2.2 CRITICISM OF FINDINGS
* All the experiments were conducted on animals. It is dangerous to assume that the same hormonal changes in animals would result in the same changes in behaviour of human beings. The experiment with rats simply looked at one side, that is: the aggressiveness in animal behaviour, yet they used the same explanation of female aggressiveness throughout its social life.
* The monkey experiment failed to consider the fact that androgens produced masculine genitalia in female monkeys. This implies that the behaviours of monkeys could have resulted from them being treated as males because of their appearance. Social factor was not put into consideration as well. Oakley (1981), accepts that dominant males in monkey groups have higher testosterone levels than less dominant ones. However, Oakley argues, that the social context also affects hormone levels. Experiments show that when less dominant monkeys are caged with females only, their testosterone levels rise.
* Archer Lloyd studied testosterone and aggression in twelve and thirteen year old boys for three years and found out that, although their levels of testosterone increased rapidly, the boys did not become more aggressive. In other words, there were no correlation between levels of testosterone and levels of aggression over the last three years.
3. GENDER ROLE
Gender role starts as soon as children start to realise their instinct sex-type difference at the age of two or three years. Similarly, there is a situation whereby a child acquires behaviours and characteristics that a culture considers sex-appropriate (Atkinson,1993). Soon after the baby is born, boys and girls are dressed differently and given different toys to play with. Boys are perceived as strong, more alert and coordinated than girls, whom parents describe as being smaller, softer and less attentive than boys. Parents have sex expectation towards their child.
Most psychologists believe that boys are treated differently. For instance, babies are treated more roughly when they realize that the baby is boy, than when it is a girl. The difference comes from different socialisation practices for girls and boys due to gender stereotypes and gender roles (Martyana and Watson, 1976).
In adolescence, the difference in behaviour is reflected in someone’s interest, attitude and occupational choices. In daily life, women are supposed to be ‘nice’, ‘kind’, and ‘helpful’ and follow the ‘rules’ than being successful. Those who challenge the rule are looked down and devalued (Dweck, 1978).
However, attitudes about gender roles are changing. Females are now independent, relatively passive emotionally and good at verbal tasks. They now participate in politics, look after the finances of the home. Previously, there were some sports which were known to be men’s domains, but now, women also participate in them; two good examples are boxing and football.
Nevertheless, occupational choices are expected to reflect these qualities as well. For example, boys are expected to become scientists or medical practitioners and girls expected to become secretaries or nurses. By studying development processes, psychologists have come out with alternative explanations, which help understand whether nature and nurture play an equal role in gender development.