Discuss the biosocial approach to gender development

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Discuss the biosocial approach to gender development (8+16 marks)


According the psychologists as Money, gender caused by both biological and social factors, for example although genetics influence gender in ways such as aggression in boys, social factors such as social expectations can also effect gender.

From this statement Money and Erhart developed a biosocial theory that states that when a new baby is born, the new baby is given a label due to their sex i.e. a baby boy is labelled as male. And due to this label being given the child is perceived and treated in a certain way by adults, e.g. a baby given a boy label will be perceived as more aggressive and treated in a masculine way and a baby given a girl label will be perceived as more delicate and treated in a feminine way.

Money further believed that if a new baby was born and was mislabelled as the opposite gender, they could be successfully brought up as that gender. He stated that this label must be given before the age of 2 and firmly believed that environmental and social factors are able to override the biological sex of a baby.
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Support for Money’s biosocial theory comes from research carried out by Money who looked at 250 reported cases of people who Disorders of Sexual Development (DSD) and found that all patients reported to be happy with gender reassignment. This supports Money’s theory of gender development as it shows evidence for the overriding of biological factors with social and environmental factors. However we should be cautious when using this research to support Money’s theory as it was carried by Money himself suggesting that the evidence found may be due to researcher bias. This matters because although it supports the ...

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