Biological evolutionary explanations of gender
Clark and Hatfield - man and woman asked uni campus students "will you have sex with me", 75% men = yes, 0% women = yes. AO3: + supports evolutionary theory that women are choosy - culturally biased, in western culture girls are taught that casual sex is bad
Pair bonds - parental investent theory supports this. Females gain fom being in pair bc there's a greater chance of survival for self and offspring. Males gain from pair as they can be more certain the offspring is theirs.
Differences in aggression - in animals, bc females are choosy males have to fight for attention. bigger, more aggressive males more likely to win. male chimps are 2.3x bigger than female chimps. AO3: + supports sexual selection - reductionist, human sexual behaviour is more complex, involves cognitions and emotion
General evaluation: - fails to consider culture e.g. collectivist cultures = more feminine, individualist cultures more masculine.
- predisposes gender behaviour i.e. determinist - sex equality is doomed bc nature means we can't be equal
- cannot explain homosexual behaviour - if male/female pairs are purely for reproductive success, why does homosexuality exist?
Biosocial explanations of gender AO1
Explanation includes biological and social influences i.e. combines nature and nurture
Gangestad - there are significant similarites and cultural variations in gender behaviour i.e. must take both of these factors in account
Money and Erhart - social labelling leasds to different treatment from birth - there is a 'sensitive' period between 2.5 - 3 years - after this any attempt at gender reassignment will cause a psychological disturbance
Money and Erhart - in line with social construction theory in Western societies, 'opposite sex' = fundamental differences
Smith and Lloyd - dressed babies in unisex snow-suits and gave them either a male or female name. Result: 'girls' were spoken to quietly, soothed and given dolls. 'Boys' were encouraged to be active and given male toys e.g. a hammer
Biosocial explanations of gender AO2/AO3
Daphne Went - had testicular feminisation syndrome (XY fetus insensitive to testosterone, born looking like a girl but has short vagina, no uterus or fallopian tubes and has testes). She decided to remain female instead of trying to live as a guy(?). AO3: + this shows that upbringing (social influence) is important in determining gender
Money and Erhart - supported nature - upbringing is more important than genetics in determining gender
General evaluation + considers complex interaction between nature and nurture
+ feminist movement has been successful in last 100 years (women now have the vote) i.e. changes in social roles take into account psychological differences between males and females
- cognition and emotions are ignored (gender = complex)
Gender dysphoria explanations AO1
Definition: Gender dysphoria is the feeling of being trapped in the wrong-sex body. There is conflict between biological (assigned) sex and gender identity. Often referred to as transsexuals. GID = 1 in 11,000 - ongoing identification with opposite sex, a strong sense of discomfort with own biological sex. GID affects ability to function in everyday life.
Psychological explanations: possible cause: childhood trauma or maladaptive upbringing. Stoller - conducted interviews and found that overly close mother-son relationships lead to greater female identification and confused gender identity
Biological explanations: hormones: environment pollution e.g. female foetus eposed to insecticide DDT
Gender dysphoria explanation AO2/AO3
Research has supported both psych. and biol.
Coates - supports psych. - male GID case study, GID possibly caused by trauma, as mother was depressed following an abortion, lack of care - cross gender fantasy
Dutch research - supports biol. - mother was exposed to dioxins (which promote oestrogen) - her sons showed feminised play
Green - 44 boys referred to clinics. 30 control boys matched for age. At 18 only 1 out of 44 boys had GID and opted for reassignment surgery. AO3: - its difficult to rule out the social pressures which may have influenced the boys
Drummond - 30 female 2-3 year olds with GID. At 7 years, free play was observed and they did a questionnaire on playmate preference. At 18 asked about desire to be treated as a man, sexual orientation and fantasies. 88% of females with strong GID at 7 showed no signs in early adulthood. 12% still had GID