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Lecture 5

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Western University
Psychology 2036A/B
Doug Hazlewood

Lecture 5 – Monday, October 21, 2013 REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY: PRENATAL SEXUAL DIFFERENTIATION - Begins at conception (sperm fertilizes egg) 1. The Genetic Factor - First step towards becoming a male or female - Mother’s egg contains X chromosome - Father’s sperm contains either X or Y chromosome XX= Female XY= Male 2. The Gonadal Factor - Influences 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 Hermaphrodites - A genetic female (XX) with a tiny piece of Y chromosome attached (XXy) - Y chromosome is big enough to stimulate development of testes - Not big enough to inhibit development of ovaries 3. The Hormonal Factor - Development of sex organs (penis or clitoris & vagina) - Testes produce large quantities androgens - Adam Principle: when androgens are present, penis develops - Eve Principle: when androgens are absent, clitoris & vagina develop Problem 1: Adrenogenital System - Genetic female with unusually active adrenal glands produce androgens - Results in fetus developing sex organs that appear to be male - Ex: clitoris is enlarged & vagina is partially fused Problem 2: Androgen-Insensitivity Syndrome - Genetic male with normal testes that produce normal levels or androgens - Body is insensitive & doesn’t respond to androgens - Sex organs have female appearance - Looks like a vagina but lacks depth - Penis looks like a 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 produce. 4. The Puberty Factor (involves hormones) - Girls: age 10 to 12 Boys: age 12 to 14 - Recognize development of the Secondary Sex Characteristics - Boys & girls develop pubic hair, growth spurt, etc. - Girls develop breasts and boys develop facial hair, deeper voice & enlarged penis - Gonads & reproductive organs mature - Menstruation in girls: mature eggs are released from ovaries - Ejaculation in boys: production of mature sperm from testes Two Basic Identities 1. Sexual Identity: whether you are biologically male or female 2. Gender Identity: perception of self as male/female & beliefs about what it means GENDER STEREOTYPES - Inaccurate beliefs about males & females abilities & behaviour - Boundaries have become less rigid since 1980’s - Androcentrism: belief that the male is the norm Women: The Communal Dimension - Also known as Expression/Socially Oriented/Feminine Dimension - Ex: Caring, nurturing, affectionate & helpful Men: The Agentic Dimension - Also known as Instrumental/Task Oriented/Masculine Dimension - Ex: Aggressive, dominant, independent, self reliant EX: A father & son are driving in a car. They are in an accident & are rushed to different hospitals. As the son goes into surgery the surgeon says “I cant operate on this child because he’s my son”. Most people would say it was impossible for the surgeon to be the son’s father because the father was in the accident at a different hospital. No one would say anything if the surgeon was the child’s mom. Questions: - Gender stereotypes contain a kernel of truth (fig 11.7 on pg 345) - Where do these differences come from? Might depend on biology (p.346-348) - Differences depend on how we are socialized - Must learn to be males & females GENDER ROLE SOCIALIZATION (pg. 350-353) - Begins very early in life Gender Roles: expectations about how males & females should behave - Given to you by society - Nearly every society expects males & females to be different - Our society is no exception Gender Role Identity: identification with the traits regarded as masculine or feminine (one’s sense of being masculine or feminine) 1. The Role of Parents - Parents perceive baby boys & girls differently - Ex: Baby girls: softer, smaller, more finely featured - Baby boys: stronger, sturdier, better coordinated - Parents behave differently towards them - Ex: Boys are encouraged to develop “wings” - Given opportunity to explore world outside home usually without parental supervision - Girls encouraged to develop “roots” - Encouraged to engage in activities that keep them close to the home & their parents - Encourage gender appropriate play - Ex: toys (aided by toy manufactures) ;;’ - “Amazing Ally” and the “Tuff Talking Wrestlers” EX: Two sets of parents were watching the exact same video of a baby. Half were told it was a girl; the other half were told it was a boy. The perceptions of the baby were influenced by their gender beliefs. At one point, an adult was winding a Jack in the Box & the infant began to cry. When observers thought they were watching a boy, they thought the baby was angry. When observers thought they were watching a girl, they thought the baby was afraid. 2. The Roles of Sch
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