discuss nature vs nurture in gender development Essay

906 Words Oct 19th, 2014 4 Pages
Discuss the nature v nurture debate in gender development
There are generally two sides to the nature versus nurture debate of gender. The nature side of the argument states sex and gender is for the most part, biologically determined and that the two sexes think and act differently, often in opposing ways. Also that gender is fixed and not much changing across cultures and time periods. On the other side of the debate is nurture. The nurture side of the debate states that gender which is the way that sex is shown in the outside world, is socially manufactured. They believe that men and women are taught explicitly and implicitly how to be men and women.
The nature side of the debate states that gender is biologically determined. This
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Buss’s research indicates that sex-based mate preferences are also universal and so must be determined by nature.
There are problems with the nature argument. Nature doesn’t explain those cases where a person does not adopt the gender roles expected of their sex even when there are no genetic abnormalities. In addition it doesn’t explain how the findings that both sexes are becoming more similar as gender roles become more androgynous. There is also a body of evidence to show that males and females have different roles in different societies.
Although Buss found some universalities in gender related behaviour, other cross-cultural research has highlighted cultural variations in gender related behaviour. One of the earliest and most well known researchers on cross-cultural research into gender is Margaret Mead. She investigates the similarities and differences across gender roles in different cultures. Mead carried out a detailed ethnographic study by living with various tribes in New Guinea for six months. In the Arapesh tribe, both sexes were feminine. Both parents were said to bear a child which meant the men also took to bed while the baby was born. In the Mundugamor tribe, both sexes were masculine,. Both parents detested childcare so much that sleeping babies were hung out of the way in a dark place. In the Tchambuli tribe, gender roles were reversed compared to western

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