The gender schema theory

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How does this theory believe gender identity develops?
through both cognitive and social processes
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What do children not need to know about gender?
Children do not need to know that gender is permanent in order to develop a gender schema
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When does a childs gender schema develop?
At around 2 -3 years old, as soon as they notice difference between boys and girls and they are able to label them reliably
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What are the two sex related schemas?
the in/out group schema and the own sex schema
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What is an example of the in/out group schema?
when a child identifies that a train is for boys
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What is an example of the own sex schema?
when a child identifies that a train is for boys and then processess that "i am a boy therefore a train is for me"
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What do these schemas rely on?
they rely heavily on stereotypes and generalisations, these allow the child to make sense of gender.
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What is a suitable IDA point for this theory?
Nature - the concept of schemas is innate, people have and always will create schemas to make sense of the world. Nurture - we are socialised to lean towards toys in our 'in-group'. children also use social/cultural clues to make their own sex schema
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What is one piece of supporting research?
Martin and Little - found 3-5yr olds had a basic understanding of gender yet maintained strong stereotypes. this supports the theory as it shows 3yr olds had strong ideas about what behaviour should be in their 'in-group' and developed their O.S.S
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What is a second piece of supporting research?
Martin, Eisenbud and Rose - found the children chose toys that they had been told were associated with their sex group. this supports the theory as it shows how young children will behave in line with their O.S.S and their percieved 'in-group'
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What could be a possible issue with the research? (AO3)
the children may have been displaying demand characteristics, therefore reduces internal validity and reduces support for the theory overall
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What is a suitable wider evaluation for the theory?
it offers a good insight into why children seem to cling to gender stereotypes. they pay minimal attention to info that contradicts their schemas. it also helps us understand why young kids adhere to steretypes more rigidly than older kids.
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Card 2

Front

What do children not need to know about gender?

Back

Children do not need to know that gender is permanent in order to develop a gender schema

Card 3

Front

When does a childs gender schema develop?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

What are the two sex related schemas?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

What is an example of the in/out group schema?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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