1 / 49

Gender Issues

Gender Issues. Varying perspectives on what it means to be a male or female. Big Confusing Questions. What does it mean to be a male or female in our society? Are the behavioral preferences of males and females based on biology or culture?

Télécharger la présentation

Gender Issues

An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author. Content is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use only. Download presentation by click this link. While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server. During download, if you can't get a presentation, the file might be deleted by the publisher.


Presentation Transcript

  1. Gender Issues Varying perspectives on what it means to be a male or female

  2. Big Confusing Questions • What does it mean to be a male or female in our society? • Are the behavioral preferences of males and females based on biology or culture? • Do our society’s attitudes and expectations hurt or help our sexual relations?

  3. Definitions • SEX – biological maleness or femaleness genetic – determined by chromosomes anatomical – obvious physical differences between males and females

  4. Gender – psychological aspects of maleness or femaleness • Gender Identity – the subjective sense of being either male or female • What sex you think you are, or really should be.

  5. Gender Role – attitudes and behaviors considered appropriate in a specific culture for people of a particular sex • Expectations we should fulfill • Masculine or Feminine • Vary widely from culture to culture but rapidly evolving

  6. Forming a Gender Identity • Does it simply flow from anatomy? For some of us, it’s not always that easy • For all of us, it all starts in our mother’s womb, at the instant of conception, as prenatally we begin the tortuous path of sexual differentiation.

  7. Chromosomal Influences • We receive 23 chromosomes from each parent. • Of these, 22 pairs are identical in structure. • The 23rd pair, the sex chromosomes, determines whether we are genetically male or female.

  8. More Chromosomes • If we receive an X from both parents, we will be female (XX). • A y from our father, and we are male (Xy). • One gene on the y (SRY) leads to testes development. • Perhaps one gene on X (DSS) leads to the development of female characteristics. If so, we are not inherently female.

  9. The Gonadal Stage • Males and females have identical gonads (reproductive organs) until about 6 weeks after conception when SRY or DSS spur their development • Once the testes or ovaries become functional their release of hormones controls further differentiation

  10. The Crucial Role of Hormones • The gonads release the sex hormones into the blood stream • Ovaries produce: 1) estrogen a hormone which develops female sexual characteristics and regulates menstruation, as do 2) progestational compounds

  11. Testes release androgens which promote the development of male genitals and secondary sexual characteristics • Another hormone released by the testes, testosterone, also promotes sexual motivation • Both males and females produce the sex hormones typically associated with the other (testosterone and estrogen) but in much smaller quantities

  12. Internal reproductive structures - males • At about 8 weeks after conception: Males – androgens stimulate the woffian ducts to develop into the “plumbing” which will allow semen creation and transmission another hormone causes the mullerian duct system to vanish

  13. Female reproductive organs • Without the influence of androgen, mullerian ducts develop into female structures and the woffian duct system fades into nothingness

  14. External reproductive structures • A product of testosterone – DHT – causes portions of the undifferentiated sex organs to fuse and form the scrotum and penis • Without DHT this fusion does not take place and the clitoris, labia minora, and labia majora form • By the 12th week, it’s all done and our sex is apparent

  15. Brain Differentiation • For males, in the Hypothalamus, testosterone exposure leads to insensitivity to the effects of estrogen, preventing the establishment of the menstrual cycle at puberty • Also, some of its regions are much larger in heterosexual males than females

  16. The Cerebral Cortex • Are differences between the sexes on verbal and spatial cognitive skills caused by differences in their cerebral cortexes? • Men appear to often rely on just one hemisphere. • Women have a thicker corpus callosum facilitating the use of both hemispheres

  17. But there’s more • Are there other reasons why men perform better on spatial tasks while women shine in verbal measures?

  18. The power of Expectations • Recent research highlights the importance of psychosocial, not biological, influences. • Social Expectations – girls do just as well as boys initially in science and math, but falter in high school. Where they discouraged ? • Changing Expectations – by the late 90’s, the gap had largely vanished.

  19. Atypical Differentiation • How, and why, do things go awry? • Hermaphrodites/Intersexed – people who possess biological attributes of both sexes • Very few have both ovaries and testes, most have ambiguous anatomy but their gonads match their chromosomes and they are called pseudo hermaphrodites

  20. Problems at the Chromosomal Level • Turner’s Syndrome • Just one sex chromosome – X • Left with 45 rather than 46 • Normal external female genitals but little or no evidence of ovaries/hormones • Despite that, feminine in interests and behavior • 1 of 2000 births

  21. Faulty Chromosomes cont. • Klinefelter’s Syndrome • XXy occurs in 1 of 500 births • Anatomically male • Presence of extra X stops development of male structures, resulting in sterility • No interest in sex, no testosterone • Tall, “rounded”, feminine, but content as males

  22. Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome • An otherwise normal male, unaffected by prenatal exposure to androgen • Results in female genitals, including a shallow, but nonfunctional vagina • Raised as girls, they assume a female gender identity and thrive as females

  23. Fetally Androgenized Females • Chromosomally normal females exposed to excessive androgens • At birth genitals appear to be male • “Corrected” by minor surgery, most still reject a female gender identity with some assuming a male gender identity and behavior

  24. DHT-Lacking Males • Males who cannot produce crucial DHT • Result – femaleappearing external genitals, at least initially • Typically raised as girls, they suddenly sprout into males at puberty • In one study, 16 of 18 cast off their female gender identity and happily assumed male sex roles

  25. The Puzzle of Gender Identity • Why do we think we belong to one sex, even though our anatomy tells us differently? • Evidence, both cross-cultural, and otherwise, points to the importance of social-learning forces.

