Compare biological and psychological explanations of gender development

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Compare biological and psychological explanations of gender development. 25 marks

The biological explanation of gender development enforces the idea that the role of genes and hormones are the main contributors towards the development of a child’s gender. Genetically, the 23rd pair of chromosomes in each individual determines the sex of the embryo, this is usually about six weeks after conception as the genes determine whether the gonadal ridges develop into testes or ovaries. At this time the Y chromosome triggers the synthesis of the H-Y antigen, a protein which causes the gonadal ridges to grow into testes. If this protein is injected into a female foetus at 6 weeks, the result is a genetic female with testes and if drugs blocking H-Y antigen are injected into a genetic male at this time, the result would be a genetic male with ovaries. Therefore the action of genes and hormones are interrelated. In a genetically male embryo, the testes release testosterone which is believed to impact brain development. Geschwind and Galaburda (1987) noticed that in males the right side of the brain develops earlier than the left side, development being especially slow near the Wernicke’s area (concerned with language).  This could explain why men tend to have superior spatial abilities and women have superior verbal abilities.

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The psychological explanation of gender development would be the gender schema theory. Gender schema is an organised body of knowledge about the attributes and behaviours associated with a specific gender. The theory assumes children acquire their gender identity through their active processing of information. However, if differs in that Martin and Halverson believed that gender identity alone was sufficient for children to begin to show gender-appropriate behaviour, meaning that realising that gender remains constant is not a pre-requisite for gender-appropriate behaviour. The child’s gender schema begins to develop as soon as they notice the difference between males and females, know ...

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The writer has made some very good points throughout the essay but unfortunately it is rather disjointed and difficult to follow. It would be advisable to plan the essay in more detail in order to give the work structure. For example, it would be better to start the essay by explaining something about the nature nurture debate before describing the biological and psychological approach. Also there should be a brief definition of gender too. The writer needs to use their own words throughout to avoid being accused of plaigiarism. 2 stars