Development GD

Sex and gender

  • sex = biological differences between males and females
  • gender = non biological traits of males and females

Sex differences

  • different chromosomal structures determine prenatal exposure to hormones 
  • > males = XY, females = **
  • different genitals
  • men taller and heavier
  • females more robust and live longer
  • differences in activity levels, verbal and spatial abilities, aggression, body size

Gender roles 

  • gender role standards - patterns of behaviour expected of different sexes
  • gender role stereotypes - mistaken beliefs or perceptions in a society
  • gender-typing -  socialisation process by whcih child becomes aware of being a girl or boy, learning to behave appropriately to gender roles

Gender-role development: infants and toddlers

  • from birth, boys and girls treated differently, eg. play, clothes
  • end of year 1:
  • > discriminate between males and females
  • from second year:
  • > prefer gender appropriate toys, choose same sex playmates
  • 2-3…


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