Discuss the Biosocial Approach to Gender Dysphoria (24 Marks)

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Discuss the biosocial approach to gender dysphoria (24 marks) Discuss the biosocial approach to gender dysphoria (24 marks) Gender dysphoria is defined as a mental disorder in which people are uncomfortable with their gender. The biosocial approach to gender development takes into consideration both biological and social influences on gender identity and emphasises the differences between nature and nurture. The theory proposes that chromosomal and hormone differences in males and females affect gender identity prior to birth but, from birth onwards, social factors also play a crucial role; once children are labelled as a boy or a girl (based on their genitals) they are raised and treated differently. Femininity and masculinity therefore develops partially because of the release of pre-natalhormones and partially because of social factors. The biosocial approach explains gender dysphoria as a disorder which is caused by an interaction between biological and psychosocial factors. The biological component of the biosocial theory of gender dysphoria is explained through the brain sex theory. The theory suggests that people experiencing gender dysphoria may have brain areas more typical of the opposite sex which stem from pre-natal hormones. The BSTc is larger and more densely packed with neurons in males than in females and males have around twice as many somatostatin neurons than do women. It is thought that these brain differences cause differences in the behaviour of males and females and could provide insight into the cause of gender dysphoria. The suggestion is that pre-natal hormones cause atypical brain development in the foetus and the child’s brain develops in a way that is not consistent with its genitalia and chromosomes. A strength of the brain sex theory is that it has supporting evidence, Kruijver (2000) carried out a post mortem analysis of

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