Biological approach to gender (Genes and Hormones and the Evolutionary approach)

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1. What is the David Reimer case study?

  • Chromosomal male (Bruce) suffered a botched circumcision and was raised a female (Brenda) before re-assigning himself back to male after puberty
  • David Reimer was assigned the female gender after being born chromosomally male and the case was successful, with David remaining female.
  • Chromosomal female (Brenda) was raised as a male due to ambiguous genitals.
  • David Reimer studied a psychologist, Dr Money.
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2. What is the empathising-systemising theory?

  • Suggests that men and women's brains both work by empathising and stymieing equally.
  • Proposes that women are good at empathising (dealing with and expressing emotion) and men are good at systemising (constructing systems and reacting logically)
  • Proposes that men are good at empathising (dealing with and expressing emotion) and women are good at systemising (constructing systems and reacting logically)
  • Suggests these attributes have nothing to do with gender.

3. What did Deady et al (2006) study?

  • Of the 25 child-free women there was no difference in maternal drive.
  • Looked at 25 child-free women and found those with higher testosterone had a higher maternal drive.
  • Looked at 25 child-free women and those with higher testosterone had a lower maternal drive.
  • Of 25 child free women those with high testosterone also had high oestrogen levels.

4. Give one A01 approach to the role of genes and hormones in gender development in females.

  • Without the Y chromosome the testes do not develop and instead ovaries do, which produce oestrogen and stimulate puberty in females.
  • Quadagno found that female monkeys exposed to testosterone were more aggressive
  • Testosterone triggers puberty in females.
  • The absence of testosterone causes oestrogen to be produced and puberty to be triggered.

5. Give one A01 point that explains the evolutionary approach to gender development in terms of division of labour.

  • Division of labour developed to ensure survival in the EEA because if a woman was pregnant she would be physically unable to hunt- therefore the man would have to and different gender roles developed.
  • Division of labour did not exist in the EEA and was a more recent social idea that developed due to sexist beliefs.
  • Division of labour made no impact on survival rates.
  • Division of labour made no impact on survival rates - neanderthals survived despite division of labour not existing between them.

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