Gender Development

Topics: Psychosexual development, Sigmund Freud, Oral stage Pages: 4 (1282 words) Published: July 6, 2008
Gender identity is an aspect of the developing self-concept. The main gender difference in early childhood is boys' greater aggressiveness. Girls tend to be more empathic and social and less prone to problem behavior. Cognitive differences appear early. This paper will focus on three gender development theories: social cognitive, gender-schema, psychosexual. Social Cognitive Theory

Human isolation on the basis of gender is affects virtually every aspect of a person’s daily life. The social cognitive theory integrates psychological and sociostructural aspects within an environment. In this perspective, gender conceptions and roles are the product of a broad network of social influences operating interdependently. People contribute to their self-development and bring about social changes that define and structure gender relationships through their actions (Lobel). Cognition means how you think, and the theory we will be looking at is Kohlberg’s Cognitive-Developmental Theory. The basic principle of the theory is that a child's understanding of gender develops with age. Kohlberg identified three stages in gender development. The first is gender identity which happens at about 2 years of age, and it is where the child recognizes what makes a person male or female. The next stage happens at about 4 years and is called gender stability. At this stage, the child now understands that their gender is fixed and will be male/female when they're older. Finally is gender constancy which happens between 5 and 7 years and is the stage at which the child realizes that superficial changes will not change their gender (Lobel). For example, a girl wearing jeans is still girl or a boy wearing a dress is still boy.

Gender-Schema Theory
The Gender-Schema theory concludes that children learn about what it means to be male and female from their culture. According to this theory, children adjust their behavior to fit in with the gender norms and expectations of their...
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