Loading presentation...

Present Remotely

Send the link below via email or IM


Present to your audience

Start remote presentation

  • Invited audience members will follow you as you navigate and present
  • People invited to a presentation do not need a Prezi account
  • This link expires 10 minutes after you close the presentation
  • A maximum of 30 users can follow your presentation
  • Learn more about this feature in our knowledge base article

Do you really want to delete this prezi?

Neither you, nor the coeditors you shared it with will be able to recover it again.


Make your likes visible on Facebook?

Connect your Facebook account to Prezi and let your likes appear on your timeline.
You can change this under Settings & Account at any time.

No, thanks


No description

Dave Hudson

on 9 May 2013

Comments (0)

Please log in to add your comment.

Report abuse

Transcript of Gender

The concepts of masculine and feminine.
These are socially constructed ideas about the behaviours and qualitites which are appropriate for men and women, such as being interdependent or emotional. The statment 'boys don't cry' demonstrates a commonly held idea about masculinity Biological Influences Social contexts of gender role Psychological Explanations
of gender development Gender The terms 'sex' and gender have different meanings, the word 'sex' refers to the biological fact of being male or female, whereas gender refers to the idea of being masculine or feminine. Decisions about masculinity or femininity are subjective, one person may see something as masculine behaviour, but another may disagree. Initially psychologists made the assumption that masculinity and femininity were opposite ends of a single dimension. This idea was then challenged by Sandra Bem (1974),
who developed the idea of androgyny. the co-existence of masculine and feminine qualities within the same person. Bem (1974)

50 male and 50 female students rated a list of 200 personality trait words in terms how desirable they were for men and women.
Bem selected 20 feminine and 20 masculine and 20 neutral words that became Bem's Sex Role Inventory (BSRI)
Students were then asked to rate themselves on each of the trait words on a scale from 1-7.
This produced a score out of 20 for each of the sub-scales (masculine, feminine and neutral) and enabled Bem to divide people into one of 4 gender types.

Sex-typed individuals (feminine or masculine).
Androgynous (scored high on both masculinity and femininity).
Undifferentiated (scored low on both masculinity and femininity).

Bem's research confirmed her idea that people combine aspects of masculinity and femininity within their personalities.
In later research Bem argued that sex-typed individuals tended to be restricted in their gender role behaviours and had poorer psychological health, whereas androgynous individuals had better psychological adjustment.

Methodological issues
Using students as raters (egalitarian views)

Ethical issues
The use of a scale requires the informed consent of participants who may also require debriefing. Gender Identity Masculine? Feminine? The classification that an individual gives themself as male or female. Male and feels like a boy or femaile and feels like a girl. Gender dysphoria: being uncomfortable with your assigned gender and having a strong desire to become a member of the other sex. The relationship between sex and gender...

Explanations for the development of gendered behaviour differ in terms of the relationship they see between biological and aspects of sex and gendered behaviour. Biological differences between males and females Biological Approach Behavioural Perspective Evolutionary perspective Bio social theory Straightforward relationship between the two.
Biological sex produces gendered behaviour, no real distinction between the terms 'sex' and 'gender'. Differences in gendered behaviour between men and women have been selected because they performed survival or reproductive advantages in the evolutionary past.
Differences are coded in genes. Gendered behaviour is learned from environment through mechanisms including observation, modelling and rewards/punishments Bioloigical sexprovides a 'signpost' leading to differential treatment of men and women.
Gender is much more flexible and does not arise directly from biology but from the meanings attached to biological differences within a particular culture. How do sex differences develop? From genes... The sex of a baby is determined at conception.
An embryo has 23 pairs of chromosomes, each made up of one from the ovum and one from the sperm.
The 23rd pair determins the sex.
XX=female, XY=male ...to hormones... Between 4-8 weeks after conception, the gene on the 23rd chromosome instructs the gonads to release hormones.
In the male embryo, the testes are instructed to release testosterone which acts on an area of the brain known as the hypothalamus. Without testosterone, the brain would develop in the female form. Clear differences can be seen in the brains of adult men and women notably in the function and anatomy of the hypothalamus.
Another sex difference is in the degree of lateralisation in male and female brains. ...to brain differences. From biological differences to gendered behaviour. Male and female brains are exposed to both androgens and oestrogens and it is the relative balance of hormones overall that is important. male sex hormones, the most important one being testosterone. female hormones Under or over exposure to hormones during the critical period of development may influence later gender related behaviour. The effects of hormones on gender related behaviour patterns Animal research Case Studies Correlational studies Young (1966),
Studied rats, a species in which the males and females have very different sexual behaviours.

