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A fusion of important developmental psychology lecture and textbook highlights

verbal ability

girls show small but consistent advantage

visual/spatial abilities

boys outperform girls

mathematical ability

boys show a small but consistent advantage

gender typing

the process by which a child becomes aware of his or her gender and acquires motives, values, and behaviors considered appropriate for members of that sex

stages of gender constancy

gender labeling, gender stability, and gender consistency

gender labeling (2-3 yrs.)

children are able to reliably label their own and others' genders

gender stability (3-5 yrs.)

gender is recognized as somewhat permanent but gender can be changed if you change behavior or appearance

gender consistency (7 yrs.)

gender is permanent, cannot be changed even if appearance is changed

middle childhood (gender identity)

males adopt a masculine role while females identification with feminine roles decline

adolescence (gender identity)

gender intensification - move towards more traditional gender identity

explanations of sex-typed behavior

social cognitive learning theory, Kohlberg's, gender-schema theory, and biology

influence of parents/society

react to gender behavior, buy "appropriate" gender toys, select gender activities

social cognitive learning theory

learn sex-typed behavior through: reinforcement and punishment of behaviors & observational learning

social learning theory and imitation

since children are selective of who they imitate it reduces the support that society is the main influence over sex-typed behavior

Kohlberg

once children have a gender identity, they begin to act in ways consistent with their gender identity

gender-schema theory

environment teaches children their gender identity and helps establish their gender schemas, with this knowledge they can engage in sex-typed behavior

biology (sex-typed behavior)

hormones may contribute to sex-typed behavior, shown to modify those of the opposite sex significantly

evolutionary theory of gender role development

men and women faced different evolutionary pressures over the course of human history and the natural selection process is responsible for differences in gender

criticisms of the evolutionary theory

ignores difference limited to certain cultures, there is evidence that sex difference emerge due to variations in roles assigned to men and women & promotion of traits within these cultures

CAH (congenital adrenal hyperplasia)

high levels of male hormone exposure during pregnancy; girls showed more male-like genitalia, sex-typed behavior and characteristics

androgen sensitivity

low levels of male hormone during pregnancy; males appearance, preferences and abilities were more feminine

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