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PSYC 474, Week 5 notes

by: Clarissa Hinshaw

PSYC 474, Week 5 notes Psyc 474

Clarissa Hinshaw
GPA 3.5

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Notes for chapter 6: gender
Psychological Basis of Sexuality
Ellen Lee
Class Notes
Psychology, Psychology of Sexuality
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This 7 page Class Notes was uploaded by Clarissa Hinshaw on Tuesday February 23, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Psyc 474 at Northern Illinois University taught by Ellen Lee in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 62 views. For similar materials see Psychological Basis of Sexuality in Psychlogy at Northern Illinois University.


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Date Created: 02/23/16
Chapter 6 Gender  Biological sex: our sex, based on whether we possess xx, xy, or another combination of  chromosomes.  Assigned sex: the sex we are legally assigned at birth solely based on the appearance of  our external genitalia.   Gender: our social and psychological construct of whether we are female, male, or  another gender.   The father determines the biological sex of his offspring. Each child receives one x  chromosome from their mother and usually one x or one y chromosome from their father. Children possessing 2 x chromosomes usually develop female genitalia, and those  possessing the xy combination usually develop male genitalia.   Gonads are undifferentiated for the first 5 to 6 weeks of gestation, then usually developed by chromosomal and hormonal guides after.   Some people believe sex chromosomes play a role in gender stereotypical behavior.   Testosterone and estrogen also play a role in how genitals develop. Without either of  these hormones, babies would have female looking genitalia, but be infertile.   Cryptorchidism: when testes don’t descend during gestation. Some will descend during  infancy or puberty. The others are usually surgically or hormonally treated because  undescended testicles can cause the child to become infertile or have a higher chance of  testicular cancer.   Some chromosomal abnormalities o Klinefelter Syndrome: xxy combination. Usually assigned as male, but fail to  develop secondary sex characteristic and show female secondary sex  characteristics. These people are usually infertile.  o Turner syndrome: xo combination. Usually assigned as female, don’t go through female puberty without hormone treatment and usually have other health  problems. Can sometimes conceive children through invitro fertilization.  o These are only some the chromosomal abnormalities. These happen in about 10­ 15% of the population, and many you will never know about. Unless you have  had your chromosomes tested, you will never know for sure if your biological sex is female, male, or another combination, even if your genitalia are normally  developed and you are fertile.   Gender identity: a person’s sense of being female, male, or another gender. Their gender identity does not always match the sex they were assigned at birth.   There has been great debate over what has influenced gender identity: nature, nurture, or  a combination of both.   Intersex: a combination of female and male genitalia. These happen in a least 5% of the  population. The real number will never be known because, because many are surgically  reassigned at birth without even telling the parents.  o Hermaphrodites: people who have testes and ovaries.  o Congenital adrenal hyperplasia: people with female chromosomes and internal  organs, but male external genitalia  o Androgen insensitivity syndrome: genetic males who’s masculine genitals are  deformed and female­looking because  they lack testosterone.  o Dominican Republic Syndrome: genetic males with a large clitoris,  undescended testicles, and partially formed female external genitalia. More  testosterone is developed at puberty, causing these people’s testes to descend and  clitorises to grow into penises, often out of surprise. Most of these people identity  as male in adulthood, despite being raised as girls.   Transgender: a person whose gender identity does not match their sex assigned at birth o Transsexual: a medical term often used for transpeople who have medically  transitioned in some way through sex reassignment surgery, other sex change  surgeries, or hormone treatment. Physical transition is not necessary to be  transgender and this term is starting to die out in the trans community. o Transwoman: a person assigned male at birth who identifies as female, usually  goes by female pronouns (she, her, hers).  o Transman: a person assigned female at birth who identifies as male, usually uses  male pronouns (he, him, his).  o Genderqueer: a person who identifies outside of the male/female binary. These  people may possess masculine and feminine personality traits, dress in a  combination of ways, or dress one way and act another. Genderqueer people  usually use neutral pronouns (ex: they, them, their) o Genderfluid: people who may identify as female some days, male others, or  neither other days.  o These are only some of the gender identities under the transgender umbrella.  There are debated to be many more.   Transpeople who have had reassignment surgery can still have sex and often obtain  orgasm.   Reassignment surgery does not implant internal organs.   Transpeople often feel different from a young age and engage in play not typical for  children of their assigned sex.   Other sex change surgeries include top surgery (breast implants or tissue removal), voice  box surgery (to raise pitch of voice), shaving of the Adam’s apple, and facial  feminization surgery.   Usually required to live as the other sex before reassignment surgery.  Gender roles and stereotypes o Stereotype: a widespread belief about a group of people. Example: women are  emotional, men are tough.  o Gender roles: social and occupational expectations for people of each gender.  Example: in the 1950s, men were expected to be breadwinners and women were  homemakers.  o Sexism: negative ideas about a person because they belong to a specific gender  group. Example: women not being able to handle men’s occupations because they are ‘too emotional to think logically’.   Sexism can also occur for people who don’t follow gender stereotypes.  Examples: women who are assertive can be seen as bitchy, and men who  are sensitive can be seen as sissies.   There are divides in certain occupations as either men’s work or women’s  work.  Sexism is psychologically damaging to people of all genders, not just  women.   Gender Roles and sexual behavior o Kids learn from an early age how men initiate and women are submissive in  relationships.  Gender difference theories o Women are thought to have better speech ability in the US, but these statics are  different in other countries.  o Men are perceived as having visio­spacial and math abilities o Parents tend to prefer boys over girls o Women often have to perform significantly better at tasks to be seen as equal to  men. o Boys tend to participate and cause more trouble in classes than girls.  o Men tend to be more interested in sex and women tend to value romance more.  o Men are seen as more aggressive than women o Women are more likely to seek health care.  o Many of these differences change in different societies, depending on how the  people are socialized.   Gender typing perspectives o Biological perspective: the differences between the genders are natural and  cannot be changed.  o Evolutionary: the genders are different because of practical reasons. They  adapted behaviors to survive and passed those traits down through DNA. o Psychological: we are aware of gender stereotypes from a young age and prefer  those behaviors accordingly.  o Psychoanalytic: Freud’s view saying kids identify with the same sex parent and  show sexual attraction toward the other one. o Social cognitive: gender typing is taught by socialization. Parents teach children  stereotypical behaviors from a young age and this creates gender typing.  Example: girls are encouraged to play with dolls and boys are encouraged to play  with trucks.  o Cognitive­Developmental: relied on 3 concepts  Gender identity: a person’s sense of their gender and what gender they  feel in their soul.   Gender stability: the concept of retaining one’s gender  Gender constancy: belief of gender not changing, no matter how one  dresses. This refers more to sex, as gender can be fluid in some  transpeople.  o Gender schema: how a person views physical qualities, behaviors, and personality traits  going along with sex and gender identity.   Regardless of gender identity, people can have a psychologically androgenous  gender expression, possessing masculine and feminine personality traits.   This theory has been criticized by feminist theory. 


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