biological theories of gender

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Post on 22-Apr-2015




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Powerpoint by Elisabeth Brookes


  • 1. Gender development Biological approach
  • 2. A boy or a girl?
  • 3. In the first 6-8 weeks (Male) (Female)All foetuses have the same undeveloped sex organs. Theoriginal system can develop into both male or female sexorgans. It is the presence or absence of a single gene (SRYgene) which will dictate the future development of the foetusas a male or a female.
  • 4. Male developmentXY
  • 5. Male developmentSRY gene produces a protein :Testis Determining Factor (TDF) TDF influences the development of the gonads, they become testis The testis produce testosterone Testosterone triggers the development of external male organs i.e. penis
  • 6. Female developmentThe absence of male hormone will result in thedevelopment of the Mullerian system intofemale sex organs
  • 7. Between 8-24 weeks: Male weeksfoetuses are exposed tohigher levels of testosteronethan female foetuses. From 24 weeks until birth: gonadal hormones are low in both sexesThe first 6 months of life:testosterone is higher in boysthan girls
  • 8. Action of testosterone on the brain
  • 9. Men and women produce the samehormones but in different quantity. Oestrogen Progesterone Testosterone Oestrogen Testosterone Progesterone
  • 10. On average, men producebetween 4 and 10mg of thehormone per day and overallthey have about 20 times moretestosterone than women.
  • 11. It is difficult to measure the amountof hormones because they are verysimilar and the body sometimesconverts the one into the other Testosteron e Progesterone And the body can convert one hormone into another
  • 12. PubertyAfter around 10 years, the hypothalamus releases ahormone which affects the anterior pituitary gland andthis causes the gonads to become active. They controlthe development of secondary sexual characteristics.
  • 13. Androgen insensitivity syndrome (Testicular feminization)Androgen insensitivity syndrome (AIS) is when a personwho is genetically male (has one X and one Ychromosome) is resistant to male hormones calledandrogens. As a result, the person has some or all ofthe physical characteristics of a woman, despite havingthe genetic makeup of a man.
  • 14. How does testosterone influence behaviour?Testosterone Aggressive behaviour High sex drive Poor language developmentWhat evidence is there to support these statements?
  • 15. How do oestrogen and progesterone affect behaviour?Premenstrual syndrome67% of Alcohol DrinkingBinges during PMS Myth or reality? 45 % of Attempted Suicides occurred PMS has been used as a during the week preceding Menstruation legal defence with (Wallach and Rubin, 1968) varying degree of success North Carolina Prison Study 41 % of the inmate assaults during PMS (Ellis& Austin, 1971)
  • 16. Evaluation This approach does not take into account social factors such as social norms. Behaviours could be learnt through social learning. Self-fulfilling prophecy could explain the difference in behaviour between gender. It is determinist explain It explains the case of David Reimer
  • 17. You need 16 AO2/AO3 use the booksand share your findings

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