Gender and behavior

Social Sciences and Humanities excl. Findings on the attributes of cohabiters, particularly of young female cohabiters are scarce. This study embarked on an empirical investigation to appraise attributes that influence cohabitation behaviour of female undergraduate students, with the objective to add to the global cohabitation literature from a uniquely African perspective. The study assesses the strength of self-esteem and attitude towards abortion and other personal characteristics of female undergraduate students to predict cohabitation.

Gender and behavior

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 is 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.

In This Article

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. We should be cautious when extrapolating the results of animal research to a human population. This is because the physiologies e.

Also, the social and cultural variables within a human population are more complex when compared to social interactions between rats. The consequence of this means the external validity of the research is uncertain.

However, a study by Hines suggests it might be possible to generalize the results to humans.

Gender and behavior

Hines studied female babies born to mothers who had been given injections of male hormones during pregnancy to prevent miscarriage. They were found to be more aggressive than normal female children. Hines concluded that the extra testosterone in the womb had affected later behavior.

Chromosomes The normal human body contains 23 pairs of chromosomes. A chromosome is a long thin structure containing thousands of genes, which are biochemical units of heredity and govern the development of every human being.

Each pair of chromosomes controls different aspects of development, and biological sex is determined by the 23rd chromosome pair.A gender role, also known as a sex role, is a social role encompassing a range of behaviors and attitudes that are generally considered acceptable, appropriate, or desirable for people based on their actual or perceived sex or sexuality.

Gender roles are usually centered on conceptions of femininity and masculinity, although there are . Gender and Behavior When examining human diversity in the United States or any other society, it is important to first understand the criteria commonly used for .

Gender Differences in Political Behavior. The term “gender gap” is commonly used to refer to gender differences in voting preferences and to levels of political participation.

Scientists who study behavior have long been interested in the differences between men and women. What are the differences in behavior between men and.

Gender and behavior

Gender and Behavior in TWELFTH NIGHT Editor’s Note: The following is excerpted from the ASC Education Study Guide on Twelfth Night, available for purchase in our Gift Shop or through as a PDF download or a print-on-demand hard copy. Gender and Behaviour is an interdisciplinary journal dedicated to articles, that reflect psychological and behavioural aspects of gender in general.

Vol 16, No 1 () Open Access Subscription or Fee Access.

Gender and Behaviour