What’s the definition of ‘sex’
- A person’s biological status as either male and female.
- Determined by chromosomes at first, then hormonal differences.
What is gender?
- Someone’s psychological status as either masculine or feminine
- e.g. attitudes, roles and behaviours associated with each gender.
- influenced by social norms and expectations.
What is gender identity disorder (GID) ?
When someone’s biological prescribed sex does not reflect the way they feel inside.
What are sex-role stereotypes?
A set of shared expectations that people within a society or culture hold about what is acceptable or usual behaviour for males and females.
What did Ingalhalikar et al. (2014) find?
That women are better at multi-tasking, whilst men concentrate more on one activity (brain scans).
A personality type that is characterised by a balance of masculine and feminine traits, attitudes or behaviours.
- e.g. an aggressive man who is also a caring parent.
Who made the BSRI, and what is it?
Bem Sex Role Inventory
What did Bem said high androgyny is associated with?
- Psychological well-being.
- Better equipped to adapt to a range of situations and contexts.
What does the BSRI comprise of??
- 20 ‘masculine’ traits and 20 ‘feminine traits’ and a scale rating of 1-7
How would the BSRI appear valid and reliable?
- Developed by 100 judges, piloted with over 1000 students.
- Results broadly correspond with the participants’ own description of their gender identity
- Followed by a follow-up study on the same students, showing similar scores.
How has the association between high androgyny and psychological well-being been challenged?
- Adams + Sherer have argued that people who display a greater proportion of masculine traits are better adjusted as these more highly valued in Western society.
How does BSRI oversimplify a complex concept?
- Reduces gender to a single score.
- Personal Attribute Questionnaire (PAQ) has since been developed to measure instrumentality and expressivity but this also quantifies.
- Golombok + Fivush - gender identity is a much more global concept than is suggested by these scales, broader issues should be taken into consideration.
What’s the disadvantage of the BSRI being developed over 40 years ago?
- ‘Acceptable’ gender behaviours have changed massively since then.
- This means ideas of masculinity and femininity are outdated = temporal validity.
- Also the scale was developed by a Western notion of ‘maleness’ and ‘femaleness’.
How many pairs of chromosomes does a human have?
46; 23 pairs.
What sex chromosomal patterns do;
(i) men have
(ii) women have
- Baby’s sex determined by the sperm.
What gene does the Y chromosome carry in relation to sex? And what does it do?
- The ‘Sex-determining region’ or SRY.
- Causes testes to develop.
What are androgens?
Male sex hormones
Without androgens what happens to the embryo?
It develops into a female.
What do pre-natal hormones do to the baby?
Act upon brain development and cause development of reproductive organs.
What do hormones do at puberty?
- Trigger the development of sexual characteristics such as pubic hair.
What hormone controls the development of male sex organs?
What hormone determines female sexual characteristics and menstruation?
What evidence supports the role of chromosomes and hormones?
1) - The case of David Reimer.
- Dr Money encouraged Reimer’s parents to raise him as a female after a botched circumcision.
- He was raised in a stereotypical feminine way and called Brenda.
- Money wrote about the success of gender neutrality, but Brenda suffered from severe psychological and emotional problems.
- She became David after being told he was a male.
2) - Van Goozen et al. (1995) studied transgender individuals who were undergoing hormone treatment and being injected with hormones of the opposite sex.
- Transgender women showed decreases in aggression and visuo-spatial skills whilst transgender men showed the opposite.
What is contradictory evidence to the role of chromosomes and hormones in sex and gender?
- Tricker et al. (1996)
- In a double-blind study.
- 43 males given weekly injection of testosterone or a placebo.
= no significant differences in aggression were found after 10 weeks.
- Slabbekoorn (1999) demonstrated that sex hormones had no consistent effect on gender-related behaviour.
A part from contradictory evidence, give another limitation of the role of chromosomes and hormones in sex and gender.
1) Places an overemphasis on nature:
- If gender identity is down to biology, we would expect to find many more differences in males and females behaviour than there actually are.
