Outline the biosocial approach to gender development. (5 marks)

Here you should briefly describe biosocial theories (e.g. Money and Ehrhardt's theory and/or social role theory). This is only worth 5 marks, so don't spend too much time on it. You also do not need to mention any research studies.

Money and Ehrhardt’s biosocial theory suggest that social labelling and different treatment of boys and girls interact with biological factors (such as prenatal exposure to testosterone) to steer development. They argued that the primary determiner of gender development is the sex of rearing, which is initially determined by biological factors. The child will be socialised based on this sex and their gender will develop based on how they are raised. Money and Ehrhardt predicted that if a genetic male is mislabelled as a girl and treated as a girl before the age of three, he will acquire the gender identity of a girl.

Another biosocial theory is Eagly and Wood’s social role theory. While the evolutionary explanation suggests that selection pressures caused both physical and psychological differences, social role theory suggests that evolution only causes physical differences. Psychological differences are a consequence of these physical differences. This theory argues that physical differences between men and women allow them to perform certain tasks more efficiently. For example, men’s greater speed and upper body strength make them more suitable for hunting. The physical differences between men and women create social roles – men are the providers and women take on a domestic role.

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