Sex, Gender and Androgyny

Define and explain the three terms.

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  • Created by: Megan
  • Created on: 12-04-11 08:24

Sex: is a biological construct refering to male or female. defined by our chromosomes, hormones and anatomical differences.

Gender: is a social construct referring to masculin or feminine. relates to the idea and expectations that a given society has about the roles, behaviours and attitudes of males and females.

Androgyny: when a female or male is both equally masculine and feminine.

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BEM 1974
To construct an inventory to measure masculinity, femininity and androgyny
fifty males and fifty female judges rated 200 traits for how desirable they were for mean and women. based on judges ratings, 20 traits were chosen for masculinity scale and 20 for femininity scale.
Feminine traits included compassion, sympathy, warmth, shyness and gullibility.
Masculine traits included ambition, athleticism, aggression and self-sufficiency.
These traits were then used on the Bem Scale Inventory (BSRI) where people had to rate themselves between 1 and 7 on each.
When the BSRI was tested on over 1,000 students it showed itself to be valid when checking against the samples own description of their gender idendity.
A smaller sample of students were tested again a month later, gaining similar scores it showed the BSRI was reliable.
Monst men were scroing highest on masculine traits and women on feminine traits, however many scored high on both traits meaning they were androgynous. People that scored low on both traits were known as 'undifferentiated'.
Not always reliable due to people giving socially desirable answers. However Bem's Inventory was confidential so it is more likely of people to be honest.

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What happens when sex and gender don't correlate?

There are often examples of when a person is a certain sex however they are more of the opposite gender.

  • Male and feminine
  • Female and masculine

This is related to gender identity, refeing to an individuals perception of their own gender.

Gender Indendity: This is the first of Kohlberg's stages of gender development, when a child can label his/her sex amd sex of others correctly.

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