Young gave doses of male hormones to female rats and vice-versa during a critical periodof their early development.
He found that this reversed their sexual behaviour.
The exposure to testosterone was thought to have enlarged the sexually dimorphic nucleus Money & Erhardt (1972),

Studied a group of girls who had been exposed 'in utero' to high levels of male hormones through the administration of the anti-miscarriage drug.
These girls were compared with their non-exposed sisters and mothers were asked to comment on the toys that they played with and the clothes they liked to wear.

Mothers reported differences between the 2 groups with exposed individuals playing more boyish games, having higher IQ's and career aspirations.

However, Holloway et al. (2002) noted that many of the questions asked were leading questions. In a follow up study in 1974 only one difference was found, the exposed girls were more physically active. Correlating hormone levels and gender behaviours in normal populations. Deady et al. (2006) - looked at the relationship between gender roleorientation and testosterone levels in 'child-free' young women, specifically looking at their views as to whether or not they intended to have children.
They asked participants to complete Bem's SRI as well as answering a range of questions relating to how broody they felt and their ideal age for having a first child.
They found that women with high salivary levels of testosterone tended to have lowere scores relating to the desire to have children. Others have turned to 2D:4DR as a source of evidence.

It has been suggested that high exposure to pre-natal androgens and low exposure to pre-natal oestrogens or a combination of both may be linked to sexual dimorphism.
Typically women tend to have a higher 2D:4DR than men. Studies into 2D:4DR and gender differences have yielded mixed results.

Troche et al. (2007) - correlated 2D:4DR with scores on Bem's SRI in 4 different european countries which have different views of gender roles.
Using a total of 176 females and 171 males they found no evidence of a relationship, implying that gender role behaviour may not be related to exposure to male or female hormones in utero. Rommsayer & Troche (2007) carried out a study using 423 males and 312 females.

Found significant results in males only. Evolutionary explanations of gender roles Evolutionary psychologists take the view that gendered behaviours have their roots in the past and took shape via the mechanisms of natural and sexual selection.

Gender differences are neither deliberate nor conscious.
They exist today because they enhanced or helped men and women perform particular roles in the past.

The evolutionary and biological perspectives therefore agree that biological sex produces gendered behaviour.

Trivers' parental investment theory argues that the origin of behavioural differences between men and women lies in different ways of achieving reproductive success. 'Reproductive success' : refers to the process of successfully passing on your genes to the next generation. This is measured by the number of surviving offspring left behind by an individual. Triver's (1972) argued that behavioural differences in men and women evoloved due to different reproductive strategies which led to reproductive success in the past. Triver's noted that for males, each offspring involves relatively little parental investment.

A male's best chance of reproductive success would be to produce as many offspring as possible through mating with as many willing, fertile females as he can find! Reproduction for the human female involves considerable investment.

Following conception, she will carry the baby for 9 months supplying the nutrients it needs. Then she has to give birth, care for the baby, which in the past meant breastfeeding until it was at least 2 years old.

Therefore the best strategy for reproductive success for the female is to ensure the survival of her few precious offspring. Survival is more likely if there are 2 parents aroud to provide protection and food, and so it is important for a female to carefully select a male with 'good genes' who will raise offspring. Parental investment and behavioural differences Clark & Hatfield (1989 &1990)

Uncommited sex or promiscuity is seen as an optimal strategy for males.
Choosiness would be more beneficial for females as a carefully selected mate would be important in ensuring the survival of their few precious offspring.