- Maccoby + Jacklin (1974) found significantly more differences in behaviour within the sexes than between them.
- SLT would also point to importance of social context.
Give 2 conditions that display atypical sex chromosome patterns?
1) Klinefelter’s syndrome
2) Turner’s syndrome
Describe Klinefelter’s syndrome
- Appears as a male
- Affects between 1 and 500 and 1 and 1000 people.
- Sex chromosome structure is XXY.
- Breast development, underdeveloped genitals.
- More susceptible to health problems more commonly found in females such as breast cancer.
- Linked to poorly developed language skills and reading ability.
- May not respond well to stressful situations, problems with memory and problem solving activities.
Describe Turner’s syndrome
- Biological females
- Sex chromosome structure of just X
- Affects approx. 1 in 5000 biological females.
- No menstrual cycle; do not develop breasts.
- Webbed necks, hips not much bigger than waist.
- Higher than average reading ability; lower performance on spatial, visual memory and maths tasks.
How do atypical sex chromosome patterns contribute to the nature-nurture debate?
- By comparing people who have these conditions with chromosome-typical individuals it becomes possible to see psychological and behavioural differences between the two groups.
- e.g. Turner’s syndrome tend to have higher verbal ability, typical of females.
How does research into atypical sex chromosome patterns have practical applications? How did Herlihy et al. (2011) contribute to this?
(i) Will lead to more accurate diagnoses and positive outcomes for the future.
(ii) - Study of 87 individuals with Klinefelter’s showed that those who had been identified and treated from a young age had significant benefits compared to those diagnosed in adulthood.
How do atypical sex chromosome patterns lack generalisation?
- Unusual and unrepresentative sample of people.
How can identification of atypical sex chromosome patterns affect personal relationships?
- Those who look different are unlikely to be treated in the same way as peers.
A part from an unusual sample, give another limitation of atypical sex chromosome pattern research
1) What’s typical vs atypical?
- contribution of these 2 syndromes is to show what is not typical of a female/male and behaviours with the two.
- Turner’s individuals said to be ‘social immature’ are based on typical level of social maturity
= based on stereotypical assumptions rather than fact.
How many cognitive explanations of gender are there? Name them
- Kohlberg’s theory
- Gender Schema theory
What is the main assumption of Kohlberg’s theory
That a child’s understanding of gender becomes more sophisticated with age.
Name all of Kohlberg’s stages of gender development
1) Stage 1 - Gender identity
2) Stage 2 - Gender stability
3) Stage 3 - Gender constancy
Describe what happens during the ‘gender identity’ stage
- Around the age of 2, children correctly identify themselves as a boy or girl.
- Around age 3, they can identify others as male or female.
- Identifying does not go much beyond simple labelling.
- Not aware sex is permanent
Describe what happens during the ‘gender stability’ stage
- From about age of 4.
- Realise they will always stay the same sex.
- Can’t apply this logic to other people in other situations.
- Confused by external changes in appearance, e.g. may describe a man with long hair as a woman.
- Also believe sex will change if they engage in activities associated with the other gender.
Describe what happens during the ‘gender constancy’ stage
- Around the age of 6.
- Children recognise gender remains and constant and consistent across time and situations and can apply this logic to others.
- Not fooled by changes to outward appearance.
At what stage do children seek gender-appropriate role models to identify with and imitate?
How do Slaby + Frey (1975) support Kohlberg’s stages?
- Children presented with split-screen images of males and females performing the same tasks.
- Younger children spent roughly the same amount of time watching both sexes; whilst children in constancy stage spent longer looking at the model who as the same sex as them.
How does the biological approach support Kohlberg’s theory?
- Munroe et al. (1984) found cross-cultural evidence of his theory in countries as far as Kenya and Samoa
= suggest gender development is maturational
= influenced by hormones/genes?
How is the gender constancy stage contradicted?
- Bussey and Bandura (1992) found children begin to demonstrate gender-appropriate behaviour before constancy is achieved.
