Sex differences in psychology are differences in the mental functions and behaviors of the sexes, and are due to a complex interplay of biologicaldevelopmentaland cultural factors.
Differences have been found in a variety of fields such as mental healthcognitive abilitiespersonalityand tendency towards aggression. Such variation may be both innate or learned and is often very difficult to distinguish.
Modern research attempts to distinguish between such differences, and to analyze any ethical concerns raised. A number of factors combine to influence the development of sex differences, including genetics and epigenetics;  differences in brain structure and function;  hormones;  or differences in psychological traits such as emotion, motivation, cognition, and sexuality.
Psychological sex differences refer to emotional, motivational or cognitive differences between the sexes. Beliefs about sex differences have likely existed throughout history. In the distant future I see open fields for far more important researches. Psychology will be based on a new foundation, that of the necessary acquirement of each mental power and capacity by gradation.
Two of his later books, The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex and The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals explore the subject of psychological differences between the sexes. The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex includes 70 pages on sexual selection in human evolution, some of which concerns psychological traits. Individuals who are sex reassigned at birth offer an opportunity to see what happens when a child who is genetically one sex is raised as the other.
An infamous sexual reassignment case was that of David Reimer. Reimer was born biologically as a male but was raised as a female following medical advice after an operation that destroyed his genitalia. The reassignment was considered to be an especially valid test of the social learning concept of gender identity for several of the unique circumstances of the case.
Despite the hormone therapies and surgeries, Reimer failed to identify as a female. According to his and his parents' accounts, the gender reassignment has caused severe mental problems throughout his life. At the age of 38, Reimer committed suicide. Some individuals hold a different gender identity than that assigned at birth according to their sex, and are referred to as transgender. These cases often involve significant gender dysphoria. How these identities are formed is unknown, although some studies have suggested that male-to-female transgenderism is related to androgen levels during fetal development.
Many different studies have been conducted on sex differences in the play behavior of young children, often yielding conflicting results. One study conducted on nineteen-month-old children revealed a male preference for stereotypically "masculine" toys, and a female preference for stereotypically "feminine" toys, with males showing more variance in play behavior.
The specific cause of this sex difference has also been investigated. A study with boys and girls found that the difference in play behavior appeared to be semi-correlated with fetal testosterone.
One study also claimed that one-day-old girls gaze longer at a face, whereas suspended mechanical mobiles, rather than a face, keep boys' attention for longer, though this study has been criticized as having methodological flaws.
Human-like play preferences have also been observed in guenon  and rhesus macaques though the co-author of the latter study warned about over-interpreting the data. Psychological theories exist regarding the development and expression of gender differences in human sexuality. A number of these theories are consistent in predicting that men should be more approving of casual sex sex happening outside a stable, committed relationship such as marriage and should also be more promiscuous have a higher number of sexual partners than women: Neoanalytic theories are based on the observation that mothers, as opposed to fathers, bear the major responsibility for childcare in most families and cultures; both male and female infants therefore form an intense emotional attachment to their mother, a woman.
According to feminist psychoanalytic theorist Nancy Chodorowgirls tend to preserve this attachment throughout life and define their identities in relational terms, whereas boys must reject this maternal attachment in order to develop a masculine identity.
In addition, this theory predicts that women's economic dependence on men in a male-dominated society will tend to cause women to approve of sex more in committed relationships providing economic security, and less so in casual relationships. A sociobiological approach applies evolutionary biology to human sexuality, emphasizing reproductive success in shaping patterns of sexual behavior.
According to sociobiologists, since women's parental investment in reproduction is greater than men's, owing to human sperm being much more plentiful than eggs, and the fact that women must devote considerable energy to gestating their offspring, women will tend to be much more selective in their choice of mates than men. It may not be possible to accurately test sociobiological theories in relation to promiscuity and casual sex in contemporary U.
According to social learning theorysexuality is influenced by people's social environment. This theory suggests that sexual attitudes and behaviors are learned through observation of role models such as parents and media figures, as well as through positive or negative reinforcements for behaviors that match or defy established gender roles.
It predicts that gender differences in sexuality can change over time as a function of changing social norms, and also that a societal double standard in punishing women more severely than men who may in fact be rewarded for engaging in promiscuous or casual sex will lead to significant gender differences in attitudes and behaviors regarding sexuality.
Such a societal double-standard also figures in social role theorywhich suggests that sexual attitudes and Gender differences and the psychological side of human sexuality are shaped by the roles that men and women are expected to fill in society, and script theorywhich focuses on the symbolic meaning of behaviors; this theory suggests that social conventions influence the meaning of specific acts, such as male sexuality being tied more to individual pleasure and macho stereotypes therefore predicting a high number of casual sexual encounters and female sexuality being tied more to the quality of a committed relationship.
Schmitt is an evolutionary psychology theory regarding female and male short-term and long-term mating strategies which they argued are dependent on several different goals and vary depending on the environment. With the advent of the concept of gor general intelligencesome form of empirically measuring differences in intelligence, was possible, but results have been inconsistent. Studies have shown either no differences, or advantages for both sexes, with most showing a slight advantage for males.
According to the report Intelligence: Knowns and Unknowns by the American Psychological Association"Most standard tests of intelligence have been constructed so that there are no overall score differences between females and males.
His conclusions he quoted were "No evidence was found for sex differences in the mean level of g. Males, on average, excel on some factors; females on others".
Although most of the tests showed no difference, there were some that did. For example, they found females performed better on verbal abilities while males performed better on visuospatial abilities. There are however also differences in the capacity of males and females in performing certain tasks, such as rotation of objects in space, often categorized as spatial ability.
Other traditionally male advantages, such as in the field of mathematics are less clear. The results from research on sex differences in memory are mixed and inconsistent, with some studies showing no difference, and others showing a female or male advantage.
A study was conducted to explore regions within the brain that are activated during working memory tasks in males versus females. Four different tasks of increasing difficulty were given to 9 males and 8 females.
Functional magnetic resonance imaging was used to measure brain activity. The lateral prefrontal cortices, the parietal cortices and caudates were activated in both genders. The left hemisphere was predominantly activated in females' brains, whereas there was bilateral activation in males' brains.
Although research on sex differences in aggression show that males are generally more likely to display aggression than females, how much of this is due to social factors and gender expectations is Gender differences and the psychological side of human sexuality.
Aggression is closely linked with cultural definitions of "masculine" and "feminine". In some situations, women show equal or more aggression than men, although less physical; for example, women are more likely to use direct aggression in private, where other people cannot see them, and are more likely to use indirect aggression in public.
Studies by Bettencourt and Miller show that when provocation is controlled for, sex differences in aggression are greatly reduced. They argue that this shows that gender-role norms play a large part in the differences in aggressive behavior between men and women. According to the International encyclopedia of the social and behavioral sciencessex differences in aggression is one of the most robust and oldest findings in psychology. The relationship between testosterone and aggression is unclear, and a causal link has not been conclusively shown.
Gender differences and the psychological side of human sexuality humans, males engage in crime and especially violent crime more than females. The involvement in crime usually rises in the early teens to mid teens which happen at the same time as testosterone levels rise.
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Most studies support a link between adult criminality and testosterone although the relationship is modest if examined separately for each sex. However, nearly all studies of juvenile delinquency and testosterone are not significant. Most studies have also found testosterone to be associated with behaviors or personality traits linked with criminality such as antisocial behavior and alcoholism.