Sex and Gender

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Camron G
Created by Camron G over 6 years ago
Copied by wardle.t16 over 6 years ago


mindmap of gcse sex and gender psychology

Resource summary

Sex and Gender
  1. Sex: Biological, male/female Gender: Psychological, masculine/feminine/androgynous
    1. Core Theory: Biological Approach
      1. Gender decided same time as sex - at conception. XY for male/masculine and XX for female/feminine
        1. Gender and sex roles instinctive to reproduce, woman are choosier than men with mates as they have less sex cells.
          1. Men are more aggressive as they had to hunt (spatial skills), women caring as they had to look after kids (verbal skills).
        2. Hormone development: Up to 6 weeks male/female fetus gonads (sex organs) same. Y chromosome then 'switches on' a hormone to create testes, females go on to create ovaries.
          1. Testes then create testosterone, meant to give masculine characteristics (aggressive/maths and spatial skills). Oestrogen meant to give better verbal skills (feminine)
          2. Evaluation
            1. Ignores idea that gender may be learnt: Evidence that gender may be nurture not nature - boys rewarded for being tough, girls for being 'lady-like'
              1. Why is there gender variation in the sexes if the are biologically similar: E.g. two men with same testosterone and chromosomes end up different in gender
                1. Biology is said to be fixed, but gender varies over time and between cultures: Roles are completely switched in other parts of the world, and we are said to be more feminine/androgynous these days.
              2. Alternative Theory: Psychodynamic Approach
                1. Gender is more to do with upbringing and focuses on the parents
                  1. Freud believed that children develop in stages between 3 and 6 where they have a strong attachment to the opposite sex parent, whilst having difficulties with the same sex ones
                    1. Oedipus complex: Where the boy unconsciously desires his mother but fears the father will cut off his penis if he finds out (castration anxiety), so he identifies with his father (masculinity) to not raise suspiscion
                      1. Electra complex: Girls want a penis and blame the mother for not having one, they believe they have been castrated already and realise they will never have a penis. They have a baby instead as a penis substitute and a t this point realise they're in the same position as the mother so identify with a feminine gender
                    2. Core study: Diamond and Sigmundson (1997)
                      1. Aim: to show that a child cannot be socialised/raised to take on the role of the opposite sex
                        1. Procedure: Researched the case of a boy from a pair of twins born in Canada 1965 who was brought up as a girl. At 8 months they went for a circumcision where 'Bruce's' penis was burnt off, reconstruction was out of the question and Doctor money said to raise him as a girl. At 17 months his testes were removed and now 'Brenda' was to be brought up as a girl.
                          1. Results: Doctor money at first insisted Brenda had adapted well, however when puberty hit although taking female hormones she still looked and was very masculine. At 13 her parents told her the truth, she was relived as it explained her emotions and she changed back to a man 'David'. Gender more nature not nurture.
                            1. Limitations
                              1. Case studies rely on small sample sizes (only one individual Bruce), cannot generalise
                                1. Not all variables can be controlled as case studies are on natural situations: Bruce had a twin brother as a close masculine role model, was raised a boy for 1.5 years and his parents new he was a boy.
                                  1. Case studies a very thorough, personal investigations: Money became so involved with the investigation that he may have interpreted/changed Brenda's behaviour to suit his theory of a male being able to be raised as female
                                2. Applications of research: Equal Opportnities
                                  1. For the Sexes: Discovering any gender differences is important as if males and females are born more or less the same, they can achieve the same things.
                                    1. In work: Although females are shown to do better in education, men do better when it comes to the workplace. Men have higher pay and promotion prospects and this can suggest a need for equal opportunites
                                      1. In Education: Positive discrimination may have to be used if a sex struggles with one aspect more than the other (E.g. females and maths). The 'gender gap' shows how females are doing better than males in GCSEs and A-levels, however the is no proof that they are naturally better. Many psychologists argue that it is down to upbringing, however there is evidence of each sex have natural talents. This means that for example girls get more help in maths whilst boys get more help in speaking tests
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