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Hormones and Behavior

            Sex Hormones, Gender Differences, and Behavior.
             Behavior is intricately woven of genetics, environment, and hormones. The interplay of the nervous and endocrine systems and the influence of sex hormones on behavior are examined here in depth. Hormones are intimately tied to sex characteristics and to behavior. The behavioral implications of the presence or lack of certain hormones at critical periods of development is explored. Hormonal influence on female cycles, reproduction, nursing, sexual behavior and sex differences are also examined. The intimate relationship between psychology and physiology becomes apparent. .
             Sex Hormones, Gender Differences, and Behavior.
             Organisms monitor the external state of the world and integrate the information they receive with their internal state. It is through the nervous system that humans contact our environment, the external world, and are adapted to function in it (Mani, Blaustein & O"Malley, 1997). Awareness of the tangible, through the network of nerves, spinal cord and brain, becomes awareness of information ceaselessly conveyed. Messages are carried along the millions of nerve pathways to the brain, and are then transformed in some mysterious way into information. Sometimes this information causes nerves to fire initiating muscle response. Along with this display of incoming and outgoing nervous energy there are parallel activities in the system of endocrine glands and the interplay of activity is so significant that unless the endocrine system is functioning normally, there will be no adequate response to the information and no transformation of one type of energy into another (Leshner, 1978).
             The Endocrine System.
             The endocrine system is the internal system of the body that deals with chemical communication by means of hormones, the ductless glands that secrete the hormones, and the target cells that respond to hormones (Leshner, 1978). The endocrine system provides chemical communication in the body through the release of hormones into the bloodstream.

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