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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
gender stability (3-5 yrs.)
gender is recognized as somewhat permanent but gender can be changed if you change behavior or appearance
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
once children have a gender identity, they begin to act in ways consistent with their gender identity
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
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