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Gender Issues. Chapter Five. Distinction Between Gender & Sex. Gender – refers to behavioral, psychological, and social characteristics of men and women Sex – refers to an act or the biological aspects of being male or female Gender Identity - subjective sense of being male or female

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distinction between gender sex
Distinction Between Gender & Sex
  • Gender – refers to behavioral, psychological, and social characteristics of men and women
  • Sex – refers to an act or the biological aspects of being male or female
  • Gender Identity - subjective sense of being male or female
  • Gender (Sex) Role - cultural norms for male and female behavior
prenatal development x and y make the difference
Prenatal Development: X and Y Make the Difference
  • Humans reproduce sexually and are made to be sexual beings
  • Each parent supplies a gamete, each with half of the genetic information (23 chromosomes), including a sex chromosome
    • Male: sperm (X or Y)
    • Female: egg/ovum (X)
  • Sex is determined at conception
sexual differentiation in the womb
Sexual Differentiation in the Womb
  • Gestation: 9 months
  • 4-6 weeks: gonads begin to develop and sexual differentiation starts 1-2 weeks later
  • Sex chromosomes control development of:
    • internal sex organs
    • external sex organs
    • the embryo’s hormonal environment
    • the brain’s sexual differentiation
typical prenatal differentiation1
Typical Prenatal Differentiation
  • Gonadal sex
    • Ovaries and testes
  • Hormonal sex
    • Estrogens and androgens
  • Genital sex
    • Internal and external organs
typical prenatal differentiation2
Typical Prenatal Differentiation
  • Internal structures
    • Wolffian duct

Males – Vas deferens, seminal vesicles, ejaculatory duct

    • Müllerian duct

Females – Fallopian tubes, uterus, inner 1/3 vagina

  • External structures
    • Genital tubercle

Clitoris or penis

    • Labioscrotal swelling

Labia or scrotum

sex differentiation of the brain
Sex Differentiation Of The Brain
  • Hypothalamus
    • Differentiates in pregnancy
    • Directs production of sex hormones
    • May influence sex differences and sexual functioning
  • Cerebral hemispheres
  • Corpus callosum
girls brain development
Girls’ Brain Development
  • By adolescence, a girl’s corpus callosum is 25 percent larger than a boy’s, so the girl has more “cross talk” between hemispheres and can multi task better
    • Girls have fewer attention span problems and can make faster transitions between lessons.
  • Stronger neural connectors create better listening skills, more detailed memory storage, and better discrimination among the tones of voice.
  • A girl’s stronger neural connectors and a larger hippocampus provide greater use of sensory memory details in speaking and writing.
  • Girls’ prefrontal cortex develops earlier and is larger than boys’.
girls brain development1
Girls’ Brain Development
  • Girls have more serotonin and make fewer impulsive decisions than boys.
  • A girl’s brain also experiences approximately 15% more blood flow, which is located in more centers of the brain than a boy’s.
  • With more cortical areas devoted to verbal functioning, girls are better at: sensory memory, sitting still, listening, tonality, mental cross talk, and the complexities of reading and writing, i.e. the very skills and behaviors often rewarded in schools.
boys brain development
Boys’ Brain Development
  • Boys have more cortical area devoted to spatial-mechanical functioning and half as much to verbal-emotive functioning.
  • For many tasks, brain imaging studies show that women use the most advanced areas of the brain, the cerebral cortex, whereas men doing the same task use the more primitive areas, especially when related to emotions. Men emote from the amygdala.
  • Boys have less blood flow to the brain and tend to structure or compartmentalize learning.
boys brain development1
Boys’ Brain Development
  • Spatial-mechanical brain functioning makes boys want to move objects through the air, such as balls, airplanes, their little sisters, or just their arms and legs.
  • Boys have less serotonin and less oxytocin (and more testosterone), which makes them more impulsive and likely to behave in a risky way.
  • The male brain is designed to go into rest states in which it renews, recharges, and reorients itself.
  • The more words a teacher/mom/girlfriend uses, the greater chance a boy will quit listening.
  • Boys’ brains are better suited to symbols, abstractions, and pictures.
hormonal development and influences
Hormonal Development and Influences
  • Ovaries produce:
    • Estrogen: female sexual characteristics
    • Progesterone: menstrual cycle and pregnancy
  • Testes produce:
    • Androgens: development of male-typical characteristics
atypical prenatal differentiation
Atypical Prenatal Differentiation
  • Intersexed
    • True hermaphrodites
    • Pseudohermaphrodites
  • Sex chromosome disorders
    • Over 70 sex chromosome abnormalities
    • Turner’s syndrome XO
    • Klinefelter’s syndrome XXY
atypical prenatal differentiation1
Atypical Prenatal Differentiation
  • Disorders affecting prenatal hormonal processes
    • Androgen insensitivity syndrome (AIS)
    • Fetally androgenized females (AGS)
    • DHT-deficient males
gender stereotypes
Gender Stereotypes
  • Gender stereotypes greatly influence our thoughts and interactions
  • What are some stereotypes?
gender role expectations
Gender Role Expectations
  • Women undersexed, men oversexed
  • Men initiate, women receive
  • Women as controllers, men as movers
  • Men are unemotional and strong
  • Women are nurturing and supportive
gender stereotypes4
Gender Stereotypes
  • Gender-based stereotypes (North American)
    • Males

