hummingbird0807
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i'm not used to getting bad grades in psychology but recently i have been consistently receiving lower grades than normal. I dont know what i can do to improve as i feel there isnt much difference between her A grade examples and my own. Is it my style of writing? IThis is one of my essays and i got a C for it, is that really true??

Biological explanations of gender

The sex of an individual is determined by our genes and chromosomes. We all have 22 identical pairs of chromosomes with one exception. Our sex chromosomes can either be XX if female or XY if male. There are strong correlations between which sex chromosomes we have which sex organs develop. A female with XX means that a vagina will develop externally and the ovaries and womb will form inside. Males with XY chromosomes will develop a penis on the outisde and testes internally. There are variations between these such as people who are born XXY termed ‘klinefelters syndrome.’ The consequences of this genetic make up is that the individual is less muscular and have difficulties expressing their feelings. This shows a direct link between our genes and how important they are in determining not only our physical appearance and feeling but also our gender.
Hormones also play a key role in the determination of our gender. These proteins are made by our body as a result of our genes. The different levels of hormones in our blood influence our body pre and postnatally. Both males and females produce testosterone but in difference amounts which helps explain our differences in our physical appearance and behavior. Geswind and Galabruda researched this claim, that higher levels of testosterone in the body of a pregnant woman result in the masculinization of the brain of a fetus, meaning they have better special awareness where as a lower levels of testosterone i.e in female fetuses their brains become feminized and are more likely to be better at giving sympathy. This occurs naturally as the testes of a male fetus produce high levels of testosterone so their brain becomes masculinized. This could therefore account for reasons why mothers with high levels of testosterone whilst pregnant with a girl can lead to tomboyish behavior in later years.
This is supported by Young et al. (1964) found that female monkeys exposed to male hormones -testosterone- during the critical pre-natal period were more likely to engage in rough and tumble play in their early years. This supports the idea that hormones play a key role in gender development as varying levels of them mean a change in behaviour. {want to say something about how this affects peoples attitudes to a person with masculine behaviour and thus shapes societies view of a persons’ gender dependant on their behaviour}
This study does however lack validity as there are difficulties generalizing the findings in one species to another as there can be considerable differences between organisms eg the processes we go through in the womb which could mean that there are issues when generalizing the results of monkeys to humans as our internal workings are different as gender may not influenced by this process.
An additional study was carried out by Reiner and Gearheart which supports the roles of genes and hormones on gender development. The study followed 14 males with XY chromosomes that were born without a penis. They were all raised as girls however by 16; 8/14 of the group had reassigned themselves as men. Therefore this shows that their genetic makeup – XY was the overriding factor when it came to which sex the individuals felt most comfortable in suggesting again that our genes play a key role in gender development as they ‘felt’ more male that female despite them not having any physiological male genitalia.
It must also be remembered that the study does lack reliability, as it is small sample size, so it could be hard to generalize to the general population or everyone who is born with no penis but is genetically XY. Added to this 6/14 individuals did decide to stay on as females supporting the nurture side of the nature nurture debate. This could have been due to their upbringing. From birth gender roles are unconsciously assigned, eg the colours for babies clothes blue for a boy and pink for a girl – so it would have been n=more familiar to stay a woman than change as they may have felt more comfortable in a female environment. In contrast to this the nature side is supported by the significance of the role of genes in gender development.
Beta bias must also be considered as this study focuses on males and so there are problems when trying to apply the findings to everyone born in the same situation, as it could be different if a female is born with a penis.
Determinism and freewill also have a part to play. The deterministic debate supports the role of genes and hormones as the main deciders when it comes to gender. This suggest sthat you can not change who you are because of your genetic make up. David reamer reinforces this idea as his penis was burnt off as a child but was raised girl – however he reverted back to being a make because genetically he was XY. However the free will debate would states that we get ti chose between which sex we want to be just like the 6/14 of the Reiner and Gearheart study, they were male genetically but chose to be female in spite of this, so this is the most important thing in gender development.

In conclusion although our mind and personal decisions do play a significant role in what sex we chose to be, there seems to be more evidence to suggest that hormones and our individual genes are the major dictators of what sex we are and which gender we want to be.


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