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Critically consider the role of genes and hormones in gender development

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´╗┐Critically consider the role of genes and hormones in gender development (24 marks) Gender refers to the attitudes, feelings, and behaviours that a given culture associates with a person?s biological sex. Many biological psychologists believe that gender development is directly caused by the influences of genes and hormones alone. Each person has 23 pairs of chromosomes. Each chromosome contains hundreds of genes which contain instructions about the physical and behavioural characteristics (e.g. eye colour). Females XX, males XY, sex determined by father?s sperm. Half of sperm contains an X chromosome, half Y chromosome. As all female?s eggs contain X chromosomes, everything develops as a female unless instructed otherwise. Sex is determined by which sperm fertilises the ovum. ...read more.


However, this research can be criticised as it was carried out on monkeys rather than humans, although it has been claimed that monkeys are very genetically similar to humans, the results should not be generalised to humans as it could be that monkeys are more sensitive to hormones such as testosterone than humans meaning the results are not valid for humans. Furthermore Quadagno?s study was a Laboratory experiment meaning all variables were tightly controlled which is unlikely to happen if the experiment was carried out on human participants. The biological approach to gender development stresses the idea of nature rather than nature. However, there is criticizing evidence by John Money said that it wasn?t biology that influenced gender development; however it was nurture as well. ...read more.


These girls were compared to their non-exposed sisters and their mothers were asked to comment on their behaviour and choice of toys/clothes. A difference was reported, with the exposed girls being reported as more boyish with a higher IQ. This suggests that exposure to high levels of androgens had affected their gender development. Nevertheless, it has been suggested that the questions were misleading such as ?Which of your daughters are more boyish? suggesting that one of them has to be boyish. A follow up study found only one difference ? the exposed girls were more active. Hines also disagreed with Moneys findings and so carried out a study examining play shown by girls and boys aged 3-8 years who had congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH ? When embryos are exposed to high levels of androgens). Hines found minor differences, except girls preferred playing with boys, which suggests that hormones had little effect on behaviour. ...read more.

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