Ch2

Report
Chapter 2: Gender
Development
BIOLOGY, SEXUALITY, AND HEALTH
Chapter 2: Gender Development Concepts

Essentialism

Margaret Mead

Sex hormones/chromosomes

Sociobiology

Infant-father bonding

Freud

Intersexed & Sexual Dimorphism

Transsexual & Transgender

Gender Identity

Sexual scripts

Queer theory

Sexual Orientation

Teens & Sexual intercourse

Gender and mortality

PMS/menopause

Freud

Double Standard
Essentialism/Nature vs. Nurture

Essentialism: is the belief that males and
females are inherently different because of
their biology and genes.

Although research does not discount the
role of biology in gender development, it
clearly demonstrates that culture is greater
barrier to equality than biology
Essentialism/Nature vs. Nurture

Nature and Nurture: Margaret Mead

1930’s, Sex and temperament in Three Primitive
Societies, New Guinea—
 Arapesh—gentle, and
peace loving
 Mundugumor—fierce
and aggressive
 Tchumbuli—demonstrated (what
would be
considered) reverse gender role

Concluded: Masculine and feminine are
culturally, rather than biologically, determined.
>Mead’s work challenges the “it’s
only natural” argument
>In fact, no existing theory,
especially those grounded in
essentialism, can explain the
immense variety of meanings
attached to being male and female.
>Therefore, we can identify
biological differences and similarities
between female and male, but to
determine how these relate to what is
considered “masculine” and
“feminine” the world over is difficult.
Sociobiology
Sociobiology

Evolution, Genetics, & Biology:

Genetics endow females and males with
different capacities to allow adaptive
advantages for species survival to unfold
productively

Other biological differences, such as
prenatal androgens, reinforce genetic
patterns.
Sociobiology

Sociobiology:

Rooted in the nature side of the
debate, the field of sociobiology also
addresses questions of sex
differences in its examination of the
biological roots of social behavior.

Originally developed out of research
based on insects (Edward Wilson—
social insects), sociobiologists argue
that evolutionary theory can be used
to draw conclusions about humans
from studies of animals.
Sociobiology
Cognitive Biology:
>The biological basis for sex
differences stems from research on
prenatal hormones and brain
development.
>Androgens help determine how
our bodies, including our brains,
becomes sexually differentiated.
>Higher levels of androgens predict
more male-typical than femaletypical behavior.
Sociobiology

Cognitive Biology:

Cognitive sex differences related to stronger
spatial ability for males and stronger verbal
ability for females, for examples, may have
biological roots since these differences show up
very early in life before strong environmental
influences kick in.

These are stables differences that persist over
times for individuals regardless of gender role
change.

Hormones may accounts for some sex differences
in gender identity and sexual orientation, for
example, but cannot account for gender
differences in other roles such as nurturing, love,
and crime behavior.
Sociobiology

Cognitive Biology:

Is sexuality a choice?

Video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJtjqL
UHYoY
The Hormone Puzzle



Females possess two X
chromosomes
The extra X chromosome is
associated with a superior immune
system and lower female mortality at
all states of the life cycle.

Males possess one X and one Y
chromosome

XY = Male
XX = Female

Is it the lack or presence of the Y
chromosome that determines if a
baby will be male or female
The Hormone
Puzzle
The Hormone Puzzle

We know that sex hormones have two key
functions:

1) They shape the development of the brain
and sex organs

2) They determine how these organs will be
activated.

Ex: During fetal development, when certain
tissues are highly sensitive to hormones, the
secretion of testosterone both masculinized
and effeminized key cellular structures
throughout the brain and reproductive
organs.

The fetus first starts to develop female
organs but later masculinizes itself if it
possesses a Y chromosome, under the
influence of testosterone.
The Hormone Puzzle

The Hormone Puzzle:

Theory on the influencing factors of sexuality:

Video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xKqKsXdokCM
Aggression
Aggression

The debate on the influence of hormones on gender behavior
is further complicated when studying se differences and
aggression.

Aggression is linked to testosterone.

Girls and boys are about equal in learned aggressiveness.

Girls are more likely to suppress their anger and carry it out
verbally. They also use ore relational aggression—purposely
harming others, usually other girls, through manipulating
peers, family members, and friends. Girls cause harm when a
relationship suffers.

Boys and young men are more likely to show aggression, but
they carry it out in physical way—confronting adversaries,
usually other males, with fistfights, bullying, and shouting
matches coupled with pushing and shoving.
Motherhood
Motherhood

Animal studies of primates focusing on
hormones released during pregnancy that
allegedly fuel mother-infant bonding have
been used to suggest the existence of a
maternal instinct in human females

But, the notion of a maternal instinct is not
supported by available research.

