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    Sexual Differentiation and Gender Identity Factors

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    Explain the interaction between hormones and behavior, and how these interactions affect the determination of gender identity.
    - Include the roles of biological factors (nature) and environmental influences (nurture) on sexual differentiation and gender identity.
    - Based on your evaluation, determine which has the greater influence on gender identity: nature or nurture.
    - Discuss the current arguments about sexual identity and how evidence from biopsychology may help resolve the argument.

    © BrainMass Inc. brainmass.com December 24, 2021, 11:26 pm ad1c9bdddf
    https://brainmass.com/psychology/abnormal-psychology/sexual-differentiation-gender-identity-factors-568992

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    Biological factors and nature have a tremendous influence on sexual differentiation and gender identity, this is especially true when it comes to hormones. Testosterone is a hormone of particular importance in human beings, especially to males. This is due to the fact that this hormonal test to regulate many of the male biological features and functions that differentiates males from females, which includes aggressiveness. It is due to this factor that testosterone has a major biological/natural influence on the behavior of many male individuals. It appears that a greater level of testosterone within a male causes the individual to be much more outgoing and aggressive, which can be a positive factor in relation to their drive to succeed and overcome obstacles in life. This aggressiveness can be detrimental if it is not controlled, and is utilized in a negative manner, such as bullying others. A lower or inadequate level of testosterone within a male, may cause the individual to the frail and weak, and not exhibit a high level of male characteristics, which may cause this individual to become an introvert. This individual may also suffer from low self-esteem, which may also cause them to withdraw from the public, and even suffer from mild to moderate depression. Some male individuals may suffer from higher levels of estrogen than others, which is a female hormone, that may exacerbate the effects of lower testosterone levels, and result in these individuals exhibiting more feminine characteristics than normal. This can lead to ostracism and teasing from others, which may cause this individual to accept a gender identity that is more feminine than masculine. This provides an example of how biological factors such as lower testosterone and an increased level of estrogen, may lead to negative environmental influences, such as ostracism and teasing by others, and a resulting change in the individuals gender identity. Biological factors such as a lower level of estrogen, and a higher level of testosterone within a female, can also influence their sexual differentiation and gender identity. This is due to the fact that an imbalance within a female's endocrine system may cause them to secrete less estrogen, and thereby take on more masculine characteristics, such as increased size and musculature, and a deeper voice, etc. This may cause that individual to be severely harassed and teased by others, which could result in that individual accepting a more male gender identity, and actually seek intimate relationships with members of their same-sex, in extreme cases. Hyperthyroidism can make an individual overly energetic, and therefore increase the likelihood that the individual would possibly identify more with a male gender identity, which would be less detrimental for a male. This condition could make a female become more energetic and outgoing than normal, which may cause other females to label the individual as being manly or masculine in demeanor, which could also result in that individual possibly excepting a gender identity that is more masculine in nature.

    Other environmental influences besides ostracism and negative feedback, that influence sexual differentiation and gender identity, include the manner in which individuals are treated by parents and other family members. If parents treat a male child in a very feminine manner, and this male child only has female siblings, then there is an increased chance that this child's environment will influence this child to accept a more female gender identity. This could be the same situation for a female child that is treated in a very masculine manner by her parents, and having male siblings could exacerbate the probability that this female child will choose a more male gender identity. Based on my evaluation, nature would seem to have a greater influence on gender identity, due to the fact that nature has a biological and psychological influence on an individual's sexual differentiation and gender identity, whereas nurture has a more psychological influence on individuals sexual differentiation and gender identity. The current arguments about sexual identity, seem to be that some researchers believe that biological influences are the dominant factors, and others argue that environmental influences can't override an individual's biological predispositions. Biopsychology would help to resolve the argument, due to the fact that biopsychology would provide a more balanced scientific approach, that takes into consideration the biological factors, as well as the environmental factors, in influencing an individual's sexual differentiation and gender identity.(John P.J. Pinel, (2013). Biopsychology(9th Edition). Pearson Publishing)

    This content was COPIED from BrainMass.com - View the original, and get the already-completed solution here!

    © BrainMass Inc. brainmass.com December 24, 2021, 11:26 pm ad1c9bdddf>
    https://brainmass.com/psychology/abnormal-psychology/sexual-differentiation-gender-identity-factors-568992

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