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Gender Identification and Homosexuality Nature vs. Nurture and Evolutionary Psychology.

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Presentation on theme: "Gender Identification and Homosexuality Nature vs. Nurture and Evolutionary Psychology."— Presentation transcript:

1 Gender Identification and Homosexuality Nature vs. Nurture and Evolutionary Psychology

2 Sex Sex is a biological term which refers to the functional differences between males and females and their reproductive potential –sex is determined by genes in chromosomes –male and female are biological terms

3 Gender Gender is a psychological term which refers to our awareness and reaction to biological sex –gender is determined by biological, psychological and sociological factors –masculine and feminine are psychological terms which refer to a person's gender

4 Nature vs. Nurture With very few exceptions, a person's physical/biological sex is either definitely male or definitely female. How they express their identity in terms of culturally received norms of masculinity and femininity (and how others perceive them) is what we call their gender.

5 Gender Terms gender role: adoption of masculine or feminine behavioral traits that are deemed appropriate or characteristic of a particular sex gender identity: a person's private, subjective sense of their own sex sexual orientation / preference: desire for people of same or different sex

6 Gender: Nature vs. Nurture There are two fundamentally different explanations for how gender develops. Many psychologists believe that gender is the result of environmental influences, particularly the way we are treated by our parents, guardians, friends and relatives. According to Dr John Money we are psychosexually neutral at birth, and our gender is a consequence of the nurture we receive as children. A less popular view is that gender is the result of nature, particularly the effects of hormones on the developing brain.

7 Gender Behavior The nature and nurture views of psychosexual development differ in the significance they attach to the importance of hormones in the development of behavioral differences between males and females. Hormones have two fundamentally different effects on sexual behavior:

8 Early and Late Development of Gender Organizational effects refer to the effects of hormones during the early development of an animal. Activational effects refer to the effects of hormones in the adult organism.

9 Think about it. There is evidence that exposure to hormones during a critical period of development changes the way in which the organism reacts to hormones in adulthood. Notice that this does not mean that early exposure to hormones has a permanent effect on behavior. Instead it suggests that exposure to hormones in infancy affects how the adult reacts to hormones. In other words, early exposure to hormones organizes the way behavior is activated by hormones in adulthood

10 Nature vs. Nurture Joan vs. John The story of a boy who was raised as a girl seems to show that gender really is all in the genes. Despite the efforts of psychiatrists, surgeons and parents, he never felt happy as a girl and eventually reverted to being a man, got married and is now living happily. The man's life history is told as a cautionary tale by Milton Diamond, a sexologist at Hawaii University in Archives of Paediatric Adolescent Medicine. He says that it is the first long-term follow-up of a male with the normal allotment of XY chromosomes who was raised as a female.

11 Nature vs. Nurture Joan vs. John Dr Diamond says that the problems for "John" began when he was eight months old, in An accident during circumcision left him without a penis. His parents took him to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, where experts said that the best thing would be to raise him as a girl.

12 Nature vs. Nurture Joan vs. John Dr Diamond says that the problems for "John" began when he was eight months old, in An accident during circumcision left him without a penis. His parents took him to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, where experts said that the best thing would be to raise him as a girl. The result, says Dr Diamond, has often been extolled as the classic demonstration of how the environment can override nature in forming gender identity. In fact, he says, it was nothing of the sort; it was a disaster.

13 Nature vs. Nurture Joan vs. John Despite being raised as a girl, Joan never felt happy. At 12, she was given oestrogen therapy to complete the conversion to a woman. She grew breasts, but was never accepted by other girls, nor felt comfortable as a woman. At 14, she rebelled, confessing to her doctor: "I suspected I was a boy since the second grade." She was eventually given a mastectomy to remove the breasts and was given male hormones. At the age of 25, now John once more, he married a woman who already had children.

14 Nature vs. Nurture Joan vs. John Dr Diamond says that the case history has implications for any child born with ambiguous sexuality. "Keep your knife away," he says. "Let the kids make a decision when they get older." Michael Bailey, a psychologist at Northwestern University, Illinois, told Science Now, a daily science news service run by Science magazine, that the case was heralded by many as the pinnacle of proof that psycho-social factors could override biological factors in determining gender.

15 Nature vs. Nurture Joan vs. John Textbooks continued to claim that Joan made a successful adjustment, in spite of contradictory evidence. Dr Diamond's report, says Dr Bailey, "suggests that, if anything, how you're reared matters little." (Text extract from The Times, March , by Nigel Hawkes. Pictures captured from a BBC TV programme "The boy who was turned into a girl", broadcast in December 2000)

16 Nature vs. Nurture Lynn Conaway This is the story of a woman who made amazing contributions to society, in spite of intense ostracism and stigmatization just for trying to be herself, and how she did it by taking on a secret new identity, and living her life in "stealth mode".

