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Flashcards in Sex and Gender Deck (15)
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What does sex mean?

Biological term that tells us whether an individual is male or female


What does gender mean?

Masculine, feminine, or androgynous (psychological term)


What does masculinity mean?

Associated with having male traits


What does femininity mean?

Associated with having female traits


What dies androgyny mean?

Showing high levels of both male and female traits


What was the core study of sex and gender?

Diamond and Sigmundson (1987)


Describe the procedure of Diamond and Sigmundson's study into sex and gender in 6 steps

1. Bruce penis burnt off on accident
2. Before the age of 2, was reassigned to be a girl
3. Brenda wasn't happy as a child. He was boy-like: liked boys toys and was attracted to females.
4.Dr Money tried to make her have more hormone surgeries to correct Brenda's behaviour.
5. Brenda was still boy-like so his parents told him he was born a boy
6. He became a male again (David) and lived his life as a male.


What was the results of Diamond and Sigmundson's study into sex and gender?

Dr Money published that it was a success but in reality, Brenda had a difficult childhood and the study was a failure. The results show that gender is set by our genetics and can't be learnt


Evaluate Diamond and Sigmundsons study into sex and gender

- Unethical
- Small sample (can't generalise)
- Lacked ecological validity (Artificial)


What's the core theory of sex and gender?

Biological approach


Describe the biological approach of sex and gender in 8 steps

1. sex and gender are set at conception
2. Chromosomes (XY and XX) causes gonads to develop into testes and ovaries
3. These produce testosterone and oestrogen
4. Oestrogen - females more sensitive and coy. lack of testosterone means they have higher verbal skills
5. Testosterone - higher levels of aggression. greater mathematical and visual spatial skills
6. Happens due to evolution. Physiological and physical differences to help us reproduce
7. Males can mate numerous times
8. Females are more choosy as they have a limited number of eggs. needs mate who will provide and protect family


Evaluate the biological approach

- Ignores the idea that gender can be learnt. (children CAN be taught to be competitive)
- Both sexes show a wide range of behaviour. (Females may be aggressive, men may be coy)
- Gender roles change over time


Whats the alternative theory of sex and gender?



Describe the Oedipus complex?

- Boys desire their mother at a young age. (occurs in phallic stage, age 3-6)
- Fears that his father will castrate him
- Identifies with father instead to avoid castration
- If a parent is absent, child can develop a weak gender identity


Describe the Electra complex?

- Girls believe they were castrated by their mothers (age 3-6)
- They begin to identify with their father and start to resent their mother
- Later starts to identify with mother in fear of losing her love
-If a parent is absent, child can develop a weak gender identity