Biological Explanations of Gender.

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Chromosomal Differences.
23 pairs. Male - XY Female -XX
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Klinefelter's Syndrome
Pattern - XXY. (extra X chromosome) 1 in 500 to 1 in 1000 males. PSYCHOLOGICAL effects - Poor Language skills affecting reading ability, Passive Tempermant. PHYSICAL effects - Less body hair than a normal male. Underdeveloped genital. Infertile.
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Turner's Syndrome
Pattern - XO (Absence of X chromosome) 1 in 2500 females. PSYCHOLOGICAL - Higher than average reading ability, Lower than average spatial ability. PHYSICAL effects - Ovaries fail to develop, Squat body with webbed neck.
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Money and Erdhart (1972) Bruce-Brenda
Money reported the gender reassignment as a success but later reports suggest Bruce was never happy and had reconstructive surgery. CONCLUSION = Biological differences are more influential the socialisation.
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Supported By: Gorski et al (1978)
Discovered a structural difference in the brains of male and female rats. A region of the hypathalamus known as the SDN is larger in males than females. It is these differences that are responsible for gender behaviours.
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Limitation of the chromosomal explanation
Both of these studies are based on Case studies of individual people/families = can't generalise findings, might not be a representative sample.
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Hormonal Influences
Male = testosterone Female = Oestrogen. Testosterone can be linked to aggression.
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Dabbs et al (1995)
Prisoners with high testosterone levels were more likely to have committed crimes involving sex and violence than prisoners with low levels.
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Evaluation of Dabbs et al.
Studies with Male body builders taking androgenic steroids showed they have higher than normal aggression scores.Perhaps its a self fulfilling prophecy. The study was a correlation so there is a problem with cause and effect.
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Strengths of the Biological Explanations.
Supported by empirical evidence = Money and Erdhart, Dabbs et al. Gorski.
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Limitations
Reductionist = reduces gender down to one particular element. Deterministic = We have no free will and choice over our gender
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Criticisms and comparisons with other approaches.
SLT = Bio OVEREMPHASISES the Nature argument and ignores environmental factors. COG = Bio ignores important thought processes. PSYCHODYNAMIC= ignores importance of childhood experiences and family relationships.
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Card 2

Front

Klinefelter's Syndrome

Back

Pattern - XXY. (extra X chromosome) 1 in 500 to 1 in 1000 males. PSYCHOLOGICAL effects - Poor Language skills affecting reading ability, Passive Tempermant. PHYSICAL effects - Less body hair than a normal male. Underdeveloped genital. Infertile.

Card 3

Front

Turner's Syndrome

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

Money and Erdhart (1972) Bruce-Brenda

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

Supported By: Gorski et al (1978)

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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