Cognitive explanation of gender development

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Cognitive explanation of gender development

  • Focuses on the thinking behind gender
  • There are two theories of gender development: Gender Schema theory and Kohlberg

Kohlbergs congnitive development theory

  • Believed children's minds develop in stages related to age

Gender Identity : 2-3 years

Able to identify their sex and other peoples sex. eg "my daddy is a man" - At this stage gender is nothing more that a label - they believe you can reassign a persons sex due to outward experiences. eg if a mother gets her hair cut short, her son may say shes a man

Gender Stability : 3-4 years

Able to understand their gender is stable - know they will stay the same sex. They do not have the ability to understand that this rule must apply to others. - fooled by outwards appearances

Gender Constancy : 4-7 years

Begin to understand gender as adults do. Children begin to decentre. As this happens they start to understand everybodys sex is constant not just their own. They are also no longer fooled by outward appearances

Study: Marcus and Overton

Aim: To…


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