Sex and Gender
-Sex refers to a persons biological status as either male or female. Determind by a pair of sex chromosomes XX or XY.
-Gender refers to a persons psychosocial status as either masculine or feminine. This is heavily influenced by social norms.
-Gender Dysphoria is when their biologically prescribed sex does not reflect the way they feel inside
-Ingalhalikar et al 2014- scanned brains of 949 women and men and found that women's brains have far better connections between left and right sides of the brain, while mens brains display more intense activity within the brains individual parts.
-Imperato-McGinley et al 1974- studied a family where the girls were born as girls but once they hit puberty they changed into males. They were affected by a genetic disorder. The now boys abandoned their female gender identity with very few problems. This suggests that gender identity may be flexible not fixed.
-Is it as simple as male or female? Some children have hormonal imbalances where their genitals appear neither male or female. They are known as intersex. In 2013, Germany introduced the third gender X
Explain what is meant by sex role stereotypes 3M
Explain what is the difference between sex and gender 4M
Outline what psychological research has shown about sex role stereotypes.4M
Atypical Sex Chromosome Patterns
-Klinefelters syndrome is an example of an atypical sex chromosome pattern. It affects about 1 in 600 males and those affected have an additional X chromosome.
-One effect of KS has reduced body hair with some breast development in puberty. People may have problems with coordination or clumsiness.
- KS is linked to poorly developed language skills and reading ability. Tend to be passive and shy and lack interest in sexual activity
- Turners syndrome is caused by the absence of the two X chromosomes in females. It is referred to as XO.
-Those with TS do not have a menstrual cycle and are sterile. They do not develop breasts and have a webbed neck.
-Feature of TS is higher reading ability. Performance on memory and maths tasks are lower then normal. Tend to be socially immature.
-One strength is its contribution to the nature-nurture debate. Able to see differences between two groups and that these differences have a biological basis.
-However, the relationship between chromosome abnormalities associated with KS and TS and the differences in these behaviours are not causal. Social factors may be important. Social immaturity seen in females with TS could be due to them being treated immaturely.
-Another strength is its application to managing the conditions. Continued research in this area is more likely to lead to earlier and more accurate diagnoses. Herlihy et al 2011- those who had be identified with KS at an early age ten to have better outcomes.
- One issue with KS is the sampling. Only those with extreme characteristics are placed in the database which could skew the results. Boada et al 2009- have produced a more accurate image where those with KS do not experience cognitive or psychological problems.
Identify two physical effects of KS 2M
Explain one problem of studying people with atypical sex chromosomes 4M
Discuss atypical sex chromosome patterns and what they tell us about gender developments 16M
Cognitive Explanation; Gender Schema Theory
-Martin and Halverson's (1981) cognitive developmental theory argues that children's understanding of gender changes with age. Shares the view with Kohlberg that children develop their understanding by actively structuring their own learning.
-Schema are mental constructs which develop with experience and are used to organise knowledge.
-Once a child has established gender identity around the ages of 2/3 they will search their environment for information which fits their gender schema.
- Gender schema expands to include a wide range of behaviours and personality traits. Schemas are likely to be formed around stereotypes. By age 6, children have a fixed and stereotypical idea about gender.
-Children tend to have a better understanding of the schema that is relevant to their own gender. Pay more attention to their own gender identity. When aged 8, children develop elaborate schemas for both genders.
-One strength is that it is supported by evidence. Martin and Halverson 1983 found that children under age 6 were more likely to remember photos of gender-appropriate behaviour when tested.
-One limitation is that gender identity probably develops earlier than suggested. Zosuls et al 2009 looked at the onset of gender identity in a longitudinal study. Gender identity occurred at around 19 months.
-However, Martin and Halverson suggest that we shouldn't focus on specific ages as the ages they used were averages. We should instead focus on the sequence of events.
- Another strength is that it can account for cultural differences. Cherry 2019 suggests that gender schemas also include culturally appropriate gender behaviours.
