PSYCH 243 Notes Ch 7

PSYCH 243 Notes Ch 7 - Gender: The Biology and the Behavior...

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Gender: The Biology and the Behavior I. Male and Female A. Sex and Gender Sex – biological difference that makes sexual reproduction possible Gender – socio cultural sexual differences that relate to the non biological, not absolute Sex Stereotyping – emphasis on cultural gender behaviors for an individual 1. Gender Assignment – sexual classification given to each person at birth according to their visible external genital structure 2. Gender Role – culture’s social expectations about what are the appropriate behaviors for a person 3. Gender Role Identity – amount of personal identification with the social characteristics of a person’s gender assignment, not fixed by biology and varies across cultures 4. Gender Typing – degree of cultural maleness or femaleness people show to others as a result of social learning and gender role identity 5. Gender Orientation – person’s preference for same sex or heterosexual sexual relationships B. Heterosexuality: Why Sexual Reproduction Sexual reproduction provides many more possibilities for genetic adjustments needed to allow humans to modify themselves to local conditions in order to better adapt. Our brain continues to grow and develop for a long time. Social life has become increasingly complicated, requiring more preparation time until each person is independent enough to take their place in society. C. Gender As a Continuum Gender is not straightforward. There is no clear point of separation from maleness and femaleness. Gender refers to the total biological, psychological, and cultural combination that leads to an infinite number of possibilities for each person. II. Biological Bases A. Genetics Of the 23 matching pairs of chromosomes that most of us have, 22 are similar in information for the same parts of the body. The 23 rd pair (X and Y), can be nearly the same or very different. The biological mother gives only the X chromosome whereas the biological father can contribute either an X or Y chromosome. XX combination results in a female whereas XY combination is a male. Some rare combinations result in different abilities and some are sterile and cannot reproduce. B. Anatomy In the womb, all humans begin with the same sex structures, which than develop into a penis or clitoris. Sometimes confusion occurs and both systems can develop, referred to as hermaphrodite. C. Hormones – (see INSIGHT page 158) 1. Puberty – onset of full scale sexual maturing brought about by the effects of the sex hormones Estrogen – hormones for females Androgen – hormones for males Menarche – first menstrual bleeding in females occurs between ages 12-13 Sexual Dimorphism – males become taller and heavier than females, hips broaden and fat is deposited throughout the body under the skin for females, the nipples and surround raised pigmented areas stand out distinctly from the breasts 2. Normal Adolescent Development – (see TABLE 7.1 page 159) Generally agreed that adolescence starts around age 10-12 and ends about 10-12 years later. One
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PSYCH 243 Notes Ch 7 - Gender: The Biology and the Behavior...

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