Chapter 5.pdf

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University of Guelph
Family Relations and Human Development
FRHD 2100
Cynthia Clark

Chapter 5 – Gender Identity and Gender Roles 1. Understand the biological and developmental perspectives of the stages of sexual development from the prenatal stage to seniority Prenatal Sexual Differentiation Gender: The psychological state of being female or male, as influenced by cultural concepts of gender- appropriate behaviour. Gender is distinct from anatomic sex, which is based on the physical differences between females and males Gender Typing: The process by which children acquire behaviours deemed appropriate for their sex Sexual Differentiation: The process by which males and females develop distinct reproductive anatomy Chromosome: A rodlike structure found in the nucleus of every living cell. It carries the genetic coe, in the form of genes Zygote: A fertilized ovum (egg cell) Embryo: The stage of prenatal development that begins with implantation of a fertilize ovum in the uterus and concludes with development of the major organ systems at about two months after conception  A beginning of a new human being, is only 0.04 cm long  The stamp of a unique individual has already been ensured – whether the person will have black or blond hair  During the first six weeks or so of prenatal development, embryonic structures of both genders develop along similar lines, resembling primitive female structures  About five or six weeks, when the embryo is only 0.5 cm to 1 cm long, it has a pair of sexually undifferentiated gonads, two sets of primitive duct structures called mullerian ducts (female) and the Wolffian ducts (male)  At about seventh week after conception, the genetic code (XX or XY) begins to assert itself, causing changes in the gonads, genital ducts, and external genitals  Genetic activity on the Y sex chromosome causes the testes to begin to differentiate  If the Y chromosome is absent, ovaries begin to differentiate  About seventh week, strands of tissue begin to organize into seminiferous tubules o Female gonads being to develop somewhat later than male gonads o Forerunners of follicles that will bear ova are not found until the fetal stage of development, about 10 weeks after conception o Ovaries begin to form at 11 to 12 weeks 2. Explain the process of sexual differentiation between females and males Sex Hormones and Sexual Differentiation  Androgens: Male sex hormones o Without androgens, we’d all develop female external reproductive organs  Most important androgen, testosterone, spurs differentiation of the male (Wolffian) duct system  Each Wolffian duct develops into an epididymis, vas deferens, and seminal vesicle  Testosterone: The male sex hormone that fosters development of male sex characteristics and is connected with the sex drive  Each external genitals, including the penis, begin to take shape at about the eighth week of development, under the influence of another androgen, dihydrotestosterone (DHT)  Another testicular hormone, secreted during the fetal stage, prevents the Mullerian ducts from developing into the female duct system; its appropriately termed the Mullerian-inhibiting substance (MIS)  The Mullarian ducts evolve into fallopian tubes, the uterus, and the upper two-thirds of the vagina  If a fetus with an XY sex chromosomal structure failed to produce testosterone, it would develop female features Descent of the Testes and Ovaries  About 10 weeks after conception, they’ve descended so they’re almost even with the upper edge of the pelvis  The ovaries remain there for the rest of the prenatal period, later rotating and further descending to their adult positions in the pelvis  About four months after conception, the testes normally descend into the scrotal sac through the inguinal canal, which then closes  Inguinal Canal: A fetal canal that connects the scrotum and the testes, allowing the latter to descend  Cryptorchidism: A condition in which at least one of the testes fails to descend o In most cases, the testes migrate to the scrotum during infancy o In some cases, they descend by puberty o Men with undescended testes are usually treated through surgery or hormonal therapy, because they’re at higher risk for cancer of the testes o Sperm production is also impaired, because the undescended testes are subjected to a higher-than-optimal body temperature, which causes sterility 3. Describe the Chromosomal abornalities that effect sexual development and that result in conditions such as Klinefelter's Turner's Syndrome Sex Chromosome Abnormalities  Klinefelter’s Syndrome: A disorder in which a male has an extra X chromosome (an XXY pattern, rather than an XY pattern) o Affects about 500 males o Men with this pattern fail to develop appropriate secondary sex characteristics o They have enlarged breasts and poor muscular development and because they fail to produce sperm, they’re infertile o They tend to have mild mental retardation  Turner’s Syndrome: A disorder is which a female has just one X sex chromosome (an X pattern, rather than an XX pattern) o Affects about one in 2500 females o Caused by having one rather than two X sex chromosomes o Females with this syndrome may not naturally undergo puberty, so they usually begin hormone treatments with normal pubertal changes could otherwise start to spur the growth of secondary sex characteristics o The brain, genital organs, undergoes prenatal sexual differentiation o Testosterone causes cells in the hypothalamus of a male fetus to become insensitive to the female sex hormone estrogen  Sensitivity to estrogen is important in regulation of the menstrual cycle after puberty  Hypothalamus detects low levels of estrogen in the blood at the end of each cycle, initiates a new cycle by stimulating the pituitary gland to secrete follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)  FSH stimulates the ovaries to produce estrogen, and