Hormones/genes and gender development

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  • Created by: KCharlish
  • Created on: 04-04-16 20:36

AO1 1 Chromosomes

  • 23 pairs of chromosomes in each cell.
  • XX = female XY = male
  • Hormones cause changes to the individuals internal and external genitalia
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AO1 2 Devlopment

  • everyones starts with the same female genitalia.
  • 3 months, if male, testes produce testosterone which causes male genitalia to develop.
  • Baby is labelled as a boy or girl at birth creating their gender identity.
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AO1 3 Brain development

  • Geschwind and Galaburda - male hormones create a masculine brain
  • Baron Cohen:
    • Girls = understand how people think and feel
    • Boys = better at categorising and understanding systems.
  • Animal studies have shown female monkeys deliberately exposed to testosterone display more masculine behaviour, e.g. aggressiveness, more rough and tumble play.(Quadagno)
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AO2 1 Biological sex

  • Biological sex is not the main factor.
  • Money and Ehrhardt - sex of rearing is more important in determining gender identity. As long as it is done before 3 y/o
  • David/Bruce/Brenda Reimer
    • born a male
    • penis accidentally removed during suregery when infant
    • Bruce's parents raised him as Brenda
    • Money claimed this was successful
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AO2 2 Contradictory evidence

  • Diamond and Sigmundson
    • revealed Brenda's unhappiness as a girl and decision in adolescence to become a boy.
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AO2 3 Further support

  • Reiner and Gearhart
    • 16 genetic males born with almost no penis
    • 14 raised as females
    • By adolescense 8 had decided to re assign themselves as males
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IDA 1 Determenistic

  • Assumption it is biology alone is deterministic
  • Socialisation matters too
    • Dessens et al studied 250 cases where individuals were typed as females at birth and found 95% were content with their role, despite prenatal exposure to male hormones.
    • Further 33 patients were typed as males, 12 experienced serious gender problems.
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IDA 2 Olympics

  • Genetic sex was the determining factor for athletes as whether they compete as male or female since 1960s.
  • In 1991 new ruling meant genetics was no longer the decisive factor
  • individuals such as males were only excluded from events if they appeared obviously male
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AO2 4 Methodological issues - case studies

  • Case studies of individuals with unique characteristics
  • Each individual has a special set of circumstances e.g. the amount of testosterone exposure, gender role model availablity etc.
  • Cannot generalise
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AO2 5 Methodological issues - abnormal individuals

  • much research involves abnormal individuals - intersexes
  • may be more vunerable to social influences because their biological ambiguities mean they have to search for clues to their identity.
  • Threatens the extent to which findings can be generalised.
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