The Nature Vs. Nurture Essay

940 Words Dec 3rd, 2014 4 Pages
The nature vs. nurture debate on whether it is biology or the environment that causes human beings to behave in a certain way and choose certain roles is an ongoing debate in social science, but in more recent years the debate has been extended to whether nurture, i.e. culture, can outweigh biology when explaining gender. Many times it is difficult to differentiate sex and gender as they are closely related. Gender is commonly described as the state of being male or female and some sociologists take this further and suggest that “Gender is not a set or traits, nor a variable, nor a role, but the product of social doings” (West & Zimmerman, 1987: 129). Whereas sex refers to the biological differences between men and women such as hormones, reproductive organs and chromosomes. This essay examines two approaches in relation to gender development. The first approach is the biological theory, where I will evaluate the idea that gender is biologically determined. The second approach is social learning theory where I will discuss whether ones gender can be socially constructed through attributes that society considers appropriate for men and women. I will also focus on the viewpoint of feminists in terms of gender and discuss the idea that gender stereotypes has led to a patriarchal society.
The biological approach of gender development looks at the influence of chromosomes and hormones on sex differences in physical functioning and behaviour (Hoyenga & Hoyenga, 1993). The…

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