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Bio 27: October 1, 2012 Chapter 5: Gender Issues.

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Presentation on theme: "Bio 27: October 1, 2012 Chapter 5: Gender Issues."— Presentation transcript:

1 Bio 27: October 1, 2012 Chapter 5: Gender Issues


3 Intersexed individuals Intersexed individuals are classified as: –True hermaphrodites: have both ovarian and testicular structures in their bodies; extremely rare! –Pseudohermaphrodites: occurs 1 in every 2,000 births; have gonads that match chromosomal sex but ambigulous internal and external genitalia

4 Atypical Prenatal Differentiation Sex chromosome disorders: –Turner’s syndromeXO: 1 in every 2500–3000 females; develop typical female external genitals, but internal genitalia and gonads are not fully developed. Women with this syndrome do not develop breasts at puberty or menstruate. –Klinefelter’s syndromeXXY: 1 in every 1000 males; develop male external genitalia, but are typically sterile with smaller than normal penises and testes. Usually identify as male but some have gender-identity issues

5 Disorders affecting prenatal hormonal processes Androgen insensitivity syndrome (AIS): Individuals are chromosomally male, but due to a mutation in their androgen receptors develop as females; have “blind” vaginas and undescended, undeveloped testes

6 Disorders affecting prenatal hormonal processes Fetally androgenized females: sometimes a female fetus will produce high levels of androgens as a result of a malfunction of her adrenal glands; these girls are born with masculine-appearing genitalia and may have gender identification issues

7 Disorders affecting prenatal hormonal processes DHT deficiency: some chromosomal males cannot make the potent androgen DHT due to an enzyme deficiency DHT plays a big role in development of external male genitalia, so these individuals are born with female external genitalia At puberty, high levels of testosterone cause the genitalia to become masculinized

8 Atypical Prenatal Differentiation


10 Gender-role expectations

11 Margaret Mead’s studies Famous anthropologist published 1963 book on three societies in New Guinea: – Mundumgor: both sexes exhibited aggressive and non- nurturing behavior – Arapesh: both sexes exhibited gentleness and sensitivity – Tchambuli: masculine & feminine gender roles the opposite of what we expect here

12 John Money’s studies Money studied intersexed children who had been surgically reassigned gender (late 1960s-early 1970s) Found that in most cases children whose chromosomal and assigned sexes did not match developed a gender identity consistent with their assigned sex

13 Gender neutrality at birth? The Bradley case: another infant who lost his penis in a similar accident was also raised as a girl. Was tomboyish as a child and bisexual as an adult, but maintained a female gender identity 25 children born without penises but otherwise typically male were castrated after birth and raised as girls…14 of these eventually assumed male gender identity Gender neutrality at birth is now strongly questioned, and parents of intersexed children or those with damaged genitals are now usually advised to avoid irreversible surgeries until their children are older


15 Transsexualism and Transgenderism Transexualism: gender identity is opposite to biological sex Gender dysphoria: the feeling that you are trapped in the body of the wrong sex Transgendered: people whose appearance and/or behavior does not conform to traditional gender roles –Spectrum of transgendered behaviors: cross-dressing, or just having qualities of the opposite sex Transvestite: a person who cross-dresses to achieve sexual arousal

16 Gender Identity vs. Sexual Orientation Before sex reassignment, most transsexuals are attracted to people who match them anatomically, but not in gender identity However, this is not always the case The transgendered community is more diverse; many transvestite men are heterosexual

17 Options for transsexuals First sex change operations performed by German doctors in the 1920s and 1930s 1960s and 1970s: these operations became widely available in the U.S. Initially many more male- to-female gender reassignment surgeries were performed

18 Sex reassignment procedures Individuals seeking sexual reassignment surgery must first meet with a psychologist for screening interviews They then are instructed to adopt a lifestyle consistent with their gender identity Hormone therapy is then initiated: – In men this will induce some breast growth, soften the skin, reduce facial & body hair – In women this will induce facial & body hair growth, deepening of the voice, shrinkage of breasts and cessation of menstruation

19 Sex change surgery

20 Transsexual people in the media


22 Gender Roles Gender-based stereotypes (North American) –Males Independent and aggressive –Females Dependent and submissive Recent trend away from rigid stereotypes –Women less entrenched than men in rigid gender-role stereotypes Ethnic variation in gender roles

23 Gender Roles Agents of Socialization Parental expectations Peers School teachers and textbooks Television and gender-based stereotypes Religious training

24 Homework assignment #3: due at the beginning of class 10/3/12 What people and other influences have influenced your own gender role development? Think about both positive and negative influences that shaped your gender role. What do you feel are the benefits and consequences of being the gender you are? 400-700 words

25 “ Gender is a social construct ” How strongly do you agree or disagree with this statement? Explain your answer. 12345 strongly disagree somewhat disagree neutralsomewhat agree strongly agree

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