May22nd2008 - Sex Differences in Behavior Development of...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
1 Sex Differences in Behavior Sex Differences in Behavior • Development of behavior is influenced by both genetic and environmental factors • The goal today is not to establish that behaviors are hormonally/genetically regulated or learned (both factors are important!) Play Behavior • Captive vervet monkey showed sex differences in toy preferences – Male monkeys were more likely to play with cars and balls – Female monkeys were more likely to play with dolls Rough and Tumble Play What Causes These Differences? • Pregnant females were given testosterone • Female offspring developed as pseudohermaphrodites (external genetalia was masculinized) • Researchers studied play behavior Organization of Behavior • Play behavior of pseudohermaphrodites was more like males than females (note, not an exact match) • Indicates that testosterone acts during development to organize the brain to function more male-like 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 Rough and tumble play (frequency) Males PseudoH Female
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
2 Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia • A disorder in which the adrenal gland produces androgens instead of cortisol (androgens are a precursor to cortisol) • Girls are born with ambiguous genitalia. Treatment with dexamethasone (a form of cortisol) and reconstructive surgery • Early treatment usually results in normal lives Behavioral Changes • Surveys reported that girls treated for CAH were more likely to : – Prefer male playmates – Be characterized as “tomboys” – Display reduced interest in infant care – Prefer “male-typical” toys • Hard to assess impact of environmental factors, since child and parents know about the early hormonal abnormality Behavioral Observations • A subsequent study secretly observed play sessions of girls with CAH and unaffected sisters • Girls with CAH showed masculinized of some aspects of play behavior (but not rough and tumble play) 0 20 40 60 80 100 Percentage male Boy CAH Boy Con Girl CAH Girl Con Sex of Preferred Playmates Hines & Kaufman 1994, Child Development , Volume 65, 1042-1053. CAH and Play Behavior
Background image of page 2
Image of page 3
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Page1 / 8

May22nd2008 - Sex Differences in Behavior Development of...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 3. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online