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Compare and contrast the biological and social learning theory to the explanation of GENDER.

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Introduction

Compare and contrast the biological and social learning theory to the explanation of GENDER. First, it is necessary to understand the distinction between gender and sex. Gender is what we learn from our cultural values, how ones attitude towards male and female roles is shaped through cultural influences. Gender is how we classify ourselves as male or female. The first thing we notice about people is their sex, whether they are male or female, and gender is what culture makes out of the 'raw material' of biological sex and the social equality given to men and women and also the social interpretations of sex. Sex is the biological make up, which we already have when we are born, so sex refers to physical differences between males and females. Gender can be explained by using various theories, but the social learning theory and the biological learning theory adapt different themes when studying gender. ...read more.

Middle

The model was seen assaulting a Bobo doll (a large inflatable rubber doll) the children then had access to one of these after observing the model. He also found that male models that were aggressive were more readily imitated than female models that were aggressive. This had to do with gender roles as in, western culture see men to be aggressive, and children are also likely to learn the dominant stereotypes that relate to gender role differences. So aggressive male models are more likely to be imitated as the child sees this as more appropriate for men than for women. Whereas the biological theory, has a different point of view than this. The biological theory says that as there is a clear biological basis to sexuality as female anatomy, physical structure differs from that of the male, and also there exists a biological imperative to reproduce, or else the species of human beings would become extinct. ...read more.

Conclusion

The Batista boys have now been accepted by society, are living as males in men's jobs, and have married woman although they were reared as girls for the first ten years of their life, when they had female gender identity. It is being said that the reason they took on the transition so easily was that their environment supported their new identity. The case of these Batista boys suggest that their brains had been masculine zed by the testosterone present before birth, and there is no critical period for the learning of gender role, and also there maybe differences between male and female brains which effect gender identity and gender role. Whereas the social learning theorists say, that nurture (social factors) makes the most significant contribution towards gender. Such as imitating peers and same sex models reinforced gender- appropriate behaviours as well as acting as models, so children can imitate, meaning sex-appropriate behaviours are learned through direct and indirect reward, punishment, modelling, and imitation. ...read more.

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