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Sex & Gender.docx

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Psychology 2035A/B
Doug Hazlewood

Sex & Gender Part 1: Reproductive Biology Prenatal Sexual Differentiation The Genetic Factor - Begins at conception (sperm fertilizes egg) - Mothers Egg (“X” sex chromosome) - Fathers Sperm (“X” or “Y”) - Genetic female (XX) - Genetic male (XY) The Gonadal Factor: (development of reproductive organs: testes or ovaries) - Depends on Y chromosome - If Y is present it 1) stimulates development of testes 2) inhibits the development of ovaries “True Hermaphrodites” genetic female (XX); with tiny piece of Y chromosome attached (XXy)  y is big enough to stimulate development of testes but not big enough to inhibit the development of ovaries (has BOTH) The Hormonal Factor (development of sex organs) - Testes produce androgens (hormone)  when androgens are present a penis develops (the Adam principle) - When absent, clitoris and vagina develop (the Eve principle) The Adrenogenital Syndrome  genetic female with unusually active adrenal gland (produce androgens) develops sex organs that appear to be “male” clitoris is enlarged, vagina is fused (may look like testes) The Androgen– Insensitivity Syndrome genetic male with normal testes, but the body is insensitive to androgens (like androgens are not present); sex organs have “female” appearance (looks like a vagina but has no depth; penis looks like clitoris and testes remain up inside the body) If everything is normal after these stages your prenatal sexual differentiation is complete  but you cant reproduce for the next decade The Puberty Factor (Involves Hormones) - Girls (10-12), Boys (12-14)  age ranges have been decreasing over the past decade - Development of Secondary Sex Characteristics Boys and girls  pubic hair and growth spurt Girls breast development Boys  facial hair, deeper voice, larger penis - Gonads (reproductive organs) mature:  Menstruation in girls (mature eggs released)  First ejaculation in boys (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” (expectation 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 average characteristics of a man and woman in our society? - Women: The “Communal Dimension”: (Aka: expressive; socially oriented; feminine) Ex. Caring, nurturant, affectionate, helpful - Men: The Agentic Dimension: (Aka: instrumental; task oriented; masculine) Ex. Aggressive, dominant, independent; self-reliant Two Questions: 1. Are these gender stereotypes accurate? - They contain a “kernel of truth” (p. 345) - But there is a lot of overlap between men and women 2. 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 (we l
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