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KOHLBURG
Basic Gender 2 ­ 3 ½ years Aware of sex but believes that it can
Identity change
Gender Stability 3 ½ - 4 ½ years Aware that sex is stable over time, but
not over situations
Gender Consistency 4 ½ - 7 years Realises sex remains the same,
regardless of time or situation
According to Kohlberg children cannot be expected to show sex typed behaviour
until they have formed the necessary mental structures.
Children need to understand that gender
Children will need to acquire knowledge
is constant; not until children have
about gender before social experiences
grasped the idea that they are masculine
have any effect on them!
or feminine forever will they consistently
act in a sex typed way.…read more

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Supporting evidence for Kohlberg
· Slaby and Frey ­ asked children between 2-5 gender identity
questions . 97% achieved gender identity.
· They then asked stability questions- 75% achieved gender
stability.
· 50% of children achieved gender consistency.
Conclusion: Gender development is age related and sequentially
ordered as Kohlberg's theory suggests.
However Gender consistency may be acquired earlier than kohlburg
originally suggested.
· Munroe et al (1984) ­ found that same
stages in children from different cultures.…read more

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Problems with Kohlberg's Theory
· Gender role behaviour is shown by most boys and girls before
there third birthday ­ this is several years before Kohlberg
says.
· Research shows that children from as early as 2 prefer sex
typed toys. And prefer same sex play mates by the age of 3.
· Other research concludes that children need only a very basic
understanding of gender before they learn sex role
stereotypes.
· However, Kohlberg's theory has been criticised for ignoring
the effects of social influences and conditioning. As well as
doesn't explain why things happen.…read more

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Reductionism ­ kohlburgs theory is reductionist by ignoring the
obvious behavioural factors that determines much early
gender development.
Kohlburgs theory is challenged by the fact there is no significant
relationship between children's beliefs about gender and their
actual behaviour.…read more

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Gender Schema Theory ­
Martin & Halverson (1981)
Gender schema : An organised sex of beliefs about
· This theory combines
the sexes.
cognitive developmental
theory and social learning
·Gender schema theory claims that a children' theory.
s understanding of gender need only be very
basic for them to lean sex stereotypes and
show strong preferences for gender
appropriate toys.
·The theory's idea is that children are pre-programmed to organise information in
terms of schemas.
·The theory proposes that the schemas are formed as soon as a children have acquired
basic gender identity. Once these gender schemas are formed, any information children
receive about gender roles is actively used to understand the larger world. (Information
Processing approach)…read more

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