Is gender identity biologically determined or socially constructed? (Sex…
Is gender identity biologically determined or socially constructed?
What evidence is there for gender differences?
E.g. Neuroscientific evidence e.g. Lise Elliot video (compulsory prep) vs Kimura (additional materials
Biological basis for sex differences (NB sex differences differ from gender differences)
Why do stereotypes persist? (see slides, compulsory prep on stereotypes and core reading)
Stereotype threat causes gender stereotypes to persist
Sex differences are biologically determined
Hormones, Genes, Genitals (internal & external) etc.
But not categorical, more of a continuum (e.g. babies born with different genetic profiles or indeterminate genitals)
Gender identity is usually predicted by sex
Consistent developmental stages of gender identity understanding (Core reading Chapter 12)
Student debate: hormone use and gender dysphoria in children
Much of gender identity is socially constructed
Baby X experiment (+ replications)
Industry pressure (e.g. gendered toys and clothing, entertainment and merchandise)
Gender is something children perform, not something they ARE (Butler, 1990)
Border work is common among children (Thorne, 1993)
Border crossing is often punished by adults and peers (Renold, 2005)
Erikson's Psychosocial Model of Identity Development (core reading Chapter 12)
Crisis resolution allows individual to pass onto next stage of identity development. Each stage characterised by a specific crisis. Adolescence characterised by 'identity crisis' - resolving who you are as separate from family.
Some subsequent evidence in support of predictions of the model (e.g. Seaton et al, 2006)
Mercia updated the model with four stages of identity development: identity diffusion, foreclosure, moratorium and achievement
Criticisms of Erikson's model. Alternative Psychobiosocial model (Halpern)