Chapter 10 Text Notes.docx

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PSYCH 257: Textbook Notes
Chapter 10: Sexual Disorder and Gender Identity Disorder
3 kinds of sexual behaviour are associated with a substantial impairment in functioning:
1. Gender Identity Disorder: disturbance in a person’s sense of identity as a male or a female
2. Sexual Dysfunction: individuals who find it hard to function adequately during sex
3. Paraphilia: sexual arousal that occurs primarily in the context of inappropriate objects of individuals
What is Normal?
GENDER DIFFERENCES
- Much higher percent of men than women report masturbation (80% > 48%)
o Frequency of masturbation for men was also higher
- Endorsement of many types of sexual fantasy was significantly higher for men than women
o Except for wearing erotic garments in which women participated more in
- Men expressive a more permissive attitude towards sex than women
- Women tend to report the experience of passionate and romantic feelings as well as an openness to
sexual experience
- Women also hold an embarrassed, conservative, or self-conscious schema that sometimes conflicts
with more positive aspects of their sexual attitude
- Men show feelings of power, independence, and aggression in sexuality; passionate, loving, and open
to experience
- The majority of individuals engage in heterosexual, vaginal intercourse in the context of a relationship
with one partner
- Sexual attraction and behaviour are closely tied to the evolutionary root of producing more offspring
CULTURAL DIFFERENCES
- The perceived age of social acceptance for having intercourse for the first time is slightly lower in
Sweden than North America.
- More Swedish women use some form of contraceptives during their first intercourse (73.7% > 56.7%)
- Premarital sexual behaviour is culturally accepted and encouraged in some societies while it may be
unaccepted and discouraged in other societies
- Normal sexual behaviour in one culture may not be necessarily normal in another
THE DEVELOPMENT OF SEXUAL ORIENTATION
- Homosexuality is reported to run in families
- Homosexuality is more common between monozygotic twins than dizygotic twins or siblings
o Associated with differential exposure to hormones at an early age (possibly before birth)
o However, approximately 50% of monozygotic twins with the same genetic structure and
environment growing up do not have the same sexual orientation
o Males growing up with an older brother are more likely to be homosexuals; with each
additional brother increasing the odds of homosexuality
environmental influences are just as important as biological ones
- Brain structure may be different in homosexuals and heterosexuals
- Individuals with homosexual orientations have a 39% greater chance of being left-handed or mixed-
handed
- Genes do influence sexual orientation but the specific genes are currently unknown
- Biological, psychological, and environmental variables are combined to form sexual orientation
Bem’s theoretical model, “exotic becomes erotic”
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o A boy who is less aggressive and displays more “girl-typical” activities would feel more
different towards his own sex (making his own sex more exotic/foreign). Sexual attraction in
the later years would be to the more exotic group
Gender Identity Disorder: psychological dissatisfaction with own biological gender, a disturbance in the sense
of identity as a male or female. The primary goal is not sexual arousal but rather to live the life of the opposite
gender
- Different from transvestic fetishism (wearing opposite gender’s clothing but not for sexual
gratification) and intersex individuals (no physical abnormalities)
- DSM-IV-TR does not list sexual attraction as a criteria for having gender identity disorders
o In fact, a biological male with a feminine identity may be attracted to females; biological
female with a masculine identity may be attracted to males women after surgery were gay
men (rare occurrence); men after surgery were lesbian women
- Autogynephilia: male-to-female individuals attracted to females after surgery are said to have a
different development pattern
o Development pattern: male begins to have strong sexual arousal fantasies about dressing as a
female, fantasies develop into wanting to become a woman
- Gender identity disorder is rare; occurring 3 times more frequently in males than females
- In some cultures (specifically Native- Americans), individuals with a gender identity disorder are
labelled “berdache
o Holding high positions of honour and respect in the tribe (shaman, wisdom figure, healing
powers)
o Accepted in their society as distinct from men and women (3rd gender); similar to the Samoan
Fa’afafine
CAUSES
- Estimated that genes contribute 62% of the vulnerability of a gender identity disorder; 38% are from
unique environment events
- 70% of the vulnerability for cross-gender behaviour comes from genetics