Leta Hollingworth (1916) discounted the
maternal instinct belief and suggested that
“social devices” are the impelling reasons for
women to bear and rear children.
Socialization of females maximizes
attachment to the young, whereas for males it
is minimized.
Motherhood

What? And I wanted to live with
this so bad…
Motherhood
Motherhood
Examples that defy “maternal
instinct”:
> Women that suffer from
postpartum depression & may
even reject their child
>Infanticide, voluntary
abortion, and neglect by mothers
>Number of voluntarily
childless women also continues to
increase.
Motherhood

There is little support for “maternal instinct”
but much support that attachment to infants
is socialized

In fact, when new fathers take part in
birthing, measures of infant-father bonding
are as high as infant-mother bonding.

Consider, once more, Mead’s study of the
gentle Arapesh primitive society, where both
sexes enjoyed child care.
Gendered Sexuality—
Sigmund Freud:
Anatomy is Destiny
Gendered Sexuality—Sigmund Freud:
Anatomy is Destiny

Sigmund Freud:

Developed the 5 Stages of Psychosexual
Development—oral, anal, phallic, latency,
and genital.

The one that has received the most attention
is the phallic stage (ages 3-5) as it relates to
gender socialization—recognize anatomical
differences between the sexes.

It is also the phallic stage in which
gratification focused on the genitals.
Gendered Sexuality—Sigmund Freud:
Anatomy is Destiny

The fact that a boy possesses a penis and a girl does
not is the dominant factor in Freud’s theory of
psychosexual development.

“Penis Envy”—Freud argued that girls come to
believe that they penis, unlike the barely noticeable
clitoris is a symbol of power denied to them. The
result is “penis envy” which culminates in a girl's with
that she could be a boy.

‘Castration Anxiety”—hen a boy discovers that a girl
does not have a penis, he developed “castration
anxiety”—the fear he will be deprived of the prized
organ.
Ambiguous Sex,
Ambiguous Gender
Ambiguous Sex, Ambiguous Gender

Research on infants born with sexual
anomalies helps to clarify the biological basis
of sex differences

Intersexed describes the approximates 1-3% of
infants born with both males and female sex
organs or who have ambiguous genitals (such
as a clitoris that looks like a penis)

They violate the principles of sexual
dimorphism, the separation of the sexes into
two distinct, nonoverlapping categories.
Ambiguous Sex, Ambiguous Gender

Transsexuals & Transvestites:

Unlike intersexed people, transsexuals are genetic males or
females who psychologically believe they are members of the
other sex.

They feel “trapped” in the wrong bodies and many undergo
SRS (sexual reassignment surgery) to “correct” the problem.
Only then can their gender identity and their biological sex be
consistent.

Transsexuals are not homosexuals. They are newly minted
males or females who desire sexual intimacy with the other
gender.

Transvestites, mostly males who are sexually aroused when
they dress in women's clothing, are not transsexual.
Does Nature Rule? A
Sex Reassignment
Tragedy
Does Nature Rule? A Sex
Reassignment Tragedy
John/Joan Case

(1963) 7-month old identical
twins.
 Routine

circumcision
Unfortunately, the physician
burnt off the penis of one of the
boys.
 22-months,
his parents
decided to have a sex-change
operation.

Renaming their child Brenda.
Does Nature Rule? A Sex
Reassignment Tragedy


John/Joan Case
Initially, Brenda's parents noted that she was progressing as
any normal girl.


At 14, her father told her about the medical accident and
subsequent sex change.


Then, Brenda began imitating her father and favoring
“boy” toys.
After this, Brenda renamed herself David.
Testosterone shots & surgical reconstruction of a penis.

Unfortunately, David committed suicide in 2004.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXJN_zXcspM
Sexual Scripts:
Double
Standard
Sexual Scripts

Sexual scripts:

As we know, sociologists emphasize how sexuality is
based on prescribed roles that are acted out like other
socially bestowed roles—these come in the forms of
sexual scripts

Sexual scripts are shared beliefs concerning what
society defined as acceptable sexual thoughts, feelings,
and behaviors for each gender.

Gender roles are connected with different sexual
scripts—one considered more appropriate for males,
and the other considered more appropriate for females.
Sexual Scripts: The Double Standard

Sexual scripts continue to be based on beliefs that
for men sex is for orgasm and physical pleasure,
and for women sex is for love and the pleasure that
comes from intimacy.

Double standard—refers to the idea that men are
allowed to express themselves sexually and women
are not.

The double standard isn’t necessarily reflective of
sexual behavior but of sexual attitudes.
Sexual Scripts: Premarital/ Nonmarital Sex

This is reflective in the attitudes toward
premarital/ nonmarital sex. Today the
differences between men and women in
premarital sex have all but disappeared.

Men have sex earlier than women, but by the
time they graduate from college virtually all
mea and women are sexually experienced.

About half of all teenagers aged 15-19 have
had sexual intercourse at least once.

