Professor: Stella Adedje
Monday July 22, 2013
The article “sex roles” by Hamilton McCubbin and Barbara Blum Dahl debates whether the cause of sex roles could be the result of nature (biological difference), or nurture (culture and socialization) or the combination of both. On one hand, McCubbin and Dahl discuss the biological evidence of sex roles. They affirm that men and women differ in their genetic structure, women have two X chromosomes but men have one X and one Y chromosome. In their physical development, average men are taller, heavier and more muscular than the average women. Specifically the authors mention that researches have speculated that certain behavioral differences are due to male and female hormones. Both men and women produce the male hormone androgen and the female hormone estrogen but in different quantities. The physical development is due to the hormone who signals the embryo to develop as a male with male body shape and sexual organs. The prediction of a research made by rose, Gordon and Bernstein mentioned in the article shows that the male hormone testosterone appears to stimulate aggressive behavior in female animals, and at the same time, a female hormone prolactin seems to stimulate nurturing motherly activity in male animals. The article also talks about a study conducted by John Money and his colleagues on the rare individuals known as hermaphrodites who are a mixture of male and female biology. The researches show that girls who receive more androgen at birth than expected behave more like our society expects boys to act. Money’s study affirms that while prenatal exposure to androgen may have predisposed the girls towards more aggressive, boyish behavior, they also needed a social environment that would encourage such behavior. Another study conducted by Jerre Levy of the University of Chicago found differences in the way male and female brains are organized. In Levy’s view , men’s brain...
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