem - femine and androgynous Individuals interacted more warmly with a baby

+ Bem - Masculine and androgynous individuals showed lower levels of conformity


Lippa - Masculine scales on the BSRI measure assertiveness and resisting pressures to conform and Female Scales measures feminity in terms of nurturance and expressive traits.

Whiteley - Masculine identity is associated with higher self esteem then androgynous was therefore people with both male and female characteristics will benefit from a broader personality trait - but does not mean they will have an androgynous personality.

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Gender Dysphoria

The individual feels uncomfortable with their own gender (man feels like a women)

Psychological Explanations

Coates et al: Boy produced GID as a defensive reaction to his mothers depression

Stroller et al: Overly close mother son relationship would be likely to lead to greater female identification

Biological Explanations

Genes (abnormality)

Hormonoes (mismatch between hormonoes and actual sex - Males prentally exposed to ostreogen are therefore prenatally exposed to high levels of female hormonoes)

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Evaluation of Gender Dysphoria


Cole et al: studed 435 individuals who experienced this. The range of psychiatric conditions displayed was no greater then in normal population. ..

Therefore gender dysphoria is generally unrelated to truama


Genes are like to transexualism.

Male to female transexual volunterrs showed they were more likely to have a longer version of the androgen receptor gene, which causes weaker testerone signalling.

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Social Influences on Gender Roles

Social Learning theory - Bandura and Walters... People acquire new behaviours through observing what other people do and then modelling the behaviour.

Social Cognitive Theory - Bandura...Further adapted it by emphasising the role of cognitive factors and used this to explain gender development.. 3 major models have an influence..

1) Modelling: Cognitive representations of activity. Children must first have the ability to class males and females to recognise simularities in behaviour and store it in memory. Perry and Bussy - Children imatated a same sex models behaviour as long as the behaviour was not counter to gender stereotypes.

2) Enactive Representations: Becoming more capable of acting out their behaviour on the environment enabling them to have an experience related to activity. This is important for gender development

3)Direct Tuition: Explicit instructions about gender development. It needs to be reinforced. Martin et al - Pre school boys played with toys labelled boys toys even after seeing girls play with him, and didnt play with girls toys when boys did. Showing children do not always model the same sex and direct tuition is more important.

Barkey et al - only 18 out of 81 students used same sex modelling

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Sources of Social Influences - Parents


Know how a child should act - children look up to them from young age. Boys reinforced differently to girls

Smith and Lloyd - Observed mothers playing with an infant was either presented as a girl or a boy and they selected gender appropriate toys.

Fagot Et al - Parents who show the clearest patterns of differntial reinforcement mean children develop strong gender preferences quicker.

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Sources of Social Influences - Peers

Act as a reminder

They offer a model of gender link behaviours

Provide feedback when the individual steps outside what is seen as appropriate.

Children associate with the same gender doing gender activities

Prime socilaising will not be important and will therefore reinforce existing stereotypes

Lamb and Roopnarine - Found that male type behaviour at pre school in girls went on for a shorter period of time then in boys

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Sources of Social Influences - Schools

Role Models

Teachers prepare children for their future roles in society.

They reinforce gender appropriate behaviour and aspirations/

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Sources of Social Influences - Media

Communicating cultural Stereotypes

Men - independant, directive, persuaing engaging occupations and recreational activities

Women- Dependant and emotional ways

Bussey and Bandura - Gives outcomes of males and females. Seeing the success of other raises our beliefs and follows

- hard to demonstrate the effect of stereotypes because almost everyone watches TV - no control group

Pingree - Stereotyping was reduced when children were shown commercials with women in non traditional roles ... However this was the opposite in pre adolescent boys - as they want to take on the view of an adults one.

Medias affect is to reinforce

Signorelli and Bacue - Over 30 years of TV stereotypes have not changed

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Critisims against Social Learning Theory

Durkin - The theory is adevelopmental - process's if learning is the same at any age

Cognitivie development theories are much more age specific

+ Provides evidence for why children attend to same sex stereotypes

- Ignore opposite sex schemas

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Cross Cultural Studies

Girls in all socities are socialised towards compliance (nutarance, responsibility)

Boys are reaised more assertiveness (independance, self-reliance, achievement)


Mead - 3 social groups from different areas in a country. Tribe 1 - men and women gentle, Tribe 2 - Voilent, aggressive seeking power, Tribe 3 - gender role differences.

Culural determinism - Social factors not bio

However she later changed her view to cultural relativism because she re-analysed her date and in all 3 socities men were more aggressive.

Flawed by Freeman - who was told they provided her with info she wanted to hear.

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Cross Cultural Studies continued

Williams and best - gender stereotypes in 30 different nations involving 2800 uni students. Given 300 words that they had to associate with men or women. Men were seen more dominant, aggressive and women more nurtural. Therefore universal stereotype.

- No equal category - stereotypes may be exagerated

- Related to stereotypes not actual behaviour

- Uni students - well educated - exposed to simular global interests

Buss - In all cultures women seek men with resources and men want younger physically attractive women.

This suggests that biology rather then culture explains gender roles. However we do not know whether is is a direct outcome of the evolutionary theory or... an indirect outcome of biological differences.

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Cross Cultural Studies


Berry et al - Male supority on spatial perceptual tasks in 17 societies, Found that this superity is only found in sedentary societies... sex differences interact with ecological and cultural factors

In normandic societies both men and women hunt being less division of labour.

In the UK women perform domestic duties however... gender gap has been decreasing supporting the role of changing social influences.

Williams and best - Wealth is associated with greater role equality


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Culture or Biology

There are universal points to biology

However there are differences in these universal points due to the role of social factors

Complex interaction between both

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Very useful thanks :)



Thank you, very very helpful :) x

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