PSYA3 Gender - The Role of Genes and Hormones

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  • Created by: emilyleah
  • Created on: 01-06-13 10:47

The role of Genes and Hormones

Genes AO1

- Each person has 23 pairs of chromosomes, one pair are called sex chromosomes as they determine the individual’s sex. Females = ** Males = XY

- Direct link between individual’s chromosomal sex and external + internal genitalia

- During prenatal development all individuals look the same + embryos have genitalia that externally look feminine

- When the foetus is about 3 months old if it is a male the testes produce testosterone which causes external male genitalia

- Genetic transmission explains how individuals acquire their sex

Hormones AO1

- Most gender development is governed by hormones which are produced both prenatally and in adolescence (puberty)

- A surge of hormones during puberty leads to secondary sex characteristics such as pubic hair

- Hormones influence the development of genitalia and/or affect the development of the brain, both of which influence gender behaviour

- Geschwind and Galabaurda (1987) sex differences may be caused by testosterone levels on developing brain. Male brains exposed prenatally to more testosterone so leads to a more masculinised brain


AO2: Support for genes: Reiner and Gearheart (2004)
- studied 16 genetically


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