Social influences on gender

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  • Created by: KCharlish
  • Created on: 13-04-16 17:04

AO1 1 Social learning theory


  • renamed SLT as social cognitive theory to emphasis the role of cognitive factors
  • gender role development is the result of learning and reinforcement. 
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AO1 2 Parents

  • reinforce gender appropriate behaviour but not gender inappropriate behaviour. 

Idle - father's react negatively to son's feminine behaviours.

Fagot et al - parents who differentially reinforce gender behaviour have children who are quickest to develop strong gender preferences. 

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AO1 3 Peers

  • provide gender specific models and reinforce gender behaviour

Perry and Bussey - boys and girls select toys they previously saw same gender children selecting.

Lamb - 'punish' gender inappropriate behaviour, direct intuition - 'don't be a cissy'

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AO1 4 - Media

  • communicate cultural stereotypes

Bussey and Bandura

males - independant and directive

females - unambitious and emotional

McGhee and Frueh - those who watch more tv display more gender stereotypic role conceptions

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AO2 1 - Parents research support

Smith and Lloyd -

  • observed mothers playing with an infant either presented as a boy or girl (based on name or clothing)
  • mothers selected gender appropriate toys
  • responded more actively when a 'boy' showed increased motor activity.
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AO2 2 Peer research support

Lamb and Roopnarine -

  • male typed behaviour was reinforced in girls the behaviour continued for a shorter time than when male typed behaviour was reinforced in boys.
    • peer reinforcement acts as a reminder of what is gender appropriate behaviour. 
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AO2 3 Media research support


  • children with no tv had weaker gender stereotypes
  • after exposure to tv their views became more stereotypical. 
    • media reinforces stereotypes
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IDA real world application

  • pressure on program makers to use media to alter gender stereotypes
  • Pingree - stereotyping was reduced when shown commercials with women in non traiditional gender roles
    • pre adolescent boys held stronger stereotypes after exposure to non traditional models.
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IDA Biological approach

  • Bandura - did not deny the role of biological factors in social learning
  • starting point for social learning was knowing what sex you are - based on biology and gender identification at birth.
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AO2 4 - Direct tuition

Martin et al

  • pre-school boys played with toys labelled 'boys' toys even after seeing girls playing with them, but did not play with 'girls' toys even after seen boys play with them. 
    • did not model same sex behaviour when it was counter to direct tuition
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