What do psychologists know about gender development?
In this essay I will outline four theories and studies of gender development and make a critical evaluation on each. The biological approach suggests that physiological processes within an individual determine the development of gender. According to G Hill (2009) this occurs as biological maturation takes place. Females and males are chromosomally different, females have two X chromosomes and males have XY chromosomes, which produces different hormones.
Causing the development of androgens and testosterones in males, oestrogen and progesterone in females. There are atypical patterns like Klinefelters syndrome (a male has an extra chromosome becoming XXY) and Turner’s syndrome (a female will have only a single sex chromosome being XO). Psychologists have also considered hermaphroditism where a person is born with both female and male genitalia. This approach proposes that females and males are biologically programmed to do certain activities consistent with the male or female gender role. Women tend to have a more kind, caring, submissive nature, whilst men are considered to be aggressive, competitive and dominant. Money & Erhardt (1972) as cited by (R. Gross, 2010, p. 568) conducted a study. The aim was to view a case of a gender realigned boy to see if gender has biological or social influences.
The case of Bruce Reimer, a boy who was penectomised during a routine operation. Along with his parents, doctors agreed that Bruce would be raised as a female (Brenda.) He was castrated, given oestrogen injections and a vaginal canal was constructed (Gross 2010.) Age twelve he was given hormones to induce breast development and normal female appearance. Results...