Learning Approach as an explanation of gender development

Modelling, reinforcement, shaping

  • key feature of a model- gender
  • findings of Bandura et al (1961) shows this
  • does the same thing happen for gender-stereotypical behaviours?
  • beliefs about femaleness and maleness are fairly consistent across cultures:

-males: act on things to make them happen 

-females: relational- interactions with others + how they feel.

  • reflected in beliefs and expectations in soceity:

-males: aggressive, active, competetive

females: passive, nurturing, cooperative

  • bandura- children are more likely to imitate same-sex models. 
  • when children copy gender-matching behaviour they are more likely to be reinforced-
  • selective reinforcement shapes behaviour to conform to gender stereotypes.


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