However, people are surprised to learn that
sexual activity among teens has significantly
declined
Wait!!!!!.......
Gender and Health
Gender and Health

Various measurement techniques have
been developed to determine the patterns
of health and well-being related to sex
and gender.

Mortality rate—expressed as a
percentage of the total number of deaths
over the population size in a give time
period, usually a year.

Morbidity rate—amount of disease or
illness in a population. These are often
based on treatment.
Gender and Health

A clearer and consistent inverse pattern emerges in
comparing gender differences in mortality and
morbidity.

Women have higher morbidity (sickness) rates but
live longer than men

Men have lower morbidity (sickness)/chronic
conditions rates but do not live as long as women


Ex: Table 2.1 (pg. 40): Heart disease (1.4),
cancers (1.5), accidents (1.3), suicide (4.1), and
homicide (3.8).
Men also have higher mortality (death) rates at every
stage of life.
Health and Work
Health and Work

Men and Morbidity:

Males are prone to certain physical and
mental illnesses and injury categories in
which women tend to be exempt.

Men are more likely to suffer from
personality disorders (antisocial behavior or
narcissism) than women

As a buffer against mental and physical
illness for both men and women, it is better
to be married.
Health and Work

Men and Morbidity:

For men, it is much better to be married.
Single men have the highest mortality and
morbidity rates for both physical and
mental disorders.

Never married, divorced, and single men
have higher rates of mental illness when
compared to all marital categories or
women.
Health and Work

Women and Morbidity:

Morbidity appears to gradually merge in females
especially noticeable in preadolescence—reports of
asthma, migraine headaches, and psychological and
eating disorders than boys.

Females of all ages report more daily and transient
illnesses such as colds and headaches and a higher
prevalence of nonfatal chronic conditions such as
arthritis, anemia, and sinusitis.

Employed women are healthier than the nonemployed

Sedentary work has many negative health effects.
Health and Disease
Health and Disease

Menopause and Hormone Replacement Therapy:

Misinformation and cultural stereotypes surround
menopause, when menstruation permanently ceases.

This causes women to have many disorders related to
reproduction

Robert Wilson (1966) referred to menopause as the
“disease of estrogen deficiency”

Deemed treatable by hormone replacement therapy
(HRT).

Discovered that HRT significantly increased the risks of
invasive breast caner, stroke and blood clots. In fact, it
showed that HRT raised (not lowered) coronary heart
disease (CHD)risk in healthy postmenopausal women.
Health and Disease:
Eating Disorders
Health and Disease

Eating Disorders:

There are other serious health effects in the
quest for youth and beauty.

Such beliefs translate to eating disorders,
especially anorexia nervosa—a disease of selfinduce severe weight loss, primarily in young
women along with bulimia—which alternates
binge eating and purging.

The rate of these ”fear of fat” diseases have
steadily increased since the 1950’s, affecting
over 7 million women today.
Health and Disease

Eating Disorders:

Males are not immune to weight obsession with
their concerns focusing on body shape and
muscularity.

The objectification of the male body in the media
form is a key factor in the rapid increase of eating
disorders and abuse of anabolic steroids and
supplements for all age categories of males.

Like women, men's psychological well-being is
associated with body image norms related to
masculinity.
Health and Disease

Eating Disorders:

Chronic dieting and excessive physical exercise
are reinforced by other health messages
publicizing the obesity epidemic in the United
States.

Americans are obsesses with thinness at the same
time as an obesity epidemic has emerged.

Conflict theory perspective: This has resulted in a
form of the medicalization of beauty—a process
that legitimized medical control over parts of a
person's life.
Health and Disease

Eating Disorders:

Combined with cosmetic surgery,
unhealthy body weight norms the social
pressure for thinness is supported by a
billion-dollar advertising and medial
industry.

Ultimately, the industry perpetuates and
sustains culturally accepted belief that
women’s bodies—and increasingly
men’s bodies—are unacceptable as the
are.
Health and Disease:
HIV/AIDS
Health and Disease: HIV/AIDS

HIV/AIDS:

A decade ago, acquired immune
deficiency syndrome (AIDS) focused
on the high mortality rate of men with
the disease.

For all categories of men and women
today, AIDS mortality has significantly
decreased. In the U.S.& developed
world, HIV infection rates have
stabilized or are declining since 1990’s.

AIDS mortality is re-focused to HIV
morbidity. New cases of HIV are
declining.
Health and Disease: HIV/AIDS

HIV/AIDS:

The sharpest declines are for white males.

Over 2/3 of females living with HIV/AIDs
are African American.

Poor men and women lining in the South
account for a significant proportion of new
cases.

Taking all these factors together, poor,
heterosexual, minority women are at greatest
risk for HIV/AIDs in the United States.
Chapter 2: Gender
Development
BIOLOGY, SEXUALITY, AND HEALTH

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