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Cognitive Development Theory

Kohlberg's gender constancy theory
-Developed from Piaget ­ young people cannot distinguish between appearance and reality.
McConaghy ­ under 5 year olds labelled stick drawing of person with male genitals + dress as

Stage Age Findings Evidence (A02)
Gender Identity 2­3½ Base gender on appearance…

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Cultural bias ­ Doesn't allowed for cultural differences- Diff cultures see gender differently.

Gender Schema Theory
Schemas Ingroup/Outgroup Resiliance
A01 Children develop Children are Explains why children
organised clusters of interested in have fixed gender
info about gender. schemas relating to attitudes.
Learn these from their gender. They ignore info…

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Bruce and Brenda
-Twin boys were taken to be circumcised at the age of 6 months but one circumcision went
wrong and the whole male genitalia were cut off.

-Dr. John Money advised the parents to bring him up as a girl, called Brenda Which they did.
The twins frequently…

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-Geschwind + Galaburda ­ Suggested that sex differences may be cause by the effects of
testosterone levels on the developing brain. Male brains are pre-natally exposed to more
testosterone than females leading to the development of a masculinised brain. If the brain
of a female is exposed to testosterone it…

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Mate choice adaptive to max reproductive success

Men look for partners who are physically attractive and healthy with glossy hair and a thin waist
which are all indicators of fertility.

Women also look for signs of fertility but more concerned about the resources a partner provides.

So women…

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General evaluation

Shows why more divorces today since we're not all acting in the way we have evolved to.

Used to outline rape as weaker men more likely to rape to continue on their genes. Controversial as
condones rape by saying it's expected.


Meat shearing hypothesis

Stanford (1999) -…

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prenatally exposed to high levels of female hormones = mismatch between genetic sex and
hormone influence.

-Prenatal hormone levels may be effected by genetic conditions = mismatch between
hormones and genetic sex e.g. AIS. May lead to an intersex condition where external
genitalia do not match genetic sex = individual…

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sample bias ­ money + Ehrhardts some research done e.g. genetic females exposed to
male hormones prenatally due to the mother taking drugs, may not be relevant to
understand normal gender development.

Social role theory

-Eggly and wood

Evolved physical differences -Men are assigned social role -Psychological differences
between men…

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-Hormonal differences between men and women may be the outcome of social roles and
psychological sex differences rather than the cause

- more testosterone = aggression , competitive etc

A02 - Nature and nurture considered

- Alpha bias ­ exaggerating differences between males and females.

-social role theory was an…

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- Reactions important sources of information for gender role development.

Direct tuition

- Refers to explicit instructions about appropriate gender behaviour.

- Begins as child gets linguistic skills and informs about conduct styles.

- Instructions can act contradictorily to teaching which weakens message.



SLT based on Bobo Doll…


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