- Found children as young as 4 reported ‘feeling good’ about playing with gender-appropriate toys and ‘bad’ about doing the opposite.
= GST instead?
How does Kohlberg’s theory have methodological issues?
- Used interviews with children as young as 2/3.
- Although tailored for specific ages; Kohlberg may not have acknowledged that very young children lack the vocab required to express their understanding.
- May have complex ideas about gender = but limited verbal ability.
Who came up with Gender Schema Theory?
Martin + Halverson
How is the GST similar to Kohlberg’s theory?
It argues children’s understanding of gender increases with age.
How does the GST contrast the SLT of gender?
Suggests we develop our understanding of gender by actively structuring our own learning, rather than being passive learners.
What is a schema in relation to gender development?
Mental constructs that develop via experience and are used by our cognitive system to organise knowledge around particular topics.
According to the GST, when is the gender identity established?
Around age 2 or 3.
- The child then begins to search the environment for info to develop their schema.
How does the schema expand/develop??
- To include a wide range of behaviours and personality traits.
- Fixed around stereotypes e.g. I am a boy so I must play with trucks.
According to the GST, at what age does a child have a fixed and stereotypical idea about what is appropriate for its gender?
What is ingroup information? And how does it relate to gender?
- Schema appropriate for their own gender.
- They pay more attention to and have a better understanding of info for their own gender.
At what age do children have elaborate schemas for both genders?
What evidence supports the GST?
1) Martin + Halverson (1983):
- children under the age of 6 were more likely to remember photos of gender-consistent behaviour than photos of gender-inconsistent behaviour when tested a week later.
- also tended to change sex of person carrying out gender-inconsistent activities.
2) Martin + Little (199) found children under 4, who showed no signs of stability or constancy, demonstrated strongly sex-typed behaviour and attitudes.
A part from research support, give 2 strengths of the Gender Schema theory.
1) Explains rigidity of gender beliefs:
- theory accounts for the fact that young children hold very fixed and rigid gender beliefs.
- info. that conflicts with existing schema would be ignored in favour of info that confirms ingroup schema.
- children display ingroup bias in paying more attention to info that is relevant to their experience.
2) Complements Kohlberg’s theory:
- Stangor + Ruble (1989) have suggest gender schema and constnacy may describe two different processes.
- Schema is concerned with how organisation affects memory =why gender-inconsistent info is misremembered.
- Constancy = motivation; once children have this concept, they are motivated to find out more and conform it.
Give a limitation of Gender schema theory
1) Overemphasis on the role of the individual in gender development:
- schemas and other cognitive factors may be over exaggerated.
- not sufficient attention played to role of social factors, pos/neg sanctions.
= why does schema develop and take the form it does?
How many psychosexual stages are there, can you name them in order too?
At what stage does gender development occur?
Phallic stage, 3-6 years old.
How are boys and girls ‘bisexual’ before the phallic stage?
- No concept of gender identity
- Neither masculine nor feminine.
What do; ___ experience at the phallic stage?
(i) Oedipus complex
(ii) Electra complex
Describe the oedipus complex in gender development
- Boys develop incestuous feelings towards their mothers; jealous of their father who stands in the ways of the boy.
- Boy recognises his Dad’s power and fears he may be castrated by his father.
- Resolve this = boy gives up love for his mother and identifies with father.
Describe the electra complex in gender development
- Girls experience penis envy, seeing themselves as being in competition with their mother for their father’s love.
- Girls develop double-resentment;
1) Mother is a rival
2) Lack of penis, believing the mother castrated the daughter.
- Over time = accept they will never have a penis and substitute it for the desire to have children.
Why do children identify with the same-sex parent?
As a means of resolving their complexes.
= internalise gender identity.
What contradictory evidence is there to psychodynamic explanation of gender development?
- Limited evidence.
- Implies sons of very harsh fathers should go on to develop a more robust sense of gender identity
= higher levels of anxiety should produce stronger identification.
- Blakemore + Hill (2008) - boys with more liberal fathers tend to be more secure in their masculine identity.
