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Discuss biological influences on gender.

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Discuss biological influences on gender There are many factors that determine whether we are male and female. For example genetic differences, females inherit X chromosomes from their father giving them a genetic make-up of XX, while males inherit a Y chromosome from their father, thus giving them a genetic make-up of XY. During the first six weeks of pre-natal development, every foetus develops identically. However, if a Y chromosome is inherited, the gene called SRY produces a protein called 'testis-determining factor', which turns the developing gonads into testicles. However, with an absence of the Y chromosome, would results in an absence in male hormones and this could mean that ovaries are developed. The first hormone to be released by the testes is called the anti-Mullerian hormone, which prevents the further development of female sex organs. Androgens are then produces and this masculinises the male foetus by stimulating the development of male sex organs. It is the absence of male sex hormones, rather than the presence of female hormones that leads to the development of complete female sex organs. ...read more.


It shows that gender can be determined in the pre-natal environment. Pfeiffer (1936) investigated whether there were differences in the brains of male and females. He removed the sex organs of genetic males and female newborn rats and found that they developed into adults with female hormone release patterns from the pituitary glands . When some of the rats (male and female) had testes transplanted onto them, there was a steady release of male sex hormones from the pituitary gland. This suggests that the differences in the hypothalamus depend on whether testosterone is present. If testosterone is present, the hypothalamus will tell the pituitary gland to release male hormones, and the absence of testosterone will result in the hypothalamus telling the pituitary gland to release female hormones. However, there is evidence that refuses this, for example, Dorner (1976) found that damaging a small part of the hypothalamus of newborn male rats resulted in them showing female behaviour as they grew up, therefore suggesting that there was disruption to the normal release of male sex hormones. ...read more.


Children would often be praised for displaying the right behaviour in their gender role and might carry on doing so in order to please their parents (e.g if a boy was to pick up a Barbie dolls instead of a car, it might be taken away but if he helps his dad wash his car to mend the leaking sink, the behaviour might be praised, therefore leading the child to behave the way they are expected to behave). Even though, Dr.Money published that his case study of David (Brenda) Reimer was successfully living as a girl, despite being born a boy, this was not true. David was raised as a girl from the age of 22 months, was surgically converted into a girl and encouraged to fulfil female roles (e.g dresses, playing with dolls) but he however, felt that he was boy and would often play with masculine toys and would even urinate standing up. By the age of 14, the decision was made to allow him to live as a boy. Therefore, Dr.Money's case study has actually supported the counter-argument that biological gender is more determinate of the child's gender identity. ?? ?? ?? ?? Page | 1 ...read more.

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