This study paper focuses on the explanation of interaction between the hormones and the behavior and further looks at how this interaction affects determination of the gender identity (Lazarre, 2008, p. 11). Gender identity in this case is approached from a perspective of male and female point of view to examine the similarities and differences of the two genders. Thus, the main point of focus is the evaluation of the biological and environmental factors the affects gender identity and sexual differentiation. Biopsychology consider gender in a perspective of the sexual organ functioning and the underlying physiology (Wickens, 2005). Thus an evaluation on the nurture or the nature issue on the gender identity is provided and the question as to where the greater influence lies is responded to.
The Interaction of Behavior and hormones
In recent years psychologist studying the functions and structure of the brain have placed forward the question as to where the difference between the female and the brain underlie gender and sex differences (Oerter & Montada, 2002). The psychologist for example found that the children’s who were exceptionally talented in math had the following traits abnormal assortment of their physical attributes, for example an overrepresentation of the left-handedness, shortsightedness and high incidence of allergies. This seemingly unrelated traits, indicates or shows that they may be associated with degree of the prenatal exposure to male sex hormones, androgens, which may slow or lower growth of left hemisphere section of the brain (Oerter & Montada, 2002). There is a theory that claims that the right hemisphere section of the brain is responsible for one’s brilliance in mathematics according to this theory the deficiency of the left hemisphere is compensated by the strengthening of the right hemisphere which increases one’s ability in solving mathematical problems especially in males (Kowalski & Westen, 2005). They perform better on task that mainly involves muscular coordination and verbal skills on of their estrogen, female sex hormone is high throughout that period. Contrary to this they perform better activities involving spatial relationships this is when their level of estrogen is relatively low (Wickens, 2005).
Psychologists do not yet have the knowledge as to the extent to which the biological causes may bring about sex differences, nevertheless, the evidence is growing and increasing that such factors may offer explanation, at least in part, the behavioral differences between women and men. Human brain play vital role in sexual behavior of female and male. In particular, the amygdale and the hypothalamus, are the most significant brain stem parts, are considered as among the control centers for sexual functioning (Wickens, 2005). Nonetheless, the environmental factors also clearly have a significant effect in producing gender and sex differences. Moreover, due to the fact that the environmental factors can be altered, such influences provide us with the opportunity to make a decline on the detrimental effects of the sex stereotyping.
Environmental Influences on the Gender Identity
Beginning from the birth moment, adults and the parents offer their children environment that differs from each other. That is the boy child is given a different environment from the girl child. In addition the boys’ toys are very much different from the girls’ toy. The father are more interested in talking to their infant sons their infant sons than they are to their daughters. Moreover the middle age mothers are more tentative to their daughter and tend to talk more to them than they do to their sons. Such behavior differences plus many others are responsible for producing different socialization behavior experience for women and men. In such a scenario socialization infers learning to what the society call the appropriate behavior for women and men. In this case according to the social learning theory the boys and girls are trained and taught behaviors which the society thinks or deems necessary and appropriate for women and men respectively the boys are rewarded for performing like men while as the girls are rewarded for performing like women (Kowalski & Westen, 2005).
As study band evidence have shown parent are not solely responsible for training their children how to be women and how to be men for the boys rather the society too is involved in doing this. The society provide socialization for both boys and girls and as a whole the society communicate to them the message that they are different as they grow up. The television is one example of potent socialization source. The men on television still outnumber the women on television whereby the women are casted in stereotypic roles as mothers, secretary and housewives. The effectiveness of the television as a major socialization force is shown. The impact of gender goes far beyond the biological features of the body which have the female sex organ and the male sex organ. One’s conclusion on what is not or what is an appropriate or right behavior for oneself and for others are based on the gender roles that is a set of expectations, which is defined by society, which indicates the appropriate behavior for women and men (Oerter & Montada, 2002).
Evaluation of the issue of Nature or Nurture on Gender Identity
Even though, the clarity and prevalence of the gender stereotypes may lead an individual to expect the actual difference between the men and the women behavior are big the truth is quite different. The reality is considering the fact that the differences between the two genders that is the women and the men that have been recorded and documented it is paramount to recall that in most respect women and men are similar to one another than they are different. Additionally when difference have been between these two genders the magnitude of the difference is usually minimal. In comparing men and women one then keeps in mind the fact that there is more overlapping in psychological trait and behavior that there is difference between the sexes. These difference normally reflects the average female and male group differences and give us nothing about any given female and male. Even though one may find that the males, on the whole may tend or tends to aggressive than the female, there are situation where many men are less aggressive than women and women who are many and act aggressively than most men do (Oerter & Montada, 2002).
In conclusion, psychologist does take an interactionist position on the issue of nurture-nature. The developmental psychologist suggests that the combination of the genetic predisposition and the environmental influence is responsible for gender identity. The main challenge which the bio-psychologist are faced with is the identification of specific kind and the relative strength of each of the influences to the individual. This search for the influence caused by nurture and nature is not just academic.
Research on the environment and heredity has brought an advancement in the optimal understanding on how to treat the children for example the manner in which an individual educates the children, the manner children in children homes or orphanage institutions are raised, and the type of day care children are taken to are considered as optimal. This is because they have been influenced by an individual comprehension of interaction of environment and biology in regard to gender identity (Kowalski & Westen, 2005). Furthermore, the parent play a great in their children socialization in that the father are more interested in talking to their infant sons their infant sons than they are to their daughters. Moreover the middle age mothers are more tentative to their daughter and tend to talk more to them than they do to their sons. Such behavior differences plus many others are responsible for producing different socialization behavior experience for women and men. The society too provides socialization for both boys and girls and as a whole the society communicates to them the message that they are different as they grow up. The television is one example of potent socialization source. The men on television still outnumber the women on television whereby the women are casted in stereotypic roles as mothers, secretary and housewives. Thus, in evaluating the nurture or the nature issue on the gender identity is on where the greater influence lies can best be responded by saying that the genetic predisposition and the environmental influence is responsible for gender identity.
Kowalski, R., & Westen, D. (2005). Psychology. (4th ed.). 36. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Lazarre, S. (2008). Biological Foundations of Psychology. 11. Syllabus PSY340. University of Phoenix, Arizona. Retrieved June, 30, 2008 from UoP online course PSY340.
Oerter, R., & Montada, L. (2002). Entwicklunspsychologie. (5. Auflage). [Developmental Psychology. (5th ed.)]. Berlin, Germany: Beltz Verlag.
Wickens, A. (2005). Foundations of Biopsychology. (2nd ed). Harlow, England: Pearson Prentice Hall.