stimulates an immature follicle in an ovary to ripen 5. Differentiate between various terminology regarding gender identity and sex including hermaphroditism, transsexual, masculinit, feminity, and androgyny Gender Identity : One’s view of oneself as being male or female Sex Assignment: The labelling of a newborn as a male or a female. It’s also referred to as gender assignment Nature and Nurture  Researchers have found clues in the experiences of rare individuals called intersexuals  Intersexuals: person who possesses the gonads of one gender and external genitalia that are ambiguous or typical of the other gender. An intersexual is also referred to as a pseudohermaphrodite o Have testes or ovaries, but not both o Gonads (testes or ovaries 0 match their chromosomal sex o Their external genitals and sometimes their internal reproductive anatomy are ambiguous or resemble those of the opposite sex o Given researchers an opportunity to examine the roles of nature and nurture in shaping gender identity  Hermaphrodite: An individual who possesses both ovarian and testicular tissue o True hermaphrodite may have one gonad of each gender (a testicle and an ovary) or gonads that combine testicular and ovarian tissue o They assume the identities and roles of the genders they’re assigned at birth  Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH): A form of inter-sexualism in which a genetic female has internal female sexual structures and masculinized external genitals o Clitoris is enlarged that it may resemble a small penis o This condition is caused by high levels of androgens o Those who had CAH showed more interest in masculine – typed toys such as transportation toys, and less interest in feminine – typed toys such as dolls o Girls with CAH were more likely to have boys as playmates and to want masculine-typed careers o Parents rated the behaviour of daughters with CH as more “boylike” in toy choice and aggressiveness  Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome: A form of inter-sexualism in which genetic male is prenatally insensitive to androgens. As a result, his genitals do not become normal masculinized o At birth, their testes are undescended and their external genitals are feminized, including small vaginas o Because of androgen insensitivity, their male duct systems have failed to develop o Their fetal testes have produced Mullerian – inhibiting substance, preventing the development of uteruses and fallopian tubes o Genetic males with androgen-insensitivity syndrome usually have little or no pubic and axillary (underhair) arm, because development of hair in these locations is dependent on androgens  Dominican Republic Syndrome: A form of inter-sexualism in which a genetic enzyme disorder prevents testosterone from masculinizing the external genitalia o The boys were born with normal testes and internal male reproductive organs, but their external genitals were malformed o Their penises were stunted and resembled clitorises o Their scrotums were incompletely formed and resembled female labia o The boys with this condition resembled girls at birth and were reared as females o At puberty, their testes swung into normal testosterone production, causing startling changes o The testes descended, their voices deepened, their musculature filled out, and their “clitorises” expanded into penises  Intersexuality: All of the different syndromes characterized by some abnormally or anomaly in physical differentiation Transsexualism/ Transgenderism  Transsexualism: A condition in which an individual strongly desires to be and to live as a member of the other sex. The American Psychiatric Association calls this “gender-identity disorder”  Transgenderism: A synonym for “transsexualism”. Also an activist movement seeking rights and pride for transgendered individuals. For many in the transgender- or “trans” movement, the label “transgendered” encompasses not only transsexual and transgendered people, but also cross-dressers or transvestites, drag queens, drag kings, intersexed individuals, and anyone who’s unconventionally gendered (I.e. who identifies or behaves in a manner that runs counter to expected societal norms for the gendered assigned birth)  Gender Dysphoria: A sense of incongruity between your anatomic sex and your gender identity o They have the anatomic genitalia of one sex, they feel that they’re members of the other o The discrepancy motivates them to wish to be rid of their own primary sex characteristics (their external genitals and internal sex organs) and to live as members of other sex o A male-to-female transsexual perceives himself to be a female who, through some quirk fate, was born with the wrong genital equipment o A female-to-male transsexual perceives herself as a man trapped in a woman’s body  Homosexual Transsexual: Extremely feminine gay men who seek sex reassignment  Autogynephilic: Sexually stimulated by fantasies that his own body is female. The word comes from roots meaning “Self”, “woman” and “love” or “desire”  Lawrence (2007) concluded that there are two distinct types of male-to-female transsexuals- homosexuals and non-homosexuals  The conceptualizations of male-to-female (MTF) transsexuals presented by Blanchard, Bailey and Lawrence have been controversial o Transgender activists have been upset by their assumption that MTF transsexuals are motivated to seek sex change by erotic interests rather than by distress over having the gender identity of one sex and body of the other  Homosexual transsexuals usually show cross-gender preferences in play and dress during early childhood. o Male-to-female transsexuals recall that, as children, they referred playing with dolls, enjoyed wearing frilly dresses, and disliked rough and tumble play o Often perceived by their peers as “sissy boys” o Female-to-male transsexuals report that as children they disliked dresses, and
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