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

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

  • Quadagno found that female monkeys exposed to testosterone were more aggressive
  • Without the Y chromosome the testes do not develop and instead ovaries do, which produce oestrogen and stimulate puberty in females.
  • The absence of testosterone causes oestrogen to be produced and puberty to be triggered.
  • Testosterone triggers puberty in females.
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2. 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.

3. What is the empathising-systemising theory?

  • 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 that men and women's brains both work by empathising and stymieing equally.
  • Suggests these attributes have nothing to do with gender.

4. What did Reiner and Gearheart (2004) study?

  • The Batista family
  • Bananas
  • Chromosomal males born with no penis (found that of 14 raised female, half re-assigned themselves by puberty)
  • Girls born with CAH (exposed to testosterone) showed little difference in gender to a control group of non CAH girls.

5. 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.

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