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Chapter 5: Gender Issues

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1 Chapter 5: Gender Issues
Bio 27: October 1, 2012 Chapter 5: Gender Issues START DESKTOP FOR D. REIMER VIDEO!

2 atypical prenatal differentiation
talk about sensitivity here gonadal, genital, chromosomal and hormonal, and then to use that framework, to present the idea of a "Standard-issue male" (testes, penis&scrotum, XY, testosterone) and "Standard-issue female" (ovaries, vulva, XX, estradiol), where "Standard-issue" means "what one generally sees in the population." atypical prenatal differentiation

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 syndrome XO: 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 syndrome XXY: 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 David Reimer pt 1 & pt 2

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 fused labia resemble a scrotum

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 Most make gender identity switch to male

8 Atypical Prenatal Differentiation
Caption: Summary of some examples of atypical prenatal sex differentiation.

9 gender roles and gender identity

10 Gender-role expectations
Many people find out sex of baby before it is even born and start grooming child for gender roles Firm gender identity by age 3

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 Margaret Mead: anthropologist who found that in other cultures gender roles not always the same as ours

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

14 transsexualism and transgender

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 Surgery is needed to raise the voice of males

19 Sex change surgery Penis inverted to form vagina,
for females reconstructed using abdominal or pelvic tissue; nerves are retained Most people who undergo procedures report satisfaction

20 Transsexual people in the media
Chaz Bono, Jenna Talackova; hormone therapy at 14

21 gender roles

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 DISCUSS 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? words David Reimer pt. 1 David Reimer pt 2

25 “Gender is a social construct”
How strongly do you agree or disagree with this statement? Explain your answer. 1 2 3 4 5 strongly disagree somewhat disagree neutral somewhat agree strongly agree Write your number and WHY Then: how do you know?

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