Social Influences on Gender Roles - Additional Notes

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  • Created by: Zoe
  • Created on: 16-12-12 12:31

The Behavioural Perspective - assumes that parents teach their children about gender-related behaviours through operant conditioning (through reinforcement of rewards or punishment)

Lytton and Romney (1991) - Key Study
27,836 participants
Carried out in North American and other Western countries. 

Findings: Little evidence for differential treatment in terms of interaction and warmth between son and daughters. Encouragement of sex-typed activities also Boys were more likely to be physically punished

Supports the claim that boys and girls receive different reinforcement for activities considered to be sex-appropriate.

Key Evaluation Points to Consider for Lytton and Romney's Study:

  • Findings cannot be generalised globally – findings specific to westernised countries
  • Cultural relativism (debate) as parenting styles may vary in different cultures.
  • Very large sample size
  • Very broad range of participants (different religions, ethnicities etc)
  • Can identify patterns and trends
  • Supports claim of parental treatment

The Impact of Peers - little studies which offer an alternative view

Archer and Lloyd (1982) -


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