Free Essay

Gender Identity

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By imapoet2003
Words 1334
Pages 6
Gender Identity Paper
Ashley Spinner
Monday, July 02, 2012
PSY/340
Manon Doll

Gender Identity Paper
The human body is interconnected to two very different superhighway systems. These systems are the nervous system and the endocrine system. The endocrine system is responsible for secreting chemical messengers called hormones. According to (Myers, 2008, p 45),“hormones are chemical messengers, manufactured by the endocrine glands, which are produced in one tissue and affect another.” Hormones travel through the body in the bloodstream. The human body is comprised of two very important informational highways that influence every bit of aggression, food, and sexual desire that the brain process. The nervous system and the endocrine system are relatives; therefore both systems secrete molecules that activate receptors in a different place. The interaction between hormones and behavior is quite complex. The body reacts to different levels of many hormones that are needed for the daily networking of the body and its functions. The hormones in the endocrine system control many aspects of an individual’s life. Some of those aspects are growth, reproduction, metabolism, moods. The body tries to hold everything in check while maintaining a balancing act among dealing with stress, the human thought pattern, and human actions. These actions take place in the sympathetic nervous system, which controls arousal. This section of the human spinal cord operates in many ways. It dilates the pupil, accelerates the heartbeat then inhibits the digestion to the stomach, pancreas, and liver, in the pancreas the stimulation of glucose for the liver takes place; subsequently, moving on down to the secretion of the epinephrine, and norepinephrine; which in turn relaxes the bladder and stimulates ejaculation for the male. On the other hand, the parasympathetic nervous system is the calming part of the body, and it is as follows; the pupil contracts and slows down the heartbeat, and stimulates the digestion, which stimulates the gallbladder and contracts the bladder in turn allows the blood to flow to the blood to flow to the sexual organs. Basically, the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system work hand in hand because both systems are self-regulating, whereas, one is to arouse and expend energy while the other calms and conserves energy. The autonomic nervous system instruct the adrenal glands, which lay above the kidneys to discharge 2 hormones called epinephrine and norepinephrine (adrenaline and noradrenaline). According to (Myers, 2008), these hormones increase the heart rate, blood pressure, and blood sugar, and provides a surge of energy. This gland used be called the fight or flight gland. Another gland that is just as important to the human body is the pituitary gland, which is a pea-sized shape formation that is located in the core of the brain; this formation is controlled by the brain’s hypothalamus, which is called the “master gland”, it releases hormones that inspires growth, and its secretions affects the release of hormones by other glands. The pituitary gland with the brains permission stimulates an individual’s sex glands to release sex hormones, which in turn manipulates an individuals’ brain and the individuals’ behavior. Subsequently, now is time to explain the interaction between hormones and behavior.
An individual’s hormones can influence an individual’s behavior because if any of the hormones (Saldanha & Silver, 2011), are abnormal either due to over-secretion or under-secretion will result in signs of abnormal behavior and/or illness. Many children whose sex hormones are produced at an early age, will show signs of aggressive and assertive behaviors; and subsequently these children will show signs of physical maturity; for instance, young girls will develop pubic, and underarm hairs, along with breast enlargement; and on the other hand, young boys will develop facial and pubic hair, deeper voice, along with more male hormone secretion. In adults, changes in hormonal levels may have significant effects on intellectual capabilities, memory, learning, and emotional states. Hormones play a large part in an individual’s development because the first experimental evidence of the role of hormones and behavior was back in the mid-1800s. Berthold (1849) showed that the removal of the gonads in roosters decreased the size of accessory sexual structures; for example, the (comb), which eliminated the courtship behavior.
The biological psychology aspect is the application of the principles of biology, particularly neurobiology, to the study of physiological, genetic, and developmental mechanisms of behavior in humans and non-human animals. This is a science that explores the height of nerves, neurotransmitters, and the brain circuitry and the basic biological processes that falls underneath the normal and abnormal behavior. These types of experiments involve mainly non-human animal models (rats and mice), which the researchers a better insight to human pathology that contributes to evidence based practice. This science started back with men like Rene Descartes who proposed actual models to describe the animal and human behavior. In this society, the men and women have been characterized by the various hormones that are secreted in men or women bodies. For instance, the testosterone is characterized as a male hormone when in fact a woman’s body secretes testosterone also, just in different levels than men. Whereas the hormone estrogen and progesterone are secreted in higher levels in women than in men, but when one of these hormones are shown in abnormal levels, the person whose body is secreting an overabundance or a lower level is said to be “hormonal”, and that is not the case.
In this society hormones influence sex in 2 ways: by influencing the development from conception to sexual maturity of anatomical, physiological, and behavioral characteristics that distinguish one as female or male; secondly, by activating the reproduction-related behavior of sexually mature adults ( (Pinel, 2009). The discussion of hormones mostly falls into the sexual aspect of the female and male individuals. The gonads are the male reproduction called the (testes) and the ovaries are the females. Contrary to what many individuals believe the primary function of these hormones are to produce sperm cells and ova during copulation. The human body contains 23 pairs of chromosomes except the ova and the sperm cell, which contains only half that amount. Each pair of chromosomes is called the sex chromosomes because of their genetic makeup, which produces sexual development. According to (Pinel, 2009), a person’s gender relies solely on the sperm cells that got to the mother’s ovum. It has nothing to do with social, economic or any personal ramifications going on in the environment. For example, “if a sperm cell with an “X” sex chromosome won, then the child will be of the female persuasion; and if the “Y” chromosome sex chromosome won, then the child’s identity will be male. The male gonads also produce steroid hormones, the 2 main classes of hormones are androgens and estrogens; testosterone is the most common androgen, and estradiol is the most common estrogen; whereas the adult ovaries tend to release more estrogens than androgens and vice versa with the males the testes tend to release more androgens than estrogens. In the text, (Pinel, 2009), stated that the third class of steroidal hormone is called progestin’s, and the most common progestin is progesterone, and in women this hormone prepares the uterus and breast for pregnancy; however the function in men is not clear. According to (Pinel, 2009), female gonadal hormone levels runs in cycles and male gonadal hormones are steady, these hormones are in female and male individuals, but they are not at the same levels in females and males, nor do they have the same functions. One of the differences in males versus females is that the gonandal and gonadotropin hormones run in a cycle so female hormones change about every 28 days, which controls the female cycle.

References
Myers, D. G. (2008). Exploring Psychology in Modules (7th. ed.). (C. Woods, Ed.) Holland, Michigan, USA: Worth.
Pinel, J. P. (2009). Biopsychology (7 ed.). Boston, Massachusetts, USA: Allyn and Bacon.
Saldanha, C. J., & Silver, R. (2011). Hormones and Behavior. Society of Behavioral Neuroendocrinology , 304-312.

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