Explain what is meant by gender schema 3M
Explain the differences between gender schema and Kohlberg theory of gender development 6M
Evaluate gender schema theory 10M
Discuss gender schema theory 16M
Atypical Gender Development
-Gender dysphoria has a basis in brain structure- the BST. This structure is involved in emotional response and also in male sexual behaviour in rats. Kruijver et al 2000, found that the area is larger in men and is found to be female-sized in transgender females.
- Coolidge 2002 assessed twin pairs for evidence of gender dysphoria. Found 62% of the variance could be accounted for by genetic factors
-Social construction perspective argues that gender identity does not reflect underlying biological differences between people and instead these concepts are invented by societies. Gender dysphoria is a social condition when people are required to choose one of two particular paths
-Ovesey and Person 1973- social relationships within the family cause gender dysphoria. GD in males is caused by boys experiencing extreme separation anxiety before gender identity has been established.
-Brain sex theory has been challenged. Pol et al 2006 used MRI scans on transgender individuals and found that the size of the BST changed over a period of time. BST may be affected by hormone therapy
-Other brain differences associated with gender dysphoria. Rametti et al 2011 studied another sexually dimorphic aspect of the brain. There are regional differences in white matter in males and females. White matter corresponded more closely to the gender that the individuals identified with.
-Strength of social constructionism is that not all cultures have two genders. Some cultures recognise more than two genders with many people now describing themselves as non-binary.
- Issues with Ovesey and Person 1973 explanation. This can only be applied to transgender females and not biological females.
Explain what is meant by gender dysphoria 2M
Outline one biological explanation for gender dysphoria 4M
Evaluate one social explanation for gender dysphoria 4M
Discuss biological and/or social explanations for gender dysphoria 16M
- Androgyny refers to a personality type that is characterised by a mixture/balance of masculine and feminine traits.
-Bem developed a method for measuring androgyny and suggested that high androgyny is associated with psychological well being.
- Bem 1974 (Bem Sex Role Inventory) presents a 20 characteristic scale with statments which would be identified as masculine and 20 that would be judged as feminine. 20 statements of neutral traits were also used.
- High M, Low F (Masculine), High F, Low M (Feminine), High M, High F (Androgynous), Low M, Low F (Undifferentiated)
- A strenght of Bems work is that it is measured quantitatively. However, Spence 1984 argues that there is more to gender identity then a set of typical behaviours of one gender.
- Another strength is that is appears to be a valid and reliable way of measuring androgyny. The scale was developed with judges and had test retest reliability. However, it was developed over 40 years ago and ideas surrounding gender has changed since then. It does not have temporal validity.
- It lacks generalisability as it was used on those in the United States and has western notions of gender included in it. This may not be shared across all cultures.
-Bem suggested that being androgynous was beneficial but Adams and Sherer 1985 suggest that having more masculine traits are better as these are more accepted in Western Culture.
Define androgyny 3M
Outline one way of measuring androgyny 4M
Explain two criticisms of the Bem Sex Role Inventory 6M
Discuss the Bem Sex Role Inventory 16M
Cognitive Explanation; Kohlberg Theory
-Kohlberg's (1966) cognitive developmental theory of gender is based on the idea that a child's understanding of gender becomes more sophisticated with age. This comes as a biological maturation.
-Stage 1 (Gender Identity)- Around 2, children can identify themselves as a girl or boy. This is gender identity. At age 3, children can identify others as male or female. Understanding gender is based on labels.
-Stage 2 (Gender Stability)- At age 4, children acquire gender stability. This comes with the understanding that they will stay the same gender. They are often confused by external changes in appearance such as a man with long hair.
-Stage 3 (Gender Constancy)- At age 6. children recognise that gender remains constant across time and situations and this is applied to others. No longer fooled by external appearance. Children will begin to seek out appropriate role models.
