A2 GENDER - ATYPICAL GENDER DEVELOPMENT Flashcards Preview

AQA A LEVEL PSYCHOLOGY - A2 GENDER > A2 GENDER - ATYPICAL GENDER DEVELOPMENT > Flashcards

Flashcards in A2 GENDER - ATYPICAL GENDER DEVELOPMENT Deck (8)
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1

Describe brain sex theory (under biological explanations)

Says that areas of the brain are dimorphic (different bet males and females).

If an individual has a brain structure that doesn't match their bio sex, then they may develop gender identity disorder (gender dysmorphia)

Ning Zhou (1995) did post mortems on 6 transgender males and 6 transgender females. In cisgendered people, men have the larger bed nucleus of stria terminalis, but in the transgender sample, the BST matched the gender, not the sex; i.e. trans females who were born males had smaller than average BST for biological men.

2

Evaluate brain sex theory (under biological explanations)

(+) Follow up study; Kruijver et al (2000) found that the number of neurons in the BST of transgendered ppl also matched the gender not the sex; strong evidence for brain sex theory
(-) Biological expls may over simplify the complex issue of GID and ignore social factors
(-) Pol (2006) found hormoe therpay for trans ppl changed the size of the bed nucleus of stria terminalis, and says that Ning Zhou's research doesn't show cause and effect and the differences observed may be due to hormone therapy
(-) Socially sensitive; some people within the transgender community have criticised the "medicalisation" of their gender identity and say that biological approaches often present being trans as an issue or something that is inherently abnormal or wrong

3

Describe the genetic explanation of abnormal gender development (under biological explanations)

GID is genetically based; Haylens (2012) studied 23 MZ pairs and 21 DZ pairs and found conc rates of...

MZ - 39%
DZ - 0%

4

Evaluate the genetic explanation of GID (under biological explanations)

(+) MZ>DZ so some genetic influence possible
(-) MZ =/= 100% so not wholly genetic
(-) MZ twins share more similar environment so can't separate the factors easily i.e. could be due to env.al factors
(-) Reductionist; may over simplify complex issue of GID
(-) Socially sensitive; some people within the transgender community have criticised the "medicalisation" of their gender identity and say that biological approaches often present being trans as an issue or something that is inherently abnormal or wrong

5

Describe the psychoanalytic explanation of abnormal gender development (under social-psychological explanations)

- Put forward by Ovesey and Person (1973)
- GID may be caused by extreme separation anxiety from male to mother
- Child fantasises about symbiotic fusion (becoming one with his mother) so that he never has to be separated from her
- Boy therefore "becomes" his mum and adopts her feminine characteristics

6

Evaluate the psychoanalytic explanation of abnormal gender development (under social-psychological explanations)

(+) Stoler (1973) interviewed trans females and found they reported close relationships with their mothers
(-) No adequate explanation for transgender males as theory only covers bio males (trans females)
(-) Fantasy of symbiotic fusion at an unconscious level so unfalsifiable so low scientific credibility and reduces scientific value of psychology as a whole
(-) Rekers (1986) says that if anything, GID is more likely to be caused by absence of father than of mother as no male parental figure to identify w/

7

Describe the cognitive explanation of abnormal gender development (under social-psychological explanations)

- Dual pathway model put forward by Liben and Bigler (2002)
- 1st pathway (typical gender dev); gender schema theory; child develops a sense of gender identity by observing behs that fit their in-group due to reinforcements
- 2nd pathway (atypical gender dev); if child is raised gender neutral (i.e. allowed to do both masculine and feminine things) they won't develop an in- and out-group, so will have interests that fit both groups, but will recognise they have to pick one. If they pick the group that doesn't match their sex, then they develop GID

8

Evaluate the cognitive explanation of abnormal gender development (under social-psychological explanations)

(-) Descriptive not explanatory
(-) Not easily testable
(-) Ignores bio influences (see brain sex theory and genetics); should probably adopt interactionist approach
(+) Only soft determinism; allows for some conscious decision and is more accommodating to real life