This may explain the differences seen in men and women in their readiness to engage in casual sexual encounters. Parental investment theory may also help to explain the tendency to form relationships or pair bonds. Wilson (1978) - argued the benefits of relationships... for males...
able to guard their mate and ensure sexual fidelity... 'mummy's babies... daddy's maybe's?

for females...
guarantee provision of resources and the protection of themselves and their offspring. Summary Evolutionary explanations help us to understand why physical differences such as body dimorphism exist between men and women.
They also help us to see that differences in behaviours between men and women could be linked to our hunter gatherer past.

Some research has argued that the socio-biological claim that a 'love em' and leave 'em' attitude in fact leads to less reproductive success. Sternglanz & Nash (1988).

Others have argued that cultural views can account for behavioral gender differences, e.g. in western culture the idea that 'nice girls don't'. Clark & Hatfield.

Thornhill & Palmer (2000) took the evolutionary perspective further and used it to explain sexual violence.

So... both the Biological and Evolutionary perspective view behavioural gender differnces as having their roots in genes which have been selected for their survival value.

This view has been criticised for being deterministic as it implies that men and women have little choice or control over their behaviours.

Cronin & Curry (2000), went further with this idea saying that equal opportunity policies in the workplace are doomed to fail as men are 'naturally' more competitive, risk taking and more likely to progress up the career ladder. Social influences on gender roles Cross-cultural studies of gender roles The biosocial approach to gender development The behavioural perspective Gendered behaviours are learned through the mechanisms of operant conditioning and social learning. If this were true then we could expect there to be differences in gender role behaviour across cultures. PARENTS The role of reinforcement by parents and peers Parents may teach their children about gender -related behaviour through operant conditioning - the distribution of rewards and punishments.
Of course, parents may choose to reward their children differently depending on their own beliefs about gender.

Lytton & Romney (1991) carried out a meta-analyiss of studies that had looked at the parental treatment of boys and girls. Lytton & Romney (1991)

They were concerned that previous research studies had focused on mothers and overlooked the role of fathers, and only considered young children under the age of around 6.
Also wished to assess if the more egalitarian climate of the 1990's would produce less parenetal reinforcement than in 1974.

Little evidence for differentual treatment in terms if the amount of interaction, communication and warmth between sons and daughters.
Only difference in the North American studies was in the encouragement of sex-typed activities in play and household chores.
In other Western countries other than the USA, there were similar differences as above but also in physical punishment.
Fathers tended to treat their sons and daughters more differently than mothers.
Differential treatment decreased over age .

So, this supported the claim that boys and girls received different reinforcement for activities considered to be sex-appropriate.

Methodological issues
-Despite being a substantial meta-analysis with a very large sample size most of the studies have been carried out in westernised countries.

Ethical issues
-no actual data collected in this study so no direct ethical issues, but in the original studies parental consent would be important. Peers also play an important role in reinforcement and regulate what they perceive to be 'cross-sex' play.
Langlois & Downs (1980) - noted that when boys played with girls' toys, they were more likely to be ridiculed and teased by their male peers.
Archer &Lloyd (1982) - found that children as youg as 3 criticised peers who engaged in cross-sex play and were less likely to play with them.
Harris (1998) and Durkin (1995) both argued that peers are such systematic reinforcers of sex typed play that they play a more important role than parents in gender role reinforcement. The role of observational learning Social cognitive Learning Theory (SCLT) proposed by Bandura & Walters (1963).
children learn gendered behaviours in similar ways to other behaviours such as aggression.
acknowledged the importance of reinforcements in learning behaviours but also argued that learning takes place through observation of role models and imitation of their behaviours.
For a child to imitate the behaviour of a role model they must pay attention to the behaviour and store a representation of it in their memory.
For a child to repeat the behaviour they should be capable and motivated to reproduce the behaviour. According to SCLT, behaviours are most likely to be copied if they are seen to bring rewards to the role model. Learning through vicarious experience.