o Exception: Finding where one of the monozygotic twins had genetic identity disorder and one
did not
Biological Variable
(eg. genes, prenatal
hormones)
Childhood Temperaments
(eg. aggression, activity
level)
Sex-typical/ atypical
activity & playmate
preferences
(gender conformity/
noncomformity)
Feeling different from
opposite or same-sex
peers (dissimilar,
unfamiliar, exotic)
Non-specific arousal to
opposite or same-sex
peers
Erotic or sexual attration
to opposite or same-sex
peers
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- Slightly higher levels of testosterone during fetal development might masculinize a female fetus;
higher levels of estrogen might feminize a male fetus
- Congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH): girls aged 5-12 are flooded with male hormones (androgens)
which produce mostly masculine external genitalia
o Although CAH girls were masculine in behaviour, they were no differences in gender identity
although not yet discovered, there is a possible link between prenatal hormonal influence and
later gender identity
- Structural differences have been observed in individuals with male-to-female gender identity disorder
- Some evidence suggests that gender identity firms up between 18 months and 3 years of age
- There have been cases of both adapting successfully and unsuccessfully to gender reassignment early
in life
o It is possible for a female gender identity to emerge in a biological male even with masculine
tendencies after an gender reassignment
- A maternal wish for a girl is greater when the older children are all male gender dysphoria in
feminine male adults is more common in men who grew up with several older brothers
- Excessive attention and physical contact on the part of the mother or a lack of male playmates during
the early years of socialization could be a factor
- Although most effeminate boys function heterosexually (60%), homosexual preferences are found in
40% of boys and 32% show some degree of bisexuality
TREATMENT
Sex Reassignment Surgery: surgical procedure to alter a person’s physical anatomy to conform to that
person’s psychological gender
- To qualify for surgery, individuals must live in the opposite-sex role for 1-2 years and be stable
psychologically, financially, and socially
- For males wanting to become females: hormones are given to grow breasts and other secondary sex
characteristics, facial hair removed through electrolysis, genitals removed, vagina constructed
- For females wanting to become males: artificial penis constructed, breasts are surgically removed
- Surgery is irreversible; 7% later regret the surgery, 2% commit suicide after surgery
- Ontario has stopped funding the procedure in 1998 in order cut costs in health care spending
o Each year, there is an average of 6 people approved at an average cost of $28,000
- Since then the Human Rights Tribunal has ruled that the province should pay for 3 out of 4 of the
complaints but did not force them to relist the procedure in the public health insurance plan
Treatment of Intersexuality
- Intersexuality: (hermaphrodites) both with the physical characteristics of both sexes
- Surgery and hormonal replacement therapy is the standard treatment
o However, many individuals are dissatisfied with surgery
o Therefore, health professionals should only consider surgery as a last resort
- Fausto- Sterling suggested that there are five sexes: 1males, 2females, 3hermaphrodites, 4merms
(anatomically more male than female), 5ferms (have ovaries but also some male genitalia)
- Psychological treatments are to help individuals adapt to their particular sexual anatomy/ their
emerging sexual identity
Psychosocial Treatment
- There have been success in changing one’s gender identity through psychosocial treatment
- Behavioural rehearsal and modelling to more specifically to one’s biological manner
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Document Summary

Chapter 10: sexual disorder and gender identity disorder. Much higher percent of men than women report masturbation (80% > 48%: frequency of masturbation for men was also higher. Endorsement of many types of sexual fantasy was significantly higher for men than women: except for wearing erotic garments in which women participated more in. Men expressive a more permissive attitude towards sex than women. Women tend to report the experience of passionate and romantic feelings as well as an openness to sexual experience. Women also hold an embarrassed, conservative, or self-conscious schema that sometimes conflicts with more positive aspects of their sexual attitude. Men show feelings of power, independence, and aggression in sexuality; passionate, loving, and open to experience. The majority of individuals engage in heterosexual, vaginal intercourse in the context of a relationship with one partner. Sexual attraction and behaviour are closely tied to the evolutionary root of producing more offspring.

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