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Lecture 5

2013 Lecture 5 Sex and Gender.docx

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Psychology 2035A/B
Doug Hazlewood

Lecture 5: Sex and Gender Becoming male or female: The role of biology and socialization Part 1: reproductive biology – Prenatal sexual differentiation (see also ch. 12) A. GENETIC FACTOR: first step to becoming male or female o Begins at conception (sperm fertilizes egg)  Mother’s egg (X sex chromosome)  Father’s sperm (X or Y sex chromosome)  XX: genetic female  XY: genetic male B. GONADAL FACTOR: development of reproductive organs (testes or ovaries) o Depends on presence/absence of Y chrom  Y present: stimulates development of testes, inhibits development of ovaries o Problem: “True hermaphrodites”  Genetic female, with tiny piece of y chromosome attached (XXy)  Y chrom is big enough to stimulate development of testes, but not big enough to inhibit development of ovaries  Therefore, individual has both C. HORMONAL FACTOR: development of sex organs: penis or clitoris and vagina o Testes produce androgens  When androgens are present, penis develops  “Adam principle”  When androgens are absent, clitoris and vagina develop  “Eve principle” o Problem: “Adrenogenital syndrome”  Genetic female with unusually active adrenal glands  produce large quantities of androgens  Fetus develops sex organs that appear to be male: clitoris is enlarged, vagina is (partially fused)  Raises question: is the fetus male or female?  “pseudo- hermaphrodite” o Problem: “Androgen-insensitivity syndrome”  Genetic male with normal testes that produce normal levels of androgens  Body is insensitive to androgens  Sex organs have female appearance (looks like a vagina, but lacks depth; penis looks like clitoris; testes remain 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 can’t reproduce. D. PUBERTY FACTOR (involves or hormones) o Girls (age 10-12), boys (age 12-14)  however, puberty age is lowering (not unusual to start as early as age 8) o Development of secondary sex characteristics  Boys and girls: pubic hair, growth spurt  Girls: breast development  Boys: facial hair, deeper voice, larger penis o Gonads mature (up until this point, they were immature, which is why people cannot reproduce)  Girls: menstruation: mature eggs are released from ovaries  Boys: first ejaculation: production of mature sperm 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; beliefs about what it means to be male or female  Gender roles: expectations about how males and females should behave oGiven to us by SOCIETY (not biology) oNearly every society expects males and females to be DIFFERENT  Our society is no exception  Consider: “Gender stereotypes” o What are the characteristics of the average man and woman in our society?  Women: the Communal Dimension (aka expressive, socially oriented, feminine)  Ex. Caring, nurturing, affectionate, helpful  Men: the Agentic Dimension (aka instrumental, task-oriented, masculine)  Ex. Aggressive, dominant, independent, self-reliant o “A father and son are in a car accident, rushed to different hospital. Surgeon at son’s hospital said ‘I can’t operate on this patient; he’s my son.’”  people assume surgeon is male, don’t realize that the surgeon is the son’s mother  Two questions: o Are these gender stereotypes true?  Contain a kernel of truth (fig 11.7, p.345) o Where do these differences come from? Why are women more communal and men more agentic?  Might depend on biology (p.346-368)  Also depend on how we are SOCIALIZED  must learn to be males and females Part 3: Gender-Role Socialization (p. 350-353)  First day of birth: “It’s a boy!” vs. “It’s a girl!” blue vs. Pink blankets, toys, and clothing A. Role of Parents o They PERCEIVE baby boys and baby girls differently  New parents interviewed within 24h of baby’s birth: (note: clothed babies look all the same, virtually)  Baby girls: softer, smaller, more finely featured  Baby boys: stronger, sturdier, better coordinated  Parents showed video of a 9mo infant: half were told they were seeing a baby boy; half were told they were seeing a baby girl  Jack-in-the-box jumps out of box, baby starts to cry: little boy was “angry”; little girl was “afraid”  Pregnant mother-to-be may be more careful when they think they’re carrying a baby girl (finer, more delicate); more active when they think they’re carrying a baby boy (sturdier, stronger)  They behave differently towards child  Boys are encouraged to develop “wings”: allowed to explore without a lot of supervision  Girls are encouraged to develop “roots”: encouraged to engage in activities that keep them close to home  Gender appropriate play  Gender appropriate toys (aided by toy manufacturers) o Boys and girls toys are separated in sto
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