Children are highly selective of their role models, choosing dominant and powerful individuals as models. (Bussey & Bandura, 1984) Parents as models Parents may serve as role models and show children gender role behaviours expected of them.
Fagot et al. (1992) measured the effects of parenting style by comparing 27 egalitarian families where the father and mother shared the parenting relatively equally, with 42 traditional families where child rearing was carried out by mum while dad was at work. They interviewed the parents when their children were aged 18 months.
Then they observed them playing with the toddler ar the age of 24 and 48 months.

When aged 4, the children were given a number of gender labelling tasks to examine their own gender schemas.
Children in the traditional families tended to use more gender labels earlier and showed more gender role stereotyping at this age than those in egalitarian families thus supporting the idea that parents are important role models. Television and Magazines Durkin (1995) - has argued that 'TV provides a plentiful source of sex role models'.
And a number of studies have found a correlation between the amount of TV a child watches and the strength of the sex-role stereptype the child has developed. (e.g Morgan, 1982)

However, Duck (1990) - argued that children still actively select their role models, carefully choosing those who are powerful and attractive. Magazines also give differnt gender messages to boys and girls.
Peirce (1993) - carried out a content analysis of magazines aimed at young teenage girls between 1987 and 1991. In over half the stories, girls were portrayed as unable to sort out their own problems and dependent on others to sort out issues in their lives.
Hust (2006) - examined boys' use of media in constructing ideas about masculinity. Hust argues that media provides a very limited set of ideas about masculinity for boys, which provides the with an unhealthy range of role models and options regarding masculinity. The impact of schools Cildren in the Uk start school at around 4 years of age and continue until at least 16. In recent years we have seen something of a moral panic as girls have started to outperform boys at all stages of the National Curriculum.

Holloway et al. (2002) - argue that children learn and maintain gender identities within the classroom.
Connell (1995) - suggests that schools ' enforce gender regimes'.

How may schools reinforce gendered behaviours?
Primary school teachers tend to be female?
At secondary level male teachers tend to teach maths and sciences?
Are subjects gender neutral?
Reinforcement may perpetuate gender stereotypes. Renzetti & Curran (1989) Cultures could be divided simply into Traditional and Egalitarian in terms of gender roles.
However, a more complicated system was proposed by Hofstede (1989) which included 6 different dimensions. Here we shall look at 2...
individualistic/collectivist Geert Hofstede proposed a systematic framework for assessing and differentiating national cultures best-known as the cultural dimensions theory. He gathered and analyzed extensive data on the world's values and cultures, particularly through the IBM survey study, in order to build a comprehensive model which argues that people differ across on the extent to which they endorse six dimensions of values –
power (equality versus inequality)
collectivism (versus individualism)
uncertainty avoidance (versus tolerance)
masculinity (versus feminity)
temperal orientation
indulgence (versus restraint). Gender roles in other cultures Anthropologists such as Margaret Mead in the early 1930's identified a range of cultural differences in the way that gender was enacted. She studied 3 different tribes in New Guinea.
Arapesh tribe - men and women displaying similar behaviours which fitted into the Western stereotype of femininity.
Mundugumor tribe - men and women both behaved in a fairly macho way.
Tchambuli tribe - men and women displaying opposite behaviours to the stereotyped western view. (Females were being possessive, definite and practical and males were being flirtatious.

Although later criticised, Mead's work did point to the importance of cultural factors in the development of gender. Whiting & Edwards (1975) - suggested that gender roles were organised in similar ways across a range of traditional cultures. They looked at 11 different non-western cultures and found that girls were encouraged to spend more time with their mothers and were more likely to be given domestic and childcare roles In contrast, boys were more likely to be assigned tasks outside the house including feeding an herding animals.
Across cultures, younger girls were found to be more responsible and nurturing than boys.
Concluded that behavioural differneces seen in boys and girls come about because of the tasks that they are given. Individualistic versus collectivist cultures Other researchers have chosen to compare gender roles in collectivist and individualistic cultures.