How does psychodynamic explanation lack an adequate explanation for female development?
- Theorising of female development by Jung
- Criticised as reflecting the patriarchal Victorian era within which he lived and worked.
- Horney (1967) , a feminist psychoanalyst, argues that a more powerful emotion of penis envy is male experience of ‘womb envy’.
= both cultural concept than innate
= androcentric assumption to assume females want to be like men.
Apart from lack of evidence and inadequate explanations for female development, give 2 further limitations of the psychodynamic explanation of gender development
1) What about non-nuclear families?
- Freud theory relies on two parents of different genders.
= assuming that being raised in a non-nuclear family would have an adverse effect on a child’s gender development.
- Golombok et al. (1983) found children from single-parent families went on to develop normal gender identities.
- Green (1978) studied a sample of 37 children who were raised by gay/transgender parents
= 1/37 had a non-typical gender identity.
2) Lack of scientific methodology:
- not lab study based, not objective.
What is direct reinforcement in the explanation of gender development?
Children more likely to be reinforced for demonstrating gender appropriate behaviour.
e. g. boys as assertive, active, engage in rough play
e. g. girls as passive, gentle.
The way in which boys and girls are encouraged to show gender-appropriate behaviour is called what?
What is indirect (vicarious) reinforcement? Explain how it affects gender development.
- Learning through consequences.
- Favourable consequences = more likely to imitate gender behaviours.
- Unfavourable consequences = much less likely to imitate gender
How does identification affect gender development?
- Identifies with a person him/herself sees as ‘like me’. or someone they want to be i.e. role models.
What are the mediational processes of gender development?
4) Motor reproduction
What evidence is there for differential reinforcement?
- Smith + Lloyd (1978) involved 4-6 months who, despite their gender, were dressed half the time as boys, other half as girls.
- The adults who saw the baby as a male gave the baby hammer-shaped rattles and encouraged to be adventurous; whilst females were handed a doll and were reinforced for being passive
= differential reinforcement from an early age.
How does the SLT explain changing gender roles?
- Stereotypically masculine and feminine behaviour less rigid than it was.
- SLT –> shift in expectations/norms leading to changes in what is reinforced.
- BA cannot explain changes over time.
Give 2 limitations of the SLT of gender development
1) Not a developmental theory:
- not provide an adequate explanation of how learning processes change with age,
- Dubin (1992) - although the child may take note of the behaviour of same-sex role models at an early age
; selection and imitation of behaviour does not come until later.
2) Does not fully consider biological approach:
- David Reimer suggests its not possible top override biological influences.
- innate differences between boys and girls reinforced by social norms?
= only partial, biosocial theory instead?
In terms of culture, how does Mead’s (1935) research back up the nurture debate?
- Research into tribal groups of New Guinea.
1) Arapesh = women were gentle and responsive (Western femininity)
2) Mundugumor = men were aggressive and hostile (Western masculinity)
3) Tchambuli = women were dominant and they organised village life; men were passive and considered to be decorative (reverse)
In terms of culture, how does Buss’ (1994) research back up the nature debate?
- Found consistent mate preferences in 37 countries across all continents;
- Women sought men offering wealth and resources.
- Men looked for youth and physical attractiveness.
In terms of culture, what did Munroe + Munroe (1975) find?
- In most societies, division of labour was organised along gender lines.
How does the media reinforce SLT?
- SLT; children more likely to copy gender-appropriate behaviours of sexes
= media show this
What did Bussey + Bandura (1999) find with media gender stereotypes?
- Males = independent, ambitious, advice givers.
- Women = dependent, unambitious, advice seekers.
What did Furnham + Farragher (2000) find with media stereotypes?
- Men were more likely to be shown in autonomous within professional contexts, whereas women were seen in domestic settings
What did McGhee + Frueh (1990) find with media influence on gender?
- Children who have more exposure to popular forms of media tend to display more gender-stereotypical views in their behaviour and attitudes.
How have Mead’s findings been challenged?
