Psychological and biological influences on gender roles

Laura Erickson-Schroth

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Gender identity and gender roles are complicated phenomena that are likely impacted by biology as well as psychosocial influences. Nature and nurture are commonly seen as opposing forces, when, in reality, they work in concert, and our environments influence our biological processes. Due to historical factors, current research into how gender identity is shaped primarily focuses on the effects of hormones on neurobiology. Adult hormone levels do not seem to influence gender identity, but there is some evidence that intrauterine hormone exposure may. There is also evidence that psychosocial factors contribute to gender identity. As we continue to explore the basis for our multifaceted identities, we should bear in mind that we are more than just a sum of our parts.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNeuroscience in the 21st Century
Subtitle of host publicationFrom Basic to Clinical, Second Edition
PublisherSpringer New York
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9781493934744
ISBN (Print)9781493934737
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2016


  • 5-alpha reductase deficiency (5-ARD)
  • Adult hormone levels
  • Androgen insensitivity syndrome (AIS)
  • Animal studies
  • Bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BSTc)
  • Biased-interaction theory
  • Biological theories
  • Biopsychosocial models
  • Birth-assigned sex
  • Bisexuality
  • Brain, structural and functional imaging of
  • Bucket model
  • Cisgender
  • Cloacal exstrophy
  • Congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH)
  • Diethylstilbestrol (DES)
  • Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI)
  • Endocrine disruptors
  • Environmental influences
  • Female-to-male (FTM)
  • Fractional anisotropy (FA)
  • Functional MRI (fMRI)
  • Gender
  • Genetic influence
  • Histological studies
  • History
  • Identity
  • Intersex
  • Interstitial nucleus of the anterior hypothalamus (INAH)
  • Intrauterine hormone exposure
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Male-to-female (MTF)
  • Medications and environmental estrogens
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
  • Prenatal hormone levels
  • Presentation
  • Roles
  • Sexuality
  • Social environment
  • Societal norms
  • Trans men
  • Trans women
  • Transgender
  • Transgender


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