Chang, Guo and Hau (2002) - compared Amreican and Chinese students living in their respective countries. They were gven a 10 item Egalitarian Gender Roles Attitudes Scale which measured their attitudes to gender equality at home and in the work place.
Found that there were cultural differences between the 2 groups.
Male and female American students emphaised the importance of equal gender roles at work.
Male and female Chinese students emphaised the importance of equal gender roles at home.
This could be due to the fact that equality at work in China is taken for granted due to the fact that it is a communist country.

Leung & Moore (2003) - compared Australians of English background with those of chinese background using Bem's SRI.
Found cultural differnces in line with Hofstede's dimensions.
Male and female students of english background showed masculine traits which are valued in individualistic cultures.
Male and female students of chinese background showed feminine traits valued in a collectivist culture.

So, cultural values and expectations have a strong influence on the development of gender roles and expectations, and in fact culture differences may overide gender differences. Differences within cultures Attempts to classify cultures tend to oversimplify the differences which exist within cultures. Although North America and Italy are both considered as individualistic cultures, studies have suggested that there are differences in the way they view and interpret masculinity.

Tager & Good (2005) - compared ideas about masculinity in a sample of North American, southern Italians and northern Italian males.
Found less conformity to traditional ideas about masculinity in Italians.
Northern Italian men held less traditional ideas than their soutern counterparts.

So, we should not generalise when considering cultural differences, as gender role development depends on many factors. The biosocial theory argues the interpretation of biological sex within specific social and cultural context influences the treatment given to the child, and it is this which leads to the development of gender role behavioue and gender identity. The start of gendering - labelling of sex Most infants are labeled as ,ale or female immediately after birth. The sex of the child is often seen as more important than temperament, and labelling of the baby as a boy or girl has all sorts of influences on how the baby is treated. Differntial treatment Once the child's sex has been labelled, biosocial theory suggest that the sex label serves as a 'signpost' by which the baby's needs and behaviours are interpreted.

Smith & Lloyd (1978) - Baby X, Baby Y study.
dressed babies in unisex 'snow suits' and gave them boys' or girls' names.
they found that when the same baby was dressed and named as a boy, they would be played with very differently to when dressed and named as a girl. The constructed nature of gender Social constructionist theory argues that the way in which people see and understand the world are not 'natural' but are constructed or made. In Western cultures, the idea of gender is constructed by dividing people into 2 categories on the basis of their biological sex.
The 2 gender categories are constructed as different species so the term 'opposite sex' is used, further perpetuating the view that men and women are fundamentally different. Social constructionists argue that constructions of gender differ across time and cultures.
Edley & Wetherell (1995) argue that there are many different ways of 'doing' masculinity and femininity, the idea of 'new man', 'metro sexual' and 'ladette'.
So, we should think in terms of multiple masculinities and femininites. Connell (1995) & Mac an Ghail (1996)
identified a range of different masculinities adopted by men today. Mac an Ghail distinguished 4 sub cultures of masculinity in British schools.
'academic achievers' - who pursued and valued success in academic subjects.
'macho lads' - who rejected formal schooling.
'new entrepreneurs' - who located themselves within technical, IT subjects.
'real Englishmen' - who rejected tradiotional school values and prioritised difference, independence and autonomy. Antonia Young (1996) drew attention to a very different way of interpreting gender in Albania. Cognitive theories Psychological androgyny and gender dysphoria Why might some people develop an androgynous rather than sex-typed gender identity? Most young children develop ideas, known as 'schemas', as to what behaviours, games and clothes are appropriate for males and females. They are then likely to adopt some of these behaviours as gender role behaviours.
Developmental psychologists have used a range of methods in order to investigate children's understanding of gender identity and gender roles.
Scenarios or vignettes (Damon, 1977)
Preferential looking techniques (Slaby & Frey, 1975; Campbell et al., 2000) Cognitive explanations of gender development Cognitive developmental theory Gender schema theory Kohlberg (1966) - the childs understanding of their own gender identity forms the basis of their enactment of gender role behaviours. Kohlberg argued that a child's understanding of gender develops gradually through 3 stages of increasing complexity...
Gender identity - their own sex, girl or boy? roughly age 2-3.5, limited understanding of what it means and does not understand that gender is generally for life.
Gender stability - begin to realise that their sex will not change, aged roughly 3.5. However, a child of 4/5 is still misled by superficial changes in appearance.
Gender constancy - realise gender is constant, roughly aged somwhere between 4.5-7. People stay the same gender dispite superficial changes in appearance. Kohlberg went on to argue that once a child understands that their gender role is constant, they become highly motivated to behave in a way that is expoected of them as a boy or a girl.

