Chapter 13. Gender and Sexuality. Defining Some Terms. Sex: Whether you are biologically male or female Gender: All the psychological and social characteristics associated with being male or female; defined by one’s gender identity and learned gender roles
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Gender and Sexuality
Fig. 13.3 Prenatal development of the reproductive organs. Early development of ovaries or testes affects hormonal balance and alters sexual anatomy. (a) At first the sex organs are the same in the human female and male. (b) When androgens are absent, female structures begin to develop. (c) Male sex organs are produced when androgens are present.
Fig. 13.4 Recorded differences in various abilities that exist between women and men are based on averages. For example, if we were to record the number of men and women who have low, medium, or high scores on tests of language ability, we might obtain graphs like those shown. For other abilities men would have a higher average. However, such average differences are typically small. As a result, the overlap in female abilities and male abilities is very large (Breedlove, 1994).
Fig. 13.5 One study found that even the parents of 2-year-olds strongly encourage their toddlers to play with “sex-appropriate” toys. Parents’ nonverbal responses to toys were consistently more positive when a toy matched stereotypes for the child’s gender (Calder, Huston & O’Brien, 1989).
Fig. 13.6 Another indication of the possible benefits of androgyny is found in a study of reactions to stress. When confronted with an onslaught of negative events, strongly masculine or feminine persons become more depressed than androgynous individuals do. (Adapted from Roos & Cohen, 1987.)
Fig. 13.7 These graphs show the frequency of sexual intercourse for American adults. To generalize, about one third of the people surveyed have sex twice a week or more, one third a few times a month, and one third a few times a year or not at all. The overall average is about once a week (Laumann et al., 1994).
Fig. 13.8 Average frequency of sexual intercourse per week for adults in the United States. Average intervals for intercourse decline from once every 4 to 5 days in young adulthood, to once every 16 days in the sixties. Remember that averages such as these are lowered by the inclusion of people ho are abstinent or who do not have sexual partners (such as many widowed persons). However, the age declines noted here also show up for people who are married, ranging from an average rate of intercourse of twice a week for couples younger than 30 to once every 3 weeks for those older than 70. This suggests that the average frequency of intercourse does decline with advancing age (Smith, 1990).
Fig. 13.12 Popular professional basketball start Earvin “Magic” Johnson stunned fans when he announced that he had tested positive for HIV. Johnson, who is heterosexual, emphasized that his infection is a warning that anyone who is sexually active can contact HIV if they don’t follow safe sex practices. Johnson further stressed that abstinence is the surest way to prevent AIDS. Johnson’s infection increased public awareness about AIDS. Unfortunately, though, it has resulted in little real change in risky behavior (Brown, et al., 1996).