- Evidence does suggest that gender stereotyping does emerge around age 6. Damon 1977 told a story about George who played with dolls. The 6-year-olds thought it was wrong for George to be playing with dolls.
-However, other research challenged the idea that it happens before age 6. Bussey and Bandura 1999 found that children aged 4 reported feeling good about playing with gender-appropriate toys.
-One limitation of the theory is supporting research relies on unsatisfactory methods to assess gender constancy. Bem 1989 criticised the methodology used in the studies. The best way to measure gender constancy is by showing physical differences. However, most studies focus on appearance and context.
- There may be different degrees of gender constancy. Martin et al 2002 suggest that an initial degree of gender constancy is understanding the importance of gender, and the second degree relates to children's responsiveness to gender norms.
-Could be considered to be part of the nature approach ad Munroe et al 1984 found that cognitive changes were universal and therefore biological.
Explain what is meant by gender constancy 3M
Explain the difference between gender stability and gender constancy 4M
Explain one limitation of Kohlberg's theory 3M
Outline and evaluate Kohlberg's theory of gender development 16M
Social Learning Theory
-Social learning theory suggests that behaviour is learned from observing others and draws attention to the influence of the environment in shaping gender development.
-Direct reinforcement- children are likely to be reinforced for demonstrating behaviour that is gender appropriate. Boys and girls are encouraged to show distinct gender-appropriate behaviours is called differential reinforcement.
-Indirect reinforcement- if the consequences of a person's behaviour is favourable, that behaviour is more likely to be imitated by a child. If consequences are unfavourable, then the behaviour is less likely to be imitated.
- Identification refers to the process whereby a child attaches themselves to a person who is seen to be like me. These are known as role models.
-Modelling is a precise demonstration of behaviour that may be imitated by an observer.
-Social learning theory suggests 4 mediational processes that are central to learning gender:
-----Attention; pays attention to what a role model does
-----Retention; remembering what behaviour was done and trying to reproduce it
-----Motivation; the desire to repeat the behaviour
-----Motor reproduction; must be physically capable of doing the action,
-Key principles are supported by evidence. Smith and Lloyd 1978- babies were dressed as girls half the time and boys the other half. Babies assumed to be a boy picked up hammers and babies assumed to be girls picked up a doll.
-However, differential reinforcement may not be the cause of gender differences. Adults may be responding to innate gender differences that are already there. Boys may be more active due to hormonal differences.
- Can explain cultural changes in gender-appropriate behaviour. The shift in attitudes means that new forms of gender behaviour are unlikely to be punished and may be reinforced.
- Does not provide an adequate explanation of how learning processes change with age. They suggest that modelling can occur at any age. However, its illogical to say that 2-year-olds learn the same way as 9-year-olds.
Briefly explain social learning theory in regards to gender 3M
Explain one difference between social learning theory to gender and gender schema theory 2M
Explain one limitation of social learning theory as applied to gender development 6M
Outline and Evaluate the social learning theory of gender development 16M
Role of Chromosomes and Hormones
- Chromosomes are made from DNA. There are 23 pairs of chromosomes. Females is XX and males are XY.
-Gender development comes about through the influence of hormones. Hormones act upon brain development and the development of reproductive organs. Males and females produce many of the same hormones but in different concentrations.
-Testosterone is a male hormone and controls the development of sex organs. High levels of testosterone are also linked to aggression.
-Oestrogen is the female hormone and causes some women to experience heightened emotions and irritability during the menstrual cycle.
-Oxytocin is more common in females than in men and is highly present when giving birth. The hormone helps with breastfeeding and is also known as the love hormone.
- Evidence supports the role of sex hormones in gender development. Wang et al 2000 found that testosterone replacements improved sexual function, libido and mood. This shows that testosterone has a direct effect on males development
- However, other evidence of testosterone s less convincing. Daryl O Connor et al 2004 found that with increased testosterone in males there were no significant increases in sexual behaviour.