  26. Social-Learning Influences • Familial expectations (blue room vs. pink room) start before birth • Familial perceptions/interpretations vary • Familial responses vary similarly • By 3, most of us have a firm gender identity, and reinforcement momentum builds as kids mimic same-sex parent

  27. Cross-Cultural Evidence • Margaret Mead’s ground-breaking studies • In Mundugumor, both sexes are aggressive, insensitive – Masculine ? • In Arapesh, both sexes are nurturing and gentle – Feminine? • In Tchambuli, we find a reversal of our customary sex roles • Therefore, it’s more culture than biology

  28. Are We Sexually Neutral at Birth? • In the 1960’s, Dr. John Money at John Hopkins thought so • Intersexed infants were surgically “fixed” to have female genitals, regardless of their chromosomal sex • It’s easier to make a functional vagina than a penis • Initially, this approach seemed to work

  29. Chromosomes Win Out • As these individuals matured, some of the children assigned a sex at odds with their chromosomes rejected their expected gender identity • “The Boy Who Was Raised as a Girl” • Since the social learning model obviously has its limits, now even John Money endorses an interactional model

  30. Transsexualism & Transgenderism • Transsexual (TS) – someone whose gender identity is opposite to their biological sex • TSs feel that their biological sex is mistaken. Many seek sex-reassignment, many do not.

  31. Transgendered (TG) – people whose appearance and/or behaviors do not match traditional gender roles. • TGs behave in a way that flouts society’s expectations. Often, they cross-dress. • TGs do not seek sexual reassignment – surgery.

  32. Gender Dysphoria • Some, but not all, of TSs and TGs experience gender dysphoria – unhappiness with their biological sex or expected sex role.

  33. Gender Identity/Orientation • Sexual Orientation – the sex we are emotionally and physically attracted to • Gender Identity – the sex we believe we belong to, even despite biology • Most TSs are attracted/oriented to those who share (pre-surgery) their anatomy • But some male to female TSs prefer females

  34. Gender-Identity Disorder • According to DSM IV TR, to fit the Gender-Identity Disorder “tag”, individuals must: 1) have pervasive cross-gender beliefs, 2) dysphoria 3) lack a physical intersex condition, & 4) show great distress and problems functioning in society and at work

  35. Transsexuals: Why? • Most have no problems with chromosomes or anatomy • 90% lack any hint of mental illness • While at first 75% were male, this gap has narrowed • Most develop their desire to change sexes in childhood • Dating!

  36. Fine, But Why? • We still don’t know, two theories exist. • Hormonal – prenatal exposure to inappropriate levels alters brain differentiation – But most are normal. • Social Learning – children are conditioned to behave in a manner consistent with the other sex and reinforced for mimicking other sex parent.

  37. OK(?) What Do We Do? • Perhaps psychotherapy can alleviate the need for reassignment surgery. But often it can’t, leaving no choice but: • SEX-REASSIGNMENT SURGERY

  38. PROTOCOL • 1) Interviews • 2) Living the life – for a year or longer • 3) Hormone therapy – reverse secondary sexual characteristics, and, finally,

  39. The Surgery • Works better for male to female switch • Penis tissue becomes the vagina • Some can even experience arousal and orgasm • Additional surgery can change the pitch of their voice

  40. Female to Male • Breasts, uterus, ovaries removed • Vagina sealed, penis constructed – but no erection from sexual arousal • Does it work? • Most report a significant increase in their overall adjustment to life

  41. Cultural Gender Roles • Men – assertive, logical, competitive, competent • Women – submissive, warm, nurturing, emotional • Most psychologists argue that our gender roles arise from socialization – our learning histories, through which we accept our society’s expectations for our behavior

  42. The Socialization of Sex Roles • Who and what shapes our assumed sex roles? • Parents – often have differing expectations for, and treatment of, boys and girls Encourage or discourage certain toys “gender appropriate” play • But today sports are pushed for both

  43. Other Socializing Forces • Peers • Voluntarily segregation, even in pre-school • Reinforces sex-typing in play • Influence even increases in adolescence • Otherwise face social ridicule • Often produces stereotyping

  44. Schools & Textbooks • From the 70’s to the early 90’s, girls and boys were treated quite differently • Boys were encouraged to be assertive, received more tolerance when “bad”, more attention, help and praise • Girls praised for “neatness” not substance, encouraged to be dependent and to avoid math and sciences • Recently, these attitudes have shifted

  45. Television • Also perpetuates gender stereotypes • Women are both underrepresented and presented stereotypically • Hope springs from The Wild Thornberrys, Alias, and Judging Amy • Marketing concerns should push this positive trend since women both watch and buy more

  46. Religion • Promotes males as superior – God, Pope, Bishop, Priest, etc. • Women portrayed as Eve, Virgin Mary • Encouraged to model roles such as educators, nurses, charity workers • Recently, many denominations have ordained women ministers and moved to eliminate masculine metaphors for God

  47. Gender-Role Assumptions • Women as undersexed, mean as over women have been told that they should not desire or enjoy sex men should pursue every chance unfairly limits both

  48. More Assumptions • Men initiate, women respond Men approach, “ask out”, “pick up”, “make the move” Women respond with submission or rejection • Causes men to feel pressure and anxiety • Women may wish to initiate but feel pressure

  49. Finally • Men as unemotional • Women as nurturing • Do these assumptions still prevail?

More Related