Essentially, the difference in the brain of males and females is mostly realized in the concepts of sex and gender aspects. Most of these realizations have been made in the recent years as researchers have focused on the structure and functionalism of the human brain. In this regard, it is realized that particular human characteristics realized in certain individuals usually relate to a particular structure of the brain of such individuals. For instance, it has been established that most students who are good in mathematics will usually have a particular brain structure coupled with certain complexities like allergies and shortsightedness Garrett, 2003.
Such unrelated characteristics usually result out of certain conditions both prenatal and postnatal.
Studies have demonstrated that most women usually perform better in tasks that require verbal skills and spatial coordination in certain periods when the production of the sex hormone estrogen is high in the body Gollnick, 2011.
In the same way, it is also realized that women also perform better in tasks that require less coordination when the production of estrogen is low in the body Jersild, 1999.
However, it is not yet clear to what extent the biological factors might really account for the sex differences realized in humans.
Much evidence is certainly arising on the very differences between men and women as a consequence of the different hormones produced in the respective bodies. In any case, the human brain is a great determinant of the behavior and conduct of humans. For instance, the hypothalamus part of the brain actually determines and controls the sexual functioning of the body James, 2001.
Nevertheless, it has also been realized that other factors such as the environment will usually play a major role in the determination of human behavior since such factors usually affect the production of hormones that account for sex and gender differences.
The environment and gender identity
From the very beginning at birth, parents usually create different environments for the different sexes of children. For instance, infant boys are usually covered in blue blankets while the girls are usually covered in pink ones. From the very start, it is seen that these different children enjoy very different environments. In the same way, the toys bought for the male children are normally different from those used by the female children Myers, 2002.
These changes have an influence on the gender identity. When fathers play more roughly with their male children than the girls, different experiences are realized by these little children.
As the children grow up, they learn the various aspects of socialization as the very expectation that society demands of them. In this regard, men and women are taught to behave in particular respects in a way that shapes their understanding and character. Gender identity is therefore seen to be shaped by a combination of such factors, which usually begin at the initial stages of child development. It is, however, not only parents who provide socialization avenues for their children.
The general society at large is usually a major player in this regard. For instance, when children watch television, they get different phases of socialization. In this respect, there are still more men than women who appear on television and most female children grow up while casting their eyes on the very stereotypic roles like secretary and housewife which have been shaped by the society. Gender identity is, therefore, seen to come out clearly as a product of environmental occupation and not merely as a result of the biological differences realized between males and females Koppelman, 2011.
Society, therefore, strongly defines the very expectations for the different sets of gender where roles are clearly cut and defined.
Nature and nurture
Gender stereotypes have made many people feel that there are many differences in the behavior of males and females. On the contrary, the real fact is normally quite astonishing. Much of the research and focus has always been geared towards the differences between these different genders while little attention is drawn on the similarities between males and females. It is imperative to realize that there are usually more similarities than differences in the behavior of males and females. In any case, while certain differences might usually exist, several overlaps are frequently realized in the behavior of the human race. As such, while it would be possible and correct to state that males are usually more aggressive than females in life, it is important to realize that several women are always more aggressive than most men. In this case, the overlap in behavior certainly supersedes the very discrepancy between the sexes as realized in males and females.
In a way, the nature-nurture aspect is therefore a very fundamental concept in psychology as a functional area in human behavior and gender identity. Gender identity arises out of a combination of environmental influences and genetic predisposition of a person. The ways human beings teach and develop their children has gradually resulted from a combination of heredity and environmental factors around us Parke, 2010.
Therefore, education is part of this important determinant of the gender identity and is usually influenced by the link between biology and environment while gender identity becomes the resulting case.
At its basic connotation, gender identity refers to the individual conception of a person as either male or female. It is a way in which human beings identify themselves as either males or females through aspects such as behavior. Gender is a product of psychological, biological and sociological factors. Sexual organs and sexual orientation are therefore the core elements of gender identity Wickens, 2000()
Biological factors usually play a great role in this identity since the different genders are born with very distinctive differences in their biological make up. Secondary sexual characteristics usually emerge as the children grow into puberty. In any case, these differences are often determined by the hormones that are produced in the body. When children reach puberty, the release of these hormones usually creates a lot of sexual and hormonal differentiation between the females and males Bronson & Merryman, 2009.
In this regard, males usually develop deeper voices, body hair and the enlargement of the sexual organs. On the other hand, females will usually realize the onset of menstruation, broadening of hips and the development of body hair.
Indeed, hormones are seen to have much influence on the behavior of human beings as they get produced in the body. Research has demonstrated that certain hormonal activities in the body normally create hostility. Human aggression is therefore connected to the effects of androgens in the body. Testosterone for instance is realized to have varying degrees on the emotions of people hence causes aggressive behavior in some people. Hormonal effect in the human body is normally at its peak during puberty and the prenatal periods when much of these hormones are produced Segall & Wilson, 2004.
Therefore, any anomalies in the production of hormones in the prenatal stage will usually result in instances of confused sexual identity in the individual. For instance, it is not uncommon to see girls who typically resemble boys in their attitudes, character and sexuality.
Four theories have been put forward as explanations for the human behavior with respect to the gender issue. Sigmund Freud came up with three theories in an attempt to shed light on this concept. These include: the cognitive social learning theory, identification and gender schema theories Freud & Strachey, 1999a ()
. On the other hand, Kohlberg came up with the cognitive developmental theory which states that children mostly depend on the physical world and behavior around them in order to discern and fall into the appropriate gender type at the very early age in life.
According to Freud, the concept of gender identity begins at around the age of five when children begin to perceive their bodies. In this way, most male children begin to develop a love for their mothers and usually compete with their fathers for this love. Male children also begin to understand the strength of their fathers and thereby emulate them and adopt their features. On the contrary, girls usually feel submissive and inadequate and develop an opposite feeling to the males Chrisler & McCreary, 2010.
Therefore, according to Freud, children are born into the world as pure and psychosexuality neutral and are only shaped by the very environment around them before adopting the appropriate behaviors with relation to their respective genders.
The environment, biology and psychology usually affect gender identity to a very large extent. In many cases, the environmental factors have far much more influence than the others. When children go to school, the classroom defines their gender identity in the very similar way they often realize back at home. For instance boys are expected to perform better in mathematics than girls and this helps to…