• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Describe and evaluate one or more cognitive development theories (CDT) of gender identity

Extracts from this document...


Describe and evaluate one or more cognitive development theories (CDT) of gender identity Cognitive development theory explains how gender identity develops first and then children pay attention to same sex role models; in comparison to the social learning theory, which in this suggests that children acquire the gender role first and then later develop an understanding of gender identity. The CDT is a theory that has age related critical stages where the maturation combines with the child's interaction with the environment so they can move through the stages. Kohlberg's theory was based on the work of Piaget. He suggested there are 3 main stages to gender identity which were: gender identity, where the child can identify their sex but not aware that it is fixed and cannot change it. (2 - 3.5 years old) gender stability, where the child is aware that their gender is fixed but are largely determined by such things like characteristics e.g. clothes and hairstyles. (3.5 - 4.5 years old) and gender constancy where the child is aware their gender is an unchanging quality. ...read more.


However the problem with interviewing and studying children of this age is the fact they are mostly all very compliant so the demand characteristics are going to frequently happen. Also the fact the children might not fully understand what it is, they are being asked to do and might have been giving answers because that was expected of them. In conclusion, the CDT theory has validity as you can relate to it, whilst being supported with good evidence of research. Martin and Halveson developed a schema theory, which could be an alternative to Kohlbergs CDT theory. A schema is a mental framework for organising experiences. This theory states that the ability to develop a schema is innate even though the content is learnt. There are no age related stages to this theory, but it is still a developmental one, seeing as it is dependent on the children's readiness to categorise information from their environment. When children mature and experience more environmental stimuli, there schemas develop being more flexible and complex. These can then hold more ambiguous information. ...read more.


This evidently supports the notation that children only notice information that is consistent with their schemas. Martin conducted another experiment where children aged 4 -5 were shown toys and told the toys were either for boys or for girls. It was found that the male children did only want to play with the 'boys toys' and not the 'girls toys'. Fagot then however said teachers tented to reinforce 'feminine' behaviours in both boys and girls such as 'being quiet' etc. however both displayed different behaviours and this suggests boys gender schemes override the reinforcement. There have also been research done by Bee that has failed to find a strong connection between gender awareness and gender typed behaviour. Archer also found that girls tend to have more flexible gender concepts and a greater tendency to engage in opposite gender activities, proving these findings are inconsistent to the theory. The schema theory is positive in the way that is has no rigid age stages and thus is more flexible. The theory also allowed individual differences and cultural differences to be taken into account while finally having face validity which means you can relate to the theory as you can see it happen. Daniel Talbot 6524 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Developmental Psychology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Developmental Psychology essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Outline and Evaluate 2 Cognitive Developmental Explanations of Gender Development

    4 star(s)

    in a way that is expected of them as a boy or a girl. Therefore, this theory predicts that children should pay attention to same-sex role models and show systematic gender role behaviours only after they have a full understanding of their gender and a strong sense that it is for life.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    The age group I have selected to describe the social emotional and cognitive development ...

    3 star(s)

    From 2-3 years children show good signs of growth, they may be able to complete a three-piece puzzle and match textures, colours and big and little. E3 Explain TWO (2) theoretical perspectives relevant to the areas of development. Piaget is a theorist that I am kinking to cognitive development, he

  1. counselling stages of attachement

    E.g - his ideas have lead to policies of allowing parents to stay in hospital with their sick children. Weaknesses - * Bowlby tended to overemphasise the importance of the attachment to the mother. Many attachments are with people other than their mothers, (e.g.

  2. Levels Of Processing

    therefore the null hypothesis was rejected. An additional finding was also noted from the participant's results, a primacy recency effect was observed. Participants remembered more words from the beginning and the end of the word list. This means that they remember the most recently processed words (at the end of the list)

  1. Free essay

    A qualitative study to explore the meaning of identity using interview data and relating ...

    As I say it's just a wider canvas (Tony) [lines 84-85]. Work The theme 'workaholic' emerges when asked to describe themselves, it's the first word Tony uses to describe himself: workaholic to a certain extent (Tony) [line 7]. we're both tarred with the same brush of being workaholic (Jo)

  2. Do playgroups encourage gender stereotypes?

    However, I should be able to make comparisons between the three points of view as well as noting any trends. I shall also choose three playgroup leaders/assistants in a similar way. This method may not give a wide sample showing ideas of the whole of the country, but it is

  1. Outline and evaluate the gender schema theory by Martin and Halverson. (6 marks)Therapies.

    A Canadian study two-three year olds had to choose a doll and had to do either male (shaving) or female (vacuuming) tasks. The girls chose gender appropriate doll for the task, the boys didn't, and therefore girls as young as two are affected by gender stereotype behaviours.

  2. Discuss Kohlbergs theory of Gender Development

    Support for Kohlberg?s theory on gender development comes from research carried out by Slaby and Frey (1975) who investigated 2-5 years old children. They separated the participants into groups by age and interviewed each group in order to find evidence of the 3 stages.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work