Biological differences between males and females

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Biological differences between males and females by Mind Map: Biological differences between males and females

1. Development of a foetus

1.1. 6 Weeks

1.1.1. Before: no difference between males and females in womb

1.1.2. After: primordial gonads have formed

2. Brain

2.1. Women use both hemispheres for spatial tasks whereas males only use the left

2.2. The sexually dimorphic nucleus is 2.5 times larger in men with 2.2 times the number of cells

2.3. Brain differences between men and women are caused by pre-natal hormonal masculination of the male brain

3. Hormones

3.1. 2D:4DR

3.1.1. High exposure to pre-natal androgens and low exposure to pre-natal oestrogens or a combination of both may be linked to sexual dimorphism (body differences).

3.1.2. Women have higher 2D:4DR than men, with their index finger being longer than there ring finger whereas men typically have the reverse.

3.2. Animal Research

3.2.1. Using animals, experiments can systematically manipulate the IV and observe the effects

3.2.1.1. Obvious ethical issues

3.2.2. Young (1966) - rats are a species where males (dominant) and females (submissive) show very different sexual behaviours - giving male hormones to female rats and vice versa - this led to the rats adopting the opposite sex behaviour

3.2.2.1. Generalisable?

3.3. Whilst we can see a relationship between hormone levels and gender related behaviours, we cannot conclude that hormone levels cause masculinity or femininity

3.4. Case studies

3.4.1. Money and Erhardt (1972) - girls who were exposed to high levels of male hormones in the uterus due to an anti-miscarriage drug - compared to their non-exposed sisters, the girls preferred to play more masculine games, had higher career aspirations and IQ scores.

3.4.1.1. Holloway et al (2002) - the same girls were studied - only difference is that the exposed girls were more physically attractive

3.4.1.2. Use of leading questions

3.5. Basics

3.5.1. Over or under exposure to hormones during the critical period may lead to later gender-related behaviour

3.5.1.1. Boys who are exposed to too little testosterone may become less masculine

3.5.2. 4 to 8 weeks after conception the gonads release hormones

3.5.3. Males will release testosterone

3.5.4. In the female embryo, hormone release is very slight

4. Genes

4.1. Boys have XY chromosomes whereas girls have XX

5. Key Terms

5.1. Sex: the biological fact of bing male or female

5.2. Gender: the ideas of being masculine and feminine

5.3. Androgyny: the co-existence of masculine and feminine qualities

5.4. Gender Identity: the gender which the individual identifies themselves as

6. Evaluation

6.1. A purely biological view is highly deterministic - this means the approach lacks validity since we understand that gender is a complicated characteristic that is affected by many non-biological factors

6.2. Some evidence that behavioural differences may be caused by biology