Differences in sympathetic nervous response due to gender
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The sympathetic nervous system, in addition to its many roles as part of the autonomic nervous system, utilizes contact with many organs in the body to recruit them for an immediate response to danger. The multiple survival responses that the sympathetic nervous system manifests are typically known as the fight, flight or freeze response. The freeze response, otherwise referred to as tonic immobility, is being explored here for its survival value in the specific context of gender. It is our belief that in situations of interpersonal aggression, females may be more suited to survive by utilizing a tonic response when they are confronted with violence. Research in the areas of both tonic immobility and gender differences will be explored and compared, as well as animal origins of tonic immobility. It is our hope that by looking at the various studies already conducted on these topics, a path for future research on gender and sympathetic response may be illuminated in the field of physiological psychology.
Thesis (M.A.)--Boston University