17 Lynns Accomplishments Lynn Conway is a famed pioneer of microelectronics chip design. Her innovations during the 1970's at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) have impacted chip design worldwide. Many high- tech companies and computing methods have foundations in her work. Thousands of chip designers learned their craft from Lynn's textbook Introduction to VLSI Systems, which she co-authored with Prof. Carver Mead of Caltech. Thousands more did their first VLSI design projects using the government's MOSIS prototyping system, which is based directly on Lynn's work at PARC. Much of the modern silicon chip design revolution is based on her work. Lynn went on to win many awards and high honors, including election as a Member of the National Academy of Engineering, the highest professional recognition an engineer can receive.

18 The hidden truth… Lynn was born and raised as a boy. It was a terrible mistake, because Lynn had the brain-sex and gender identity of a girl. However, back in the forties and fifties there wasn't any knowledge about such things, and Lynn was forced to grow up as a boy. She did the best she could at it, but suffered terribly from what was happening to her. She was still a boy and had a boy's name when she worked at IBM.

19 What Lynn want, others fear. Lynn began medical treatments in She became one of the very early transsexual women to undergo hormonal and surgical sex reassignment to have her body completely changed from that of a boy into that of a woman. Sadly, just before Lynn underwent sex reassignment surgery in 1968, she was fired by IBM for being transsexual and lost all connections to her important work there.

20 Lynn creates a culture shock. Lynn's case was a first at IBM. The idea that a professional person would seek a "sex change" totally shocked IBM's management. Most transsexual women seeking help back then were from among those who worked as "female impersonators" or as prostitutes. Only those who were sure they could fully pass as women, who were totally desperate and who had nothing to lose, dared to change gender back then. When top IBM management learned what Lynn was doing, she was fired in a maelstrom of animosity. It is almost certain that the decision was made by T. J. Watson, Jr., himself.

21 She is now only in her pursuit. Lynn had managed to put together some fragile bits of support and help from her family and friends. However, when IBM fired her everyone lost confidence in what she was doing and her support system collapsed. Lynn went abroad for her surgery, all alone. She had lost not only her career and professional reputation, but also her family, relatives, friends and colleagues. She faced a frighteningly uncertain future without a soul in the world to help her other than her doctors.

22 After starting over at the bottom, things look up for Lynn. Amazingly, Lynn became so happy, and so full of life and hope after her transformation, that her career took off like a rocket. Moving up through a series of companies, she landed a computer architecture job at Memorex in In 1973, she was recruited by Xerox's exciting new Palo Alto Research Center, just as it was forming.

23 Consider the cases of Joan and Lynn. Do you believe gender is influenced by the genetics of an individual (nature) or their environment (nurture)? Pick a side. Come up with a list of five or more items that you believe influence your argument.

24 Homosexuality Popular belief & base rate of homosexuality.. 43% of Americans believe that 'young homosexuals became that way because of older homosexuals' In an interview with Science in 1992 Bailey stated: 'No one has ever found a postnatal social environmental influence for homosexual orientation - and they have looked plenty'

25 Changes in the Psychiatric Status of Homosexuality Until the early 1970's the study of homosexuality remained mostly in the domains of psychiatry. Different theories about the origins of homosexuality were advanced. Most of the theories associated homosexuality with psychopathology, caused by faulty upbringing, which included a domineering mother, a detached father or both. Inaccurate as this assumption was, it was not surprising because psychiatrists obtained their data only from people in therapy who had mental or emotional problems. In 1972 & 73 the American Psychiatric Assoc. deleted homosexuality as a disease from their diagnostic handbooks. The term "sexual preference" was introduced in the 1970's to correct the earlier concept that homosexuality was a disease or deviation. After 1982, as more scientists found evidence that homosexuality & heterosexuality may not be a matter of free choice, the term "sexual orientation" emerged & is commonly used today.

26 Homosexuality is put to the Gene Test The largest twin study was published by Bailey and Pillard[ Bailey J, Pillard R. "A Genetic Study of Male Sexual Orientation", Arch Gen Psychiatry, : ] and received considerable media coverage. This study included 56 pairs of identical twins, 54 pairs of fraternal twins, 142 non-twin brothers of twins and 57 pairs of adoptive brothers. They found that the concordance rate of homosexuality for genetically unrelated adoptive brothers was 11% for non-twin biologic brothers about 9% the rate for fraternal twins was 22% and for identical twins it was 52%

27 Point to Ponder… If homosexuality is due to a person's genetic make-up, how could the gene survive? Surely it would have disappeared due to homosexuals fathering less children? "...natural selection should favor heterosexuality as it facilitates reproduction and the propagation of genes..... what has maintained homosexuality in a small but consistent percentage of the human population?" (Muscarella et al. 2001)

28 Evolutionary Psychology- Homosexuality The first and most widely recognized evolutionary theory of homosexuality is that of E. O. Wilson and is based on the concept of kin selection (i.e., a sociobiological explanation for the evolution of altruistic behaviors). This theory holds that during the course of human evolution homosexual individuals may have helped family members, through direct or indirect provision of resources, to reproduce more successfully than they would have otherwise. Thus, genes for homosexual behavior would have been propagated indirectly through relatives." (p 394)

29 The Nature and Nurture of Gender Percentage agreeing The activities of married women are best confined to home and family Men Women Year Percentage

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