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Chromosomes
Threadlike structures made of DNA molecules that contain the genes.
DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid)
A complex molecule containing the genetic information that makes up the chromosomes.
Genes
The biochemical units of heredity that make up the chromosomes; a segment of DNA capable of synthesizing a protein
Genome
The complete instructions for making an organism, consisting of all the genetic material in chromosomes.
Natural Selection
The principle that, among the range of inherited trait variation, those that lead to increased reproduction and survival will most likely be passed on to succeeding generations
Mutation
A random error in gene replication that leads to a change in the sequence of nucleotides; the source of all genetic diversity.
Evolutionary Psychology
The study of the evolution of behavior and the mind, using the principles of natural selection.
Gender
In psychology, the characteristics, whether biologically or socially influenced, by which people define male and female.
Behavior Genetics
The study of the relative power and limits of genetic and environmental influences on behavior.
Environment
Every nongenetic influence, from prenatal nutrition to the people and things around us.
Identical Twins
Twins who develop from a single fertilized egg that splits in two, creating two genetically identical organisms.
Fraternal Twins
Twins who develop from separate eggs. They are genetically no closer than siblings, but share a fetal environment.
Temperament
A persons characteristic emotional reactivity and intensity.
Heritability
The proportion of variation among individuals that we can attribute to genes. The heritability of a trait may very, depending on the range of populations and environments studied.
Interaction
The dependence of the effect of one factor on another factor.
Molecular Genetics
The subfield of biology that studies the molecular structure and function of genes.
Culture
The enduring behaviors, ideas, attitudes, and traditions shared by a large group of people and transmitted from one generation to the next.
Norm
An understood rule for accepted and expected behavior.
Personal Space
The buffer zone we like to maintain around our bodies.
Memes
Self-replication ideas, fashions, and innovations passed from person to person.
X Chromosome
The chromosome found in both men and women. Females have (2), Males have (1).
Y Chromosome
The sex chromosome found only in males.
Testosterone
The most important of the male sex hormones. It stimulates the growth of the male sex organs in the fetus and male sex characteristics during puberty.
Role
A set of expectations about a social position, defining how those in the position ought to behave.
Gender Role
A set of expected behaviors for males and for females.
Gender Identity
One's sense of being male or female.
Gender-Typing
The acquisition of a traditional masculine or feminine role.
Social Learning Theory
The theory that we learn social behavior by observing and imitating and by being rewarded or punished.
Gender Schema Theory
The theory that children learn from their cultures a concept of what it means to be male and female and that they adjust their behaviors accordingly.
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