Smith Gender theory developed in the academy during the s and s as a set of ideas guiding historical and other scholarship in the West. In social history it particularly thrived in the United States and Great Britainwith far fewer followers on the European continent.
Saul McLeodpublished People often get confused between the terms sex and gender. Sex refers to biological differences between males and females. For example, chromosomes female XX, male XYreproductive organs ovaries, testeshormones oestrogen, testosterone.
In the past people tend to have very clear ideas about what was appropriate to each sex and anyone behaving differently was regarded as deviant. Today we accept a lot more diversity and see gender as a continuum i. Gender The theories on gender determined by two biological factors: Hormones Hormones are chemical substances secreted by glands throughout the body and carried in the bloodstream.
The same sex hormones occur in both men and women, but differ in amounts and in the effect that they have upon different parts of the body.
Testosterone is a sex hormone, which is more present in males than females, and affects development and behavior both before and after birth. Testosterone, when released in the womb, causes the development of male sex organs at 7 weeks and acts upon the hypothalamus which results in the masculinization of the brain.
Testosterone can cause typically male behaviors such as aggression, competitiveness, Visuospatial abilities, higher sexual drive etc. An area of the hypothalamus at the base of the brain called the sexually dimorphic nucleus is much larger in male than in females.
At the same time testosterone acts on the developing brain. The brain is divided into two hemispheres, left and right. In all humans the left side of the brain is more specialised for language skills and the right for non-verbal and spatial skills.
Shaywitz et al used MRI scans to examine brain whilst men and women carried out language tasks and found that women used both hemispheres, left only used by men.
It appears that in males brain hemispheres work more independently than in females, and testosterone influences this lateralization. Empirical Evidence The effects of testosterone have been confirmed in animal studies.
Young changed the sexual behavior of both male and female rats by manipulating the amount of male and female hormones that the rats received during their early development. A number of non-reproductive behaviors in rats are also effected by testosterone exposure around birth.
These included exploratory behavior, aggression and play. Young believed that the exposure had changed the sexually dimorphic nucleus SDN in the brain, as male rats had a larger SDN than females.
The results have proven to be highly replicable. Critical Evaluation Because this study was conducted in a lab it has low ecological validity.
For example, in the lab hormones are injected in one single high dose. Whereas in real life, hormones tend to be released by the body in pulses, in a graduated fashion. Therefore, the results might not be generalizable outside of the lab, to a more naturalistic setting.
Ultimately psychologists must ask themselves whether in their research the ends justify the means. By this we mean that all research using human or non-human animals must be considered in terms of the value of the results when compared to the cost both moral and financial of carrying out the work.
Main criterion is that benefits must outweigh costs. But benefits are almost always to humans and costs to animals.Our program sees theory as important to understanding the many material and symbolic phenomena related to gender.
Thus theory is incorporated at some . Gender theory has been used to question the foundational practices of history itself. Combined with social history, gender theory applied to historiography and the philosophy of history reconsiders the announced objectivity and standards of the profession as it has evolved since the nineteenth century.
Standpoint theory places culture at the nexus for understanding gender development. Theorists such as Collins and Harding recognize identity markers such as race and class as important to gender in the process of identity construction.
The emergence of post-modernism theories affected gender studies, causing a movement in identity theories away from the concept of fixed or essentialist gender identity, to post-modern fluid or multiple identities. The impact of post-structuralism, and its literary theory aspect post-modernism, on gender studies was most prominent in its.
As a result, sex and gender theorists can be divided into various sub-schools that bring together the insights of disparate approaches (eg. materialist feminists, Foucauldian theorists of gender, postmodern and poststructuralist theorists of gender, and psychoanalytical feminists; psychoanalytical feminists can, in turn, be divided among Freudian, Lacanian, and Kristevan thinkers).
Feminist and Gender Theories There is no original or primary gender a drag imitates, but gender is a kind of. imitation for which there is no original.