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  • Created by: Katie
  • Created on: 19-01-11 13:44


Cognitive Developmental Theory suggests ideas on Gender change with age.

- Gender is the way someone acts and identifies themselves, the characteristics that make a person masculine or feminine.

- First proposed by Piaget. Suggests childrens thoughts and views on the world change with age.

Kohlberg (1966) developed a Theory of Gender Consistency which is a part of the wider Cognitive Developmental Theory.

  • Gender Identity (2 - 3.5 years old) the child is aware they're male or female but think their gender may change for example by wearing opposite sexes clothes.
  • Gender Stability (3.5 - 4.5 years old) the child realises that gender will remain fixed over time for example boys become men, but they think gender can change in different situations for example by wearing different clothes.
  • Gender Consistency (4.5 - 7 years old) the child is aware that gender remains fixed in different situations for example cross dressing doesn't change gender.

- McConaghy's (1979) supports, study showed that children in Kohlberg's Gender Stability stage determined the gender of dolls by their clothing rather than their genitals.

- Munroe et al's (1984) study found the same stages in children from different cultures - NATURE (innate).

- Kohlberg's has been criticised for ignoring affects of social influences and conditioning. It also describes what happens but not why.

Martin and Halverson (1981) developed the Gender Schema Theory which combines Cognitive Developmental Theory and Social Learning Theory.

- The theory suggests how gender stereotyping helps children learn what is and what isn't appropriate for their gender.

  • Proposes that by age 3 children have developed a basic gender identity. They also have a gender schema which contains the child's ideas about gender appropriate behaviour.
  • A child's schema is based on ingroup (activities, objects and behaviours associated with ones sex) and outgroup (those associated with the opposite sex). Children…


Caitlin Brown


Is that all on gender? xxxxxxxxx

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