This theory predicts that children should pay attention to same sex role models and show systematic gender role behaviours only after they have a full understanding of their gender and a strong sense that it is for life. Therefore, gender role behaviours should appear at around 5 and up.

McConaghy (1979) - found that children aged 3.5-4 tended to use hairt length and clothes to decide upon sex of a doll.
Slaby & Frey (1975) - found support for Kohlberg's claim that children pay more attention to same-sex models after the stage of constancy has been reached.
Ribble (1981) - found that children who had reached gender constancy were sensitive to the implicit messages of TV adverts that suggested certain toys were right or wrong for boys or girls.

Criticism of Kohlberg has argued that children begin to pay attention to gender related behaviours much earlier than Kohlberg had suggested. Martin & Halverson (1981) - was based on an idea originally developed by Bem (1981).
Agreed with Kohlberg that the child's thinking is at the basis of their development of gender role behaviours.
However, they argued that the process began much earlier.
Claimed that childern gain their gender identity between the age of 2 and 3 when they work out that they are a boy or girl.
At this stage, their gender schema is extremely simple, consisting of 2 groups (boys and girls), their own group being the 'in group' and the opposite sex being the 'out group'.
The theory then suggests that they then actively seek out information about appropriate behaviours and actions of their own group.
Therefore, children look to the environment to develop and build their gender schemas which then become progressively more complex. Campbell et al. (2000, 2004) - used the visual preference technique using a sample of babies aged 3, 9 and 18 months.

@ 3 months - very minor preference for watching babies of the same sex (more noticeable in males).
@ 9 months - boys distinctively preferred to watch and look at 'boys toys' (this continued to 18 months).
@ 18 months - boys and girls showed a preference for watching male activities, (although much stronger in boys)

Supports the idea that babies develop schemas about gender long before they start to speak, and that schemas drive their attention.

The second study used a longitudinal approach, 56 children were studied at 27 and 39 months. The children were seated on their parent's lap and shown a photo album and asked to point to....
the boy or girl (gender labelling task)
the girls' or boy's toy (football or comb set)
the girls' or boys' activity (skipping or football)
The childern were then left to play with 10 toys used in the study for 30 minutes, this was filmed.

Campbell et al. found that
at 2 years old 53% completed the gender labelling task correctly.
at 3 years old this rose to 94%.
at 2 years old roughly 20% showed stereotyping of toys and activities
at 3 years old this rose to 51%
Labelling of gender related activities was only visible in around 1 in 6 toddlers by the end of the study.

Methodological issues - Uses a range of methods to collect data providing rich and detailed data. Longitudinal study helps to show how gender understanding grows.

Ethical issues - took place in children's homes causing less stress and disruption.

Also, see Poulin-Dubois et al. (2002) So, where do gender schemas comde from? These studies have shown that children develop gender schemas which rapidly become more complex and take in games, activities, school subjects and sports. But, cognitive theories have not considered how schemas might develop. Tenenbaum & Leaper (2002) - carried out a meta-analyis of 43 studies looking at the relationship between the gender schemas held by parents and their offspring, focusing in particular on...
mothers and their daughters
mothers and their sons
fathers and their daughters
fathers and their sons

The overall correlation between the parents gender schema and that f their child was significant at +0.16.

