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psychology 2035- sex and gender lecture notes

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Western University
Psychology 2035A/B
Doug Hazlewood

sex & gender 10/21/2013 4:03:00 PM Part 1: reproductive biology—prenatal sexual differentiation Begins at conception (sperm fertilizes egg) Mother’s egg (―X‖ sex chromosome) Father’s sperm (―X’ or ―Y‖ sex chromosome) -if X sperm fertilizes egg: genetic female (XX) -if Y sperm fertilizes egg: genetic male (XY) - A. The Genetic Factor B. The Gonadal Factor (development of reproductive organs: tests or ovaries) -Depends on Y chromosome: -if present, it (a) stimulates development of tests; (b) inhibits development of ovaries Problems: ―true hermaphrodites‖ -genetic female (XX); with tiny piece of Y chromosome attached (XXy) -big enough to stimulate development of testes, not big enough to inhibit development of ovaries (therefore BOTH) C. The Hormonal Factor (development of sex organs: penis or clitoris and vagina) -Testes produce androgens -When androgens are present, penis develops; -When absent, clitoris and vagina develop Problems: (a) The Adrenogenital syndrome: -genetic female with unusually active adrenal glands (produce androgens) -fetus develops sex organs that appear to be ―male‖ (clitoris is enlarged, vagina is fused) (b) Androgen-insensitivity syndrome: -genetic male with normal testes that produce normal levels of androgens; -but body is insensitive to androgens; sex organ have female appearance (looks like a vagina, but lack depth; penis looks like clitoris; testes remain up inside body) If everything goes as planned, you are now a biological ―male‖ or ―female‖ (prenatal sexual differentiation is complete) BUT, for the next decade, you cant reproduce D. The Puberty Factor (involves hormones) -Girls (age 10-12); Boys (age 12-14) (a) Development of secondary sex characteristics; Boys and girls: public hair, growth spurt Girls: breast development Boys: facial hair, deeper voice, larger penis (b) Gonads (reproductive organs) mature: -Menstruation in girls (mature eggs are releases from ovaries) -The firs ejaculation in boys (production of mature sperm from testes) Part 2: Our Two Basic Identities (1) Sexual identity (whether you are biologically male or female), (2) Gender identity (perception of self as male or female; belief about what it means to be a make or female) ―Gender Roles‖ (expectations about how males and females should behave) Given to you by society -Nearly every society expects males and females to be different -Our society is no exception Consider ―gender stereotypes‖: What are the characteristics of the average ―man‖ and ―women‖ in our society Women: The ―Communal Dimension‖: (aka: expressive; socially-oriented; feminine) e.g., caring, nurturant, affectionate, helpful Men: The ―Agentic Dimension‖: (aka: instrumental; task-oriented; masculine) e.g., aggressive, dominant, independent, self-reliant story: father and son in car accident, both are injured, run to different hospital, doctor says I cant operates this operation, this is my son?? The father is sent to another hospital, the surgeon is the boy’s mother Two questions: (a) Are these gender stereotypes accurate? --they contain a ―kernel of truth‖ (b) Where do these differences come from? Why are women more communal and men more agentic?  might depend on biology -also depends on how we are socialized (must learn to be males and
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