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Nature vd Nurture argument

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Introduction

The Nature Argument The nature side of the debate states that gender is biological. This would explain the strong relationship between ad person's sex and their gender. It says that gender is "innate" (present at birth). The theory is that because each sex shares the same physiology and anatomy, they have many psychological traits in common too. In the same way that genetics and hormones determine an individual's sex, they also determine whether a person will behave in a more feminine or masculine way. Males are born masculine and females are born feminine. In other words, men and women, boys and girls, are naturally different. The physical differences between males and females (e.g. sex organs) serve an important evolutionary function. They allow females and males to come together and reproduce. This study is an example of Cross-cultural research- investigations carried out across more than 1 society. Mead was accused by many that her findings were bias. She apparently exaggerated the similarities between the sexes in the Arapesh and Mundugamor tribes. ...read more.

Middle

The basic assumption of the nurture argument is that babies are born without a gender identity. In theory, a baby boy could be raised as a girl and vice versa (Moneys Study of David Rhimer). There are also other theories which have been put forward to give support to either the nature or nurture argument. * The biological explanations, which emphasise the role of chromosomes and hormones in gender development. These explanations strongly support the role of nature in development. * The social learning theory, which essentially sees's gender roles as being learnt from others. This theory strongly supports the role of nurture in the debate. * The cognitive approach, which focuses more on the mind and how individuals think about their gender. The approach holds that gender identity develops as part of an innate process (nature) but that concepts of gender depend on familial and cultural experiences (nurture) * The Psychodynamic approach, which focuses more on the unconscious elements of gender development. ...read more.

Conclusion

* Social Learning Theory would dispute the fact that gender is a product of nature. E.g., if men are biologically similar and women are biologically similar, then why do the two sexes no behave in more consistent ways? They would argue that men and women display a range of gender-related behaviours depending on their unique learning experiences. * The Cognitive Approach would argue that the biological explanations are too reductionist (belief that complex systems can be explained in terms of their components) because they attempt to explain complex behaviours simply in terms of chromosomes and hormones. The cognitive approach would argue that we have to understand the thought processes behind gender development. They accuse the biological approach of being too deterministic (belief that events are controlled by actions that came before them, therefore everything is predictable). * The psychodynamic approach would agree that there are innate elements to gender development and that they are related to the sexual differences between males and females. However, it could also emphasise the importance of childhood experiences and familial relationships in gender development. The psychodynamic approach would object to the biological idea that gender develops in isolation from society. ...read more.

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