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Lecture psych Sex and Gender.docx

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Psychology 2035A/B
Doug Hazlewood

Sex and Gender: Becoming male or Female: The Role of Biology and Socialization (ch. 11) Part 1: Reproductive Biology - Prenatal Sexual Differentiation (see also ch 12) - Begins at moment of conception (sperm fertilizes egg) - Mother’s egg (“X” sex chromosomes – all of us receive that x chromosome from mother - Father’s sperm (“X” or “Y” sex chromosomes) - If an X sperm fertilizes egg: genetic female (XX) - If a Y sperm fertilizes egg: genetic male (XY)  A. The Genetic Factor - You are not a male or female yet despite if you have a y or x chromosomes yet; you won’t develop any gonad reproductive organs till latet on B. The Gonadal Factor (development of reproductive organs: testes or ovaries) - depends on Y chromosome - if present it (a) stimulates development of testes; (b) Inhibits development of ovaries Problems: “True Hermaphorodites”: - Genetic female (XX); with tiny piece of Genetic female (XX); with tiny piece of Y chromosome attached (XXy) - Big enough to stimulate development of testes, not big enough to inhibit the development of ovaries (therefore BOTH) C. The Hormonal Factor (development of sex organs: penis in males or clitoris and vagina in female) - If individuals have testes then produce androgens - When androgens are present, penis develops  called the Adam’s Principle - When absent, clitoris and vagina develops  called the Eve’s Principle 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) - Unsure if baby is boy or girl (b) Androgen-insensitivity syndrome: - Genetic male with normal testes that produce normal levels of androgens; - But body is insensitive to androgens ;  Sex organs have “female” appearance (looks like a vagina, but lacks depth; penis look likes cloritis; testes remain up inside body) - Hence confusion about gender of baby 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. The Puberty Factor (involves hormones) - Girls begin around age 10-12; boys begin around age 12-14 (a) Development of Secondary Sex Characteristics: Boys and Girls: pubic hair, growth spurt Girls: breast development Boys: Facial hair, deeper voice, larger penis (b) Gonads (reproductive organs) mature: -Menstruation in the girls (mature eggs are released form ovaries); - The first ejaculation in boys (production of mature sperm from testes) - The sperm and eggs will have 23 chromosomes each and the cycle re-begins 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 a male or female)/ “Gender Roles” (expectations about how males and females should behave) Give to you by society - Nearly every society expects males and females to be different; (though how they want male and females to be different does vary from culture to culture) - Our society is no exception Consider “gender stereotypes”:  What are the characteristics of the average “man” and “woman” in our society? Woman: The “Communal Dimension”: (aka expressive; socially-orientated; feminine)  E.g. caring, nurturant, affectionate, helpful Male: The “Agentic Dimension”: (aka: instrumental; task-oriented; masculine)  E.g. Aggressive, dominant, independent, self-reliant - These stereotypes have been observed pretty much all over the world Europe, Africa, Australia, etc - A father and Son are involved in a car accident, both are seriously injured and they rushed to different hospital. As son is prepared for surgery that surgeon says that it can’t do surgery b/c this is her son. Answer: the mother is surgeon … most people wouldn’t be able to guess that mother is the surgeon b/c of gender stereotype Two Questions: (a) Are these gender stereotypes accurate? - They contain a “kernel of truth” (see. Fig. 11.7 pg. 345) (generally men are more aggressive and woman more gentle but not always true… not so black and white) (b) Where do these differences come from? Why are women more communal and men more agentic?  Might depend of biology (see txt, pg. 346-348)  Also depends on how we are socialized (must learn to be males and females) Part 2: Gender-Role Socialization (p. 350-353) - It starts right after the baby is born, by what they wear and what they are named – all very gender appropriate A) The role of Parents: - Parents perceive baby boys and girls differently; parents that had a kid born 24 hours early and had babies that were really a like and asked to describe their baby, the ones that had girl thought their baby was softer and delicate and finer features, while the one that had boy thought he was stronger and coordinated, etc o Did another study where
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