Methodological issues
Large number of studies but mostly western cultures.

Ethical issues
meta analysis so no actual data was colledcted. Evaluation of gender schema theory Both of the theories mentioned here see the child as active, seeking out t information about gender and trying top make sense of the gendered world they live in. The only real difference is the age at which the development takes place.
A strength of gender schema theory is that it helps us to understand why children's beliefs and attitudes about sex roles are so resilient and even rigid.
A number of studies have shown that this actually takes place earlier than Kohlberg had thought.
Gender schema theory emphasises how schemas develop but not how they originate. Androgyny hypothesis - this claims that individuals who score highly on both masculinity and femininity are psychologically healthier than sex-typed individuals. The first models of androgyny, referred to as 'conjoint models' were presented by Bem (1974) and Spence et al. (1975). They both argued that a balancing act of masculine and feminine characteristics was desirable and healthy within a personality. This led to the androgyny hypothesis, but these conjoint models only produced a descritpion of the benefits rather than the causes. Olds (1981) - argued that in fact androgyny was a developmental stage reached only by certain individuals. According to developmental theories , some individuals are able to develop and move beyond acceptance of traditional sex roles (similar to Bem's later schema theory). Finally, behavioural models (Orlofsky, 1977) argue that androgyny is a form of behvaiour or action and is demonstrated by what people do rather than what they think. This view sees androgyny as a way of life in which the individual gains competence in a wide range of skills associated with both masculine and feminine qualities. Support for the Androgyny Hypothesis
Bem & Lenney (1976) cited in Lefkowitz & Zeldow (2006)

However, Zeldow et al. (1985) found evidence that individuals who had most masculinity items were better adjusted overall.

Hollway (2002) - also criticised Bem's ideas and argued that they implied that people should be changing the way they think and view the world. Instead, she argued that social changes in the amount of powere afforded to men and women need to take place.

Finally, Old's developmental model has been criticised as it fails to explain how and why gender andogyny takes place in some people and not in others. Research into gender dysphoria Gender dysphoria is the core symptom of gender identity disorder (GID). This diagnostic category occurred in Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental disorders (DSM) for the first time in 1980. GID is a relatively rare condition with an estimated incidence of 1 in 11,000 people. In order for GID to be diagnosed a number of criteria must be met... the person must experience ongoing identification with the opposite sex.
they must feel a strong sense of discomfort with their own biological sex.
the experience must affect their ability to function in everyday life.
No biological condition (such as androgen insensitivity syndrome) should occur at the same time. In order to investigate GID, studies take place comparing 'target samples' (those with dysphoria) with non-affected individuals. Drummond et al. (2008)
studied a sample of 30 girls referred to gender identity clinics between the age of 2 and 3. At age 7 a variety of measurements were used including observation of free play, a playmate preference questionnaire and measurement of sex-typed behaviours. At follow up, when the girls were aged 18, the young wmen were asked about their gender identity, their desire to be a man or be treated as a man, and about their sexual orientation and fantasies.
88% of the girls who had shown strong GID at 7 showed no signs in early adulthood.
Only 12% had continued to show gender dysphoria (supporting the findings of Green (1997) and Zucker (2005) that GID decreases from childhood to adulthood).

Drummond et al. concluded that cross-gender identification in childhood may be a risk factor for later GID, but the lack of clear continuity implies that other factors may be more important. See: BBC4 - Tales from the Jungle (on shared) Operant Conditioning Positive reinforcement Androgyny Sex-typed individuals Gender identity Gender dysphoria Hormones Hypothalamus Corpus callosum Androgens and oestrogens Critical period 2D:4DR Sexual dimorphism Reproductive success Parental investment Meta-analysis SCLT Vicarious learning Egalitarian family Anthropologist Biosocial theory Social constructionist theory Schemas
Full transcript