Gender – the biosocial approach

I was a bit uncertain about a comment in the AQA guide to specification changes regarding gender dysphoria. The topic of gender dysphoria has now been moved to be included with the biosocial approach (the new specification says ‘The biosocial approach to gender development including gender dysphoria’). The AQA guide to the specification changes points out that ‘This may require re structuring your delivery to emphasise links to biosocial approach’.

Feeling a bit concerned about the implications I wrote to AQA for clarification. They say that the biosocial approach in general does not refer to any specific theory but simply assumes an interaction between biological (e.g. genetic) and psychosocial factors.

“If a candidate describes genetic and psychosocial contributions to gender development and how they might interact, this would be an ideal approach to the question. Of course, it would be equally acceptable for a candidate to describe a specific theory of biosocial interactions in gender development.”

When it comes to gender dysphoria I think it might be difficult to make biosocial theories relevant (in our A2 book we have discussed two specific theories). Students should simply emphasise the biological + the psychosocial in their answers. In exam questions on the biosocial approach, the theories would provide a good basis for an answer.

5 thoughts on “Gender – the biosocial approach

  1. Vanessa says:

    Hi,
    I dont understand how you relate biosocial approach to gender dysphoria.. is the question asking how the biosocial approach explains gender dysphoria, or do they expect to write about the biosocial approach seprate and the explanations for gender dysphoria seprately,in many of the books, the explanations for gender dysphoria is either psychological or biological, this is very confusing, hope u can help
    Thanks

  2. Hello Vanessa

    I think any exam question on gender dysphoria is NOT likely to refer to the biosocial approach – it could just say ‘Discuss research related to gender dysphoria. (24 marks). In which case you do not need to worry about this at all.

    If, however, an exam question does say ‘Discuss the biosocial approach to gender development including gender dysphoria’ then an answer could address the biosocial approach in general and then specifically discuss how biological and psychosocial factors interact to ’cause’ gender dysphoria. Or you could just do the latter.

    An exam question could say ‘Discuss the biosocial approach to understanding gender dysphoria.(24 marks)’. In this case you must only discuss how biological and psychosocial factors interact to ’cause’ gender dysphoria.

    Cara

  3. vanessabm says:

    Thanks for the reply, was very helpful.
    My teacher said they cannot ask you a question just on Gender Dysphoria like as u said they can ask ‘Discuss research related to gender dysphoria’,because it was in the old specification. So I thought any question on Gender dysphoria will inc the biosocial approach

  4. I’m not sure I understand what you are saying – my view is that you can be asked about gender dysphoria and that it is possible that you could be asked about the biosocial approach to gender dysphoria – possible but unlikely.

  5. vanessabm says:

    Thank you so much for the reply

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