- Freeman (1966) claimed that Mead misled participants had been heavily influenced her preconceptions.
= Freeman criticised for lack of objectivity.
= quality of research?
How would imposed etic affect validity the findings of culture and media research on gender?
- Cross-cultural research undertaken by Western researchers.
- Theories and methods from West.
- Berry et al. (2002) - imposed etic can make methods and findings meaningless.
= lack validity.
A part from Mead’s findings being challenged and validity, give 2 further limitations of the influence of culture and media on gender roles.
1) Research is correlational:
- media reflecting societal norms or vice versa?
- children without media exposure are rare so comparisons are hard.
2) Counter-stereotypes exist:
- Pingree (1978) found gender stereotyping was reduced if children were shown adverts with women with women in non-stereotypical roles.
= Pingree found pre-adolescent boys stereotypes became stronger with non-stereotypical models.
What is Gender Identity Disorder (GID) ?
- Strong, persistent feelings of identification with the opposite gender and discomfort with one’s own assigned sex.
- Many individuals with GID identify as transgender and may opt for gender reassignment surgery.
What category of diagnosis diagnoses GID as a psychological condition?
What is the brain sex theory?
GID caused by specific brain structures that are incompatible with a person’s biological sex.
What areas of the brain sex theorists interested in?
Dimorphic areas - areas which take different form depending on gender.
In relation to the BSTc, what did Zhou et al. (1995) find?
- Studied the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis which is around 40% larger in males.
- In post-mortem studies of six male-to-female transgender individuals, the BSTc was found to be a similar size to that of a typical female brain.
In relation to the GID, what did Kruijver find?
Studied the same brain tissue as Zhou, but rather looked at number of neurons; similar to female once again.
In relation to genetic factors of GID, what did Coolidge and Heylens et al. (2012) find?
- assessed 157 twin pairs for evidence of GID using DSM-4.
- prevalence of GID was estimated to be 2.3%; 62% of these said to be accounted for by genetic variance
(ii) Heylens et al. (2012):
- compared with 23 MZ twins with 21 DZ twins where one of each pair was diagnosed with GID.
- 39% of the MZ twins were concordant for GID compared to none of the DZ twins.
In terms of the social-psychological explanation for GID, explain what Ovesey + Person (1973) found?
Ovesey + Person (1973):
- GID in males caused by experience of extreme separation anxiety before gender identity has been established.
- The child fantasises of a symbiotic fusion with his mother to relieve the anxiety
= Consequence –> ‘becomes the mother’ and thus adopts a female gender identity.
Who supported Ovesey + Person (1973) ?
(I) Stoller (1973)
- in interviews with GID males, they displayed overly-close mother-son relationships that would lead to greater female identification.
In relation to the BST, what did Liben + Bigler (2002)
- They extended GST that emphasises individual differences.
- Two pathway for development;
1) Dual pathway theory - follow GST, normal development.
2) Personal pathway - gender attitudes affected by his/her activity.
- their personal interests may become more dominant than the gender identity = influence schema.
- e.g. boys may assume playing with dolls may assume its for boys as well as girls.
= androgyny in most cases; GID in a small number of cases.
How has the brain sex theory been criticised?
- Hulshoff Pol et al. (2006) found that transgender hormone therapy did affect the size of the BSTc
= changes due to hormones.. not cause of GID?
- Chung et al. (2002) - pre-natal hormone influences are not triggered until adulthood.
A part from the criticism of the brain sex theory, give 3 more evaluative limitations of research into atypical gender development.
1) Twin studies evidence is weak:
- show low concordance rate.
- difficult to separate nature and nurture of twins.
- studies very small and rare –> generalisations?
2) Biological explanations oversimplified:
- simplifies complex condition (GID) to a simpler genetical/neuroanatomical/homronal level.
- interactionist theory of both nurture and nature instead?
3) Psychoanalytic explanation lacks support:
- Rekers (1986) gender disturbance in boys is more likely associated with the absence of the father rather than fear of separation with mother.
- Very difficult to test separation anxiety.