In this Application Assignment, you will draw on two types of sources of information about the biological basis of gender identity: the textbook’s coverage of the topic, which provides a broad but shallow survey of the research literature in this area, and a journal article on the topic, which will give you a more in-depth look at one specific research study. These two types of sources are often complementary – the first provides breadth of coverage but usually lacks specificity or detail, while the second provides depth but lacks perspective. You will need to reflect on how these two different types of sources, taken together, provide a more comprehensive picture of a topic than either one alone.
To prepare for this assignment:
Review the textbook’s coverage of the development of sexual characteristics, paying special attention to discussions of biological factors that contribute to
behavioral and psychological differences between males and females,
sexual anomalies (particularly pseudohermaphroditism), and
In the Walden Library’s database of journals, locate and read at least one case study or research report of transgendered or transsexual individuals.
Think about how the information in the journal article relates to information from the textbook.
The assignment: (2 pages)
***Considering both “typical” and “atypical” (i.e., pseudohermaphrodites) sexual development, briefly analyze the effects sex hormones seem to have on the development of gender-related behavioral and psychological characteristics in humans. In other words, what “masculine” characteristics are related to male hormones, and what “feminine” characteristics are related to female hormones?
***Briefly summarize the journal article you found, including discussion of the following points, if relevant:
At what age and in what ways the subject(s) demonstrated characteristics of transgender.
Possible sources (causes) of these characteristics, if addressed in the article.
Description and outcome of any treatments that were attempted, if addressed.
***Compare and contrast the two sources of information (textbook and journal article) regarding biology and gender identity. Include all of the following that are relevant:
How do the sources differ with respect to the type of information provided? In other words, what information can be gained from a literature review (textbook) versus a case study/research report (journal article)?
On what points do the two sources agree?
On what points do the two sources disagree?
How do the two sources complement one another in helping you to understand the biological basis of gender identity? Be specific, using examples where appropriate.
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