Cognitive Explanation (Gender)

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  • Cognitive Explanations
    • Kohlberg's Cognitive-Developmental Theory
      • 2. Gender Stability
        • At approx. 3-4 years old
        • Child is aware that their sex is fixed forever
        • Test Question
          • When you grow up will you be a mummy or a daddy?
      • 1. Gender Identity
        • At approx. 2-3 years old
        • Child can label themselves and others as boys/girls
        • Test Question
          • Are you a boy or a girl?
      • 3. Gender Constancy
        • At approx. 4-7 years old
        • Child understands that changing appearance or activities doesn't affect sex of person
        • Test Question
          • If you wore girls clothes would you still be a boy?
      • Support from Damon's Study
        • Read children a story about boy who played with dolls
        • Young children thought it was acceptable
        • Older children thought it was unusual
          • More developed idea of gender
    • Gender Schema Theory
      • Knowledge about appropriate behaviours and characteristics of boys and girls
        • Suggests that once gender identity is reached
          • Children actively seek information to build gender schemas
      • Formation according to Martin and Halverson
        • 2. Child can makes links between different components of schema for own sex
          • EG. boys play football also have short hair
        • 1. Child learns what is associated with each sex
          • EG. boys play football, girls wear dresses
        • 3.Child can use linked components of schemas for both sexes
          • EG. girls who wear dresses also have long hair
      • Evidence from Martin and Halverson
        • 5 and 6 year old children shown pictures of people partaking in activities
          • Some schema-consistent, some schema-inconsistent
        • On a test a week later, schema-consistent images recalled well
        • Schema-inconsistent images distorted to fit schemas
        • Children use schemas to help make sense of world


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