-Chromosomes and hormones ignore the social factors. Hofstede et al 2010 claim that gender roles around the world are more of a consequence of society than biology. Individualist countries are more masculine in their outlook.
-Another issue is that this explanation is reductionist. The cognitive approach would draw attention to schemas and thought processes.
Outline the role of testosterone and oxytocin in gender development 4M
Outline the role of hormones in sex and gender 4M
Discuss the role of chromones and hormones in sex and gender 16M
-Freud sees children pass through 5 biologically driven psychosexual stages that begin with the oral stage and ends with the genital stage. The third stage- the phallic stage- is when gender development occurs between ages 3 and 6. Prior to this stage, children have no concept of gender.
-Oedipus complex- boys develop feelings toward their mothers. Have jealousy and hatred for their father who stands in the way. The boy recognises the father is more powerful and fears lead to castration anxiety. Due to this, the boy gives up his love for his mother and identifies with his father.
-Electra complex- girls experience penis envy, seeing their mother as competition for their father's love. Girls have double resentment towards the mother- one for being in the way of the father, and the other for blaming them for not having a penis. Over time, girls accept that they won't have a penis and then start to identify with their mothers.
- Identification is when the sexes identify with their same-sex parent.
- Internalisation is when the children take on board the gender identity of the same-sex parent.
- Used Little Hans as evidence. Little Hans had a fear of being bitten by a horse, Freud interpreted this as a fear of castration.
-There is some support for the Oedipus complex in gender development. Rekers and Morey 1990 rated the gender identity of boys in interviews. Of those judged to be gender disturbed, 75% had neither their biological father nor a substitute father living with them.
-However, others say that the relationship between absent fathers and problems of gender identity is not supported. Bos and Sandfort 2010 found that children raised by lesbian parents felt less pressure to conform to gender stereotypes and were less likely to assume their own gender was superior.
-Inadequate account of female development. Horney 1942 suggests that penis envy was a result of cultural rather than biological factors. Freud's theory is androcentric as it has been criticised as reflecting the male-centred Victorian era.
-Lacks scientific credibility. Many concepts are largely unconscious so are hard to study. Popper 1959 suggests that the theory is pseudoscientific as his key ideas can not be falsified.
Outline the difference between identification and internalisation 4M
Explain the Oedipus complex 4M
Evaluate the Oedipus complex 6M
Discuss the psychodynamic theory of gender development 16M
Culture and Media
-Cross-cultural research is valuable to the nature-nurture debate. If gender role behaviour is consistent across cultures this could support the nature debate. If behaviours are culturally specific then this supports the nurture debate.
-Mead 1935- found that the Tchambuli women were dominant, which suggests that gender roles may be culturally determined.
-Buss 1995 found consistent patterns in mate preference where women sought men who could offer wealth and resources.
-Media provides role models for children with who they can identify and imitate.
-The media provides clear gender stereotypes with Bussey and Bandura 1999 finding that men were identified as ambitious, and independent and women as dependent and advice seekers.
-The media gives information in terms of likely success at adopting these behaviours. Mitra et al 2019 found that girls who watched a detective drama were more likely to see themselves as capable of working outside the home.
-Influence of culture is supported by evidence. Hofstede 2001 argues that industrialised cultures have changed the status of women which has increased their role in the workplace.
-Meads's research has been criticised. Been accused of making generalisations based on a short period of study. There is observer bias and ethnocentrism.
-Media influence has its theoretical basis. Cultivation theory argues that the more one spends time watching television the more they are likely to believe it reflects reality.
-Gender roles and media may not have a causal relationship. Durkin 1985 suggests that young children are not passive and uncritical of the media.
Outline how culture may influence gender roles 4M
Explain the influence of the media on gender roles 4M
Evaluate the influence of the media on gender roles 10M
Discuss theories and research into the influecne of culture and/or media on gender roles 16M