Unit III SG PSCYH 302 - Lesson III-1 The Effects of Sex...

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Lesson III-1: The Effects of Sex Hormones part 1 (CH.11, pp.326-330) Objectives: a) Distinguish between the organizing and activating effects of sex hormones. - Organizing effects of sex hormones occur mostly at a sensitive stage of development and determine whether the brain and body will develop female and male characteristics. - activating effects can occur at any time in life, when a hormone temporarily activates a particular response. Activating effects on an organ may last longer than the hormone remains in an organ, but they do not last indefinitely. - the distinction between the two kinds of effects are no absolute; hormones early in life exert temporary effects even while they are organizing body development, and during puberty, hormones can induce long-lasting structural changes as well as activating effects. b) Explain how testosterone and estrogen affect sexual differentiation. - The developing testes make a hormone testosterone which increases the growth of the testes. Testosterone also causes the primitive Wolffian ducts, which are precursors to other male reproductive structures, to develop into seminal vesicles and the vas deferens. - A peptide hormone, Mullerian inhibiting hormone (MIH), causes degeneration of the mullerian ducts, a precursor to the female’s oviducts, uterus, and upper vagina. - Because typical females are not exposed to high testosterone levels, their gonads develop into ovaries. The wolffian ducts degenerate, and the primitive Mullerian ducts develop and mature. c) Compare the male and female hypothalamus. - The sexually dimorphic nucleus is in the anterior part of the hypothalamus is larger in the male than in the female and contributes to control of male sexual behavior. Parts of the female hypothalamus can generate a cyclic pattern of hormone release (menstrual cycle). d) Compare the cerebral cortex and intellectual performance of men and women. - Men tend to have more white matter than women. Women on average have a greater density of neurons in part of the temporal lobe that is important to language - Girls generally receive higher grades than boys at most school subjects, esp. reading. On average boys do better than girls at mental rotation task and line orientation tasks. - If performance relates to hormones, it probably depends more on organizational effects than activating effects. e) Explain why men and women use different spatial strategies. - Men are better at spatial strategies in terms of giving directions. They use north south east and west, whereas women use landmarks to give directions. - Men don’t always do better than women on spatial task; the result depends on whether a directional or a landmark strategy can apply. - One hypothesis as to why men and women use different spatial strategies is that males
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Unit III SG PSCYH 302 - Lesson III-1 The Effects of Sex...

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