The Biological Limits to Gender Constructivism by Richard Udry
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In Richard Udry’s article “The Biological Limits to Gender Constructivism”, he creates a hypothesis and research design to promote his ideas on what influences gender. Udry gathers a series of what he believes to be valuable data but his critics tend to think otherwise. Throughout this paper Udry’s study will be explained as well as the implications his critics find within his research design to come to an eventual conclusion of weather or not Udry or his critics are more persuasive.
Throughout Udry article, he emphasizes the importance of a biosocial model. His model illustrates the integration of biological and social pressures that effect gender in society. He hypothesizes that, “the effect on women of their childhood gender socialization is constrained by the biological process that produces natural behavior dispositions” (Udry, p 444). This hypothesis assumes that, a fetus that is exposed to testosterone while in the mothers’ womb during the second trimester of the pregnancy will have an increased probability of masculine “typical” sex-dimorphic behaviors. In order to test this hypothesis Udry needed to conduct a research design that was previously constructed around a study by Goy. This previous study revolved around pregnant Rhesus Monkeys. The experiment by Goy showed that “female offspring of androgen-treated mothers exhibited more masculine behaviors as juveniles than did the control offspring whose mother were not given the male hormones” (Udry, p 446). As a