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Flashcards in Child Development - Sex & Gender Deck (41)
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What is the definition of sex?

Sex is a person's biological status

Whether they are male or female


What is the definition of gender?

Gender is an individual's learned and cultural status

Whether they are masculine or feminine


What is the Mullerian system?

In the first 6-8 weeks of development, all foetuses have the same undeveloped sex organs


How is sex determined?

Whether someone has XX or XY chromosomes

The presence or absence of the SRY gene determines whether the foetus will develop to be male or female


What is the role of the SRY gene?

It codes for the protein TDF

(testis determining factor)


What is the role of TDF?

It influences the development of the gonads so they become testes

The testes produce testosterone


What is the role of testosterone?

Testosterone triggers the development of external male organs


What happens in the absence of testosterone?

The Mullerian system develops into female sex organs


What are the 3 stages that lead to the development of gender identity?

1. prenatal hormones

2. development of male or female genitalia

3. parents assign as male or female and raise the child accordingly


How are hormones involved in gender identity?

The same prenatal hormones that affect genitalia and the organisation of the brain are involved in gender identity


How do sex hormones differ in males and females?

The same sex hormones exist in males and females

They differ in quantity and the effects that they have on the body


What are the main sex hormones?

testosterone, oestrogen and oxytocin


What does a biological approach to gender suggest?

There is no difference between sex and gender

Biological sex creates gendered behaviour


What happens during puberty?

Hypothalamus releases a hormone which affects the anterior pituitary gland

This causes gonads to become more active

They control the development of SSCs


What characteristics is testosterone associated with?

Aggressive behaviour, high sex drive and poor language development


How does rearing influence gender identity?

A child develops their own gender identity by being told they are either male or female


What are disorders of sexual development (DSDs)?

Physical biological conditions


What is the most common DSD?

How many people does it affect?

1 in 2000 births involve atypical genitals

This makes the sex of the child unclear


Around how many children have an abnormality in physical/biological sex?

1 in 100

This includes chromosomal and physical development differences


When does a DSD occur?

When the reproductive or sexual anatomy is not standard for male or female


Why may a DSD not be apparent at birth?

At puberty, sex hormones become active and the DSD may then be discovered


How does parental behaviour influence gender identity?

1. parents act as role models for their children

2. child-parent interactions vary depending on the sex of the child

3. gender-appropriate toys and activities are given to the child


What is meant by parental expectation in gender identity?

Parents have expectations of what their children are likely to become when they get older depending on their biological sex


What is meant by a 'gender role'?

There are certain behaviours, attitudes and characteristics associated with gender roles

These become stereotypes


What is the difference in gender role stereotypes for males and females?

The distance in gender role stereotypes is more narrow for males

There is more pressure on them as it is less acceptable for them to display feminine characteristics


What does the social learning theory state?

Children are encouraged to do the appropriate sex-based activities


How do parents have an influence in social learning theory?

Traditional roles are fed to children in traditional families


How does the media have an influence in social learning theory?

it portrays traditional roles for males and females

e.g. females are placed in a traditional domestic role


How do schools have an influence in social learning theory?

they transmit the information of gender role stereotypes to the children


What process leads to male gender identity developing according to social learning theory?

Rewards for masculine behaviour and punishments for feminine behaviour

The child begins imitating males as these are role models

The male gender identity begins to develop