Independent and aggressive

    • Females

Dependent and submissive

  • Recent trend away from rigid stereotypes
    • Women less entrenched than men in rigid gender-role stereotypes
  • Ethnic variation in gender roles
masculinity and femininity
Masculinity and Femininity
  • Ideal cluster of traits that society attributes to each gender
  • Changes with society, and varies from culture to culture
    • Less gender role stereotyping in African Americans and Northern U.S.
masculinity the hunter
Masculinity: The Hunter
  • Rights of passage in many societies
  • Contradictions in the male role:
    • Provide, but don’t solely focus on career
    • Be sexually successful, but not degrading to women
    • Be strong and stable, but be emotionally available
    • Do not be dependent on a woman
  • Men have a less flexible role than women
femininity the nurturer
Femininity: The Nurturer
  • Typically viewed as the opposite of masculinity
  • Characterized by beauty, empathy, concern, softness, modesty
  • Contradictions in the female role:
    • Job fulfillment, but stay at home with kids
    • Not just for looks, but use makeup/be thin
    • Opportunities are available, on men’s terms
gender roles agents of socialization
Gender RolesAgents of Socialization
  • Parental expectations
  • Peers
  • School teachers and textbooks
  • Television and gender-based stereotypes
gender role theory
Gender Role Theory
  • A variety of theorists and positions
  • Evolutionary biology: gender differences are due to adapting to our environment
  • Social learning: learn gender roles from society, our environment
  • Cognitive development: universal stages for understanding and utilizing gender
gender role theory1
Gender Role Theory
  • Gender schema: Cognitive structures organize “gender,” influenced by culture
  • Chodorow’s developmental:
    • Psychoanalytic background; boys separate from mom by devaluing females; girls can love mom as a heterosexual and idealize father’s qualities
androgyny transcending gender roles
AndrogynyTranscending Gender Roles
  • Having characteristics of both sexes
  • Benefits
  • Drawbacks
  • May show more flexibility and comfort with sexuality
transgender
Transgender
  • Transgender is an umbrella term for persons whose gender identity, gender expression, or behavior does not conform to that typically associated with the sex to which they were assigned at birth.
slide34
Billy Tipton was a well-known jazz musician who was discovered to be a female when he died in 1989.
transsexualism when gender and biology don t agree
Transsexualism: When Gender and Biology Don’t Agree
  • Feel their gender identity does not match their biological sex (Gender Dysphoria)
  • “Trapped” in the wrong body
  • More males than females experience this
  • Sex reassignment surgery involves a long process: psychological counseling, live as the other sex, hormones, multiple surgeries
    • M2F: realistic results, orgasm
    • F2M: experimental stages
third genders other cultures other options
Third Genders: Other Cultures, Other Options
  • Some cultures have a third gender category
    • Native American berdache
    • Oman xanˉýth
    • Indian hijra
    • Thai kathoey
    • Hawaiian aikane
    • Tahitian mahu
asexualism the genetics but not the sex
Asexualism: The Genetics but Not the Sex
  • Born without any sexual organs (no biological gender)
  • Has a genetic gender (XX or XY)
  • Typically assigned gender as a child and given hormones
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