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Biosocial Approach To Gender Notes

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Biosocial approach to gender

Interaction of biological and social influences on gender development

Biosocial theory:

Money and Erhardt 1972 Biological male/ female is born - social labelling of 'boy' or 'girl' - suggests label leads to differential treatment - interaction Look at genitalia to establish sex Combination of label and social/ biological interactions that comes with that - both are seen as important in determining behaviour - not just a direct influence of biology Sex influences social interaction Can test this by seeing if adults respond differently to a baby based on sex So sex is as important as temperament in the way adults respond - sexual stereotypes do influence but these expectations may not lead to differences in children - or do adults act differences already present Condry and Condry 1976 - looked at influences of child's sex and treatment by parents/ adults - 200+ adults shown video of baby - baby introduced as David to some and as Dana to others - baby shown interacting with toys - when David cried at the jack-in-a-box, most labelled it as anger - for Dana, the same behaviour was labelled as fear - differences between male and female babes are in the eye of the beholder - stereotypes of anger being a masculine emotion and fear is a feminine emotion Gender schemas influences how we interpret people's behaviour Smith and Lloyd 1978 - babies dressed in unisex snow suits and given male/ female names - found baby was given toys that matched the gender of the name - also treated boys more vigorously than girls - perceived bio make-up affects social environment as a result of actions of others to them - child's social environment might be shaped by adult's decision in the context of gender e.g. toys/ clothes, so they can't play with trains if there are none available - Not all studies supported - Stern and Karraker 1989 meta-analysis - found true characteristics of baby were more influential than gender label - didn't find consistent evidence that supported the previous

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