EN 2011 Lecture Notes - Human Genome Project, Evolutionary Psychology, Prenatal Development

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25 Mar 2014
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Gender Studies I
EN2011 – Fall 2010 – Terry Goldie
Lecture 7 – Oct 28
- We think of young children as neither male nor female because of their voices.
- Children are more gendered when they are 3-6 than they are later on.
- When a child is 4, he wants to do boy things and play boy games.
- ‘Is that a boy computer or a girl computer?’
- The gender vision continues but it is less aware.
- The science is one thing and the culture is another.
- If you have a clear gender divide, it means you can change a child from one to
another with a direct marker.
- Tomboys are acceptable. Sissy boys are not acceptable.
- The assumption is that the male child who acts female will turn out gay.
- The female child who acts male will grow out of it.
- The idea of our biological understanding always being shaped by our cultural
understanding and our biological understanding not explaining our cultural
understanding is confusion.
- Science enables you to do things and understand things in certain ways.
- Our understanding of why things happen and how they work are two different
things.
Genes and Gender
- What we know about genes.
oThe human genome project.
Each one of us is built of DNA.
Wanted to map how these are through all humans around the
world.
Original idea: 100,000 genes.
Once we found the 100,000 genes we would be able to figure out
the makeup of humans.
But what they found instead was that there were 30,000 genes.
What it tells us is that genes tell us fewer answers than we thought.
The genes, which are the closest thing we could get to human
DNA, doesn’t tell us much.
- If you can live with half a brain, then the brain is an adaptable thing.
- People who tell you that woman and men have different brain functions are
untrue because the brain can adapt in certain ways.
- Biology has found a way of adapting.
Psychology and Biology
- Evolutionary psychology:
oWe are the way we are because our ancestors were that way too.
oThey suggest that something observable is a cause.
oWhat is observable is often not a cause.
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