Sex and Gender


Key Concepts Core Theory: Biologyical Approach An Alternative Theory: The Psycodynamic Approach Core Study: Diamond and Sigmundon (1997) Real Life Application
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Sex and Gender
  1. Key concepts
    1. A persons sex is obvious through certain characteristics present from birth and as they grow up
      1. e.g. Penis and facial hair
        1. e.g. Vagina and breasts
        2. Key words
          1. Sex- A biological term that tells us whether an individual is Male or female
            1. Gender- A pycological term that tells us whether an individual is mascualine, feminine or androgynous
              1. Masculinity- gender term associated with male traits/roles
                1. e.g. being aggressive
                  1. e.g. going out to work
                    1. e.g. playing football
                    2. Femininity- gender term associated with female traits/roles
                      1. e.g. being sensitive
                        1. e.g. staying at home to look after children
                          1. e.g. Playing with dolls
                          2. Androgyny- A type of gender where an individual shows high levels of both masculine and feminine traits/ roles
                        2. Behaviour, sex and gender
                          1. Gender roles can change within their lifetime
                            1. For example, a girl can be a tom boy when they're younger but grow up to be a very feminine woman
                        3. Core theory: Biological approach
                          1. Key words
                            1. Chromosome- a part of cell that contains genetic info
                              1. e.g. Females- XX
                                1. e.g. Male-XY
                                  1. e.g. Atypical- XXY
                                  2. Hormone- a chemical produced by the body which affects the cells and organs
                                    1. e.g. Males produce testosterone which affects brain and behaviour to make them more aggressive and mathmatical
                                      1. e.g. Females produce oestrogen which affects brain and behaviour to make them more sensitive and verbal
                                      2. Evolution-the process by which different kinds of living organism are believed to have developed from earlier forms during the history of the earth.
                                      3. Believes that
                                        1. an individuals gender is decided at conception
                                          1. Intinctive
                                            1. Chromosomes decide whether the peron will be masculine or feminine
                                              1. Makes and Females have evolved with different levels of hormones which affect their psycological characteristics
                                                1. Evolution can explain why males are more aggresive and competitive, and why females are more caring and sensitive
                                                2. Limitations
                                                  1. Ignores the idea that gender maybe learnt- Other is other evidence thats shows what families and communities socialise males and females differently. Might be the reason why the two sexes end up with different gender roles. For example, boys are rewarded for being tough whereas girls are rewarded for being 'lady-like'. Similary, if a child behaves like the opposite sex they are often riddiculed or shunned
                                                    1. Why do the two sexes show such a range of behaviour if all the same sex are biologically similar- For example, two men will have the same chromosome pattern and similar testosterone levels, yet onecould be very masculine and the other very feminine.
                                                  2. The Alternative Theory: The Psychodynamic Approach
                                                    1. Key words
                                                      1. Oedipus Complex- When a boy unconsiously desire their mother but is afraid of castration from father
                                                        1. Electra Complex- Why a girl unconsiously desires their father but is afraid that their mother will find out and loose their mothers love
                                                        2. Gender is less to do with biology and nature but more to do with upbringing and parents
                                                          1. Freud believd that children develop in stages. Between the ages of three and six the child starts to develop a stong attachment to the opposite parent. However, this causes problems for the ame sex parent. This was the Oedipus and Electra Complex
                                                            1. In the Oedipus Complex a boy unconsiously desire their mother but is afraid of castration from father. So theyidentify with their fathers. This is when boys develop a masculine gender identitiy.
                                                              1. In the Electra Complex, girls desire their fathers because of penis envy. This is where they desire their fathers penis. They blame their Mothers as they beieve they have been castrated already. When they realise they can never grow a penis, they desire a baby insteadpe as an subsitute. When they reach this point they realise they are in the same position as their mother. They then identify with their mother. This is when girls develop a feminine gender identity..
                                                              2. If a parent is not around or is a weak model then a childs identity doesn't develop properly
                                                              3. Core Study: Diamond and Sigmundson (1997)
                                                                1. Aim- To show that a child cannot be isolatised to take on the role of the opposite sex
                                                                  1. Procedure
                                                                    1. Bruce was boy who at the age of 8 months old got his penis burned off during a routine circumcision operation.
                                                                      1. A psychologist names Money recommended that Bruce was raised as a girl instead.
                                                                        1. He believed that babies were not born with gender but it was the upbringing that influenced their masculinity and femininity.
                                                                        2. When Bruce was 1 months years old, his testes were removed.. He was re-named Brenda by his parent, who started to treat him as a girl. As 'she' got older, 'she' was led to believe that 'she' was born a girl.
                                                                        3. Results
                                                                          1. At first Money was heavily involved in the case.
                                                                            1. He frequently interviewed and observed Brenda.
                                                                              1. He reported that she had adapted to her new gender role well, for example, he claimed that Brenda enjoyed playing with girls toys and had no reason to believe she was different from her girls of her age.
                                                                              2. However, when she reached puberty, there were some problems. Firstly, he needed to be given hormones to help her to develop a more female shape (e.g. breasts and hip).
                                                                                1. Despite this she had a more masculine appearance and masculine mannerisms.
                                                                                  1. Brenda later reported she felt like a man inside, for example, she found other girls attractive and rejected boys who were interested in her.
                                                                                    1. She liked more masculine activities, such as sport, and wanted to hangout with her brother.
                                                                                      1. At 13, life had become so difficult for Brenda that her parents decided to tell her the truth. She was actually relieved because it explained her doubts about her gender.
                                                                                        1. From then she decided to become a boy again and named himself David. He had a penis constructed and married a woman and had children through adoption.
                                                                                        2. Limitations
                                                                                          1. They used a Case Study amd Case Studies rely on small samlpe sizes so it is difficult to generalise. In this case, the sample is just one individual. Just because Bruce could not adapt to his new gender does not mean that other boys would not have been able to. Bruce may have been the exception to the rule
                                                                                            1. As it was a case study of a natural situation it was not possible to control key variables - He had a brother who was a masculine role model who he may have imitated. He had been raised as a boy for 17 months maybe it would have been easier to socialise him if his parents had done so from birth. Because hi parents knew he was really a boy they may not have treated him in exactly the same way as they would have done if he had been a real daughter.
                                                                                              1. There may have been experimenter effects - Dr Money may have stopped being objective, because he was so heavily involved in the case study - he may have interpreted Brenda ʼ s behaviour to suit his approach (theory). He may have been so keen to show that boys can be raised as girls that he failed to report that she was struggling with her feminine gender identity
                                                                                              2. Conclusion - The effect of David ʼ s chromosomes had outweighed the efforts to socialise him as a girl. Therefore gender is more a product of nature than nurture
                                                                                            2. Application of Research into Sex and Gender
                                                                                              1. Equal Opportunities for the sexes- Reseach into sex and geder is important for real-life situations. Its crucial that psycologyst discover which gender differences, if any, children are born with. If males and females naturally have different strenghts aor abilities then there is little we can do about this. Although, if males and females are born more or less the same then they can poentially achieve the same kinds of things.
                                                                                                1. Equal opportunities in education- Research into equal opportunites in education could be used in schools so that they could help and get more resources into helping boys with their literacy skills and with girls their mathematical skills. Evidence shows that there is very few natural differences between females' and males' abilities. Despite this girls are doing significantly better than males in both GCSE's and A levels. This is known as 'the gender gap' in eduction,.
                                                                                                  1. Equal of opportunity in work- research into the work place is important as despite the fact that females preform better than males in education, Men seem to do better in the workplace (in terms of promotion and pay). This may suggest that there is need for more equal opportunities in the workplace.
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