Gender Sex and Gender: Sex-role stereotypes. Androgyny and the bem sex Role Inventory The role of chromosomes

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Application of the research

Continued research into atypical sex chromosome patterns is likely to lead to earlier and more accurate diagnoses of both syndromes, and could lead to more positive outcomes in the future. Herlihy et al (2011) found that those who had been identified and treated from a very young age had significant benefits compared to those who had been diagnosed in adulthood. Also, testosterone replacement therapy can help people with Klinefelter’s syndrome increase their hormone levels towards a normal range, which can help produce bigger muscles, deepen the voice and stimulate facial and body hair growth, potentially increasing the quality of life for these individuals. Growth hormone injections are beneficial for some individuals with Turner’s syndrome, increasing their adult height by a few inches. These injections often begin in early childhood, therefore without early detection of the disorder, made possible by the research, this benefit could not be achieved.

Socially sensitive research

Both Klinefelter’s syndrome and Turner’s syndrome can be diagnosed prenatally. This makes the research socially sensitive, as it may lead to mother’s opting to have their pregnancies terminated on discovering that the foetus has the atypical chromosomal pattern


Cognitive Theories of Gender Development

Kohlberg’s theory of gender development
The theory is based on the idea that a child’s understanding of gender becomes more sophisticated with age, as their intellectual reasoning becomes more developed. Gender development is thought to progress through three stages. The ages suggested by Kohlberg are approximate and reflect the fact that the transition from stage to stage is gradual rather than sudden. The three stages are as follows:
Stage 1- GENDER IDENTITY: The child recognises that they are male or female but the knowledge is fragile and child may not realise that little boys grow into men, and little girls grow up into women. The child enters this stage at around the age of 2
Stage 2 - GENDER STABILITY: The child realises that they retain their gender for a lifetime, but are unable to apply that logic to other people. They still believe that if someone engages in behaviour that is typical of the opposite sex, that that person’s gender changes. For example, they might believe that if a man puts on a skirt, he becomes a woman. They also rely on superficial characteristics to determine someone’s gender, e.g. hair length, so a man who has long hair will be judged to be a woman. The child enters this stage around the age of 4

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