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

Outline and Evaluate 2 Cognitive Developmental Explanations of Gender Development

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Outline and Evaluate 2 Cognitive Developmental Explanations of Gender Development There are two cognitive explanations of gender development. These theories share the view that the child's thinking and understanding of their gender identity as boys or girls is what leads to the adoption of gender role behaviours. Kohlberg's cognitive developmental theory (1966) argued that the child develops an understanding of gender in three stages and it is only after the child has fully understood that gender is constant, at around age 5, that they show gender role behaviour. Martin and Halverson's gender schema theory (1981) agrees with the cognitive nature of gender development, but argues that children develop schemas about gender and gender role behaviours earlier than Kohlberg suggested. According to Kohlberg (1966), the child's understanding of their own gender identity forms the basis of their enactment of gender role behaviours. Kohlberg argued that the child's understanding of gender develops gradually through three stages which are loosely linked to age across early childhood. ...read more.

Middle

They were shown a silent film in which two adult models - one male and one female carried out simple stereotyped gender role activity such as baking a cake or changing a wheel. The film was constructed using a split-screen model so the child could watch both films and their eye movement and direction of gaze were recorded to assess which film they looked at most. Slaby and Frey found that the child who had reached high levels of gender constancy spent more time watching the same-sex model than those who had low levels of gender constancy, supporting Kohlberg's claim that children pay attention to same-sex models after the stage of constancy has been reached. In a more realistic study, Ruble (1981) considered the relationship between gender constancy and the child's responsiveness to television adverts for 'girl' and 'boy' toys. Children who had reached their gender constancy were sensitive to the implicit message of the advert that certain toys were 'right or wrong' for boys or girls. ...read more.

Conclusion

Therefore children look to the environment to develop and build their gender schemas, which become progressively more complex. So toys, from being neutral, become categorised as boys' or girls' toys; games, sports, school lessons, even musical instruments are categorised as 'right' for girls or boys. Poulin-Dubois et al. (2002) studied a group of 63 Canadian toddlers aged two to three years. They were asked to choose a doll to carry out a series of tasks which were classed as male (shaving), female (vacuuming) and neutral (sleeping). Girls aged 24 months chose the gender-appropriate doll for the tasks while girls did not, implying that girls as young as two had identified their gender stereotypes. Boys were around 31 months old before they demonstrated similar stereotypes. This study shows that young children between two and three years old select and pay attention to models on the basis of their sex. Both of these cognitive theories I have discussed see the child as active, seeking out information about gender and trying to make sense of the gendered world they live in. In both of these theories, the direction of development goes from cognitive concept (i.e. ...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

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

4 star(s)

Applications of these theories can be added to this essay - how is this useful in the real world? The essay considers with some reflection on the contribution of two theories - perhaps it could supply a little more detail on the sampling and conclusions to be drawn. 4*

Marked by teacher Stephanie Duckworth 16/07/2013

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

    Bowlby's Attachment Theory

    4 star(s)

    mean that non-human animal research has limited applicability. REF Harlow's research has also been criticised in terms of the ethics of allowing animals to be manipulated in this way. Such criticism could also be applied to Lorenz's work with goslings. Schaffer and Emerson (1964) challenged some of Bowlby's claims.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    What have been the major challenges to Piaget's theory of cognitive development? What aspects ...

    4 star(s)

    The stages theory is open to criticism as they are too rigid and neglects individual differences such as memory span, motivation etc. Piaget also underestimated the age at which children could do things. This maybe because he failed to distinguish between competence and performance.

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Smacking Children right or wrong

    3 star(s)

    If they teach their children rules are enforced for reason then when their child grows up into the world he or she will be able to follow those rules. Though smacking children is portrayed, as abuse is it not equally an abuse to children if they are not brought up with clear moral guidelines.

  2. Describe and evaluate Piaget's theory of cognitive development

    Children at the later stage, the intuitive stage, can usually do such tasks but after trial and error. Preconceptual children find it difficult to perform tasks involving syncretic thought. Piaget presented children with tow glasses of the same size and shape containing the same amount of liquid.

  1. Physical, Social and Emotional Development of Children.

    When a child is born, parents are given a personal Child Health Record book, which contains charts on which the child's height, weight and head circumference are plotted and any advice offered by a health visitor. Information is gained through: * Growth monitoring * Discussions with parents * Physical examinations * Observations.

  2. In Britain today, most people live in nuclear families - The aim of this ...

    You could say that the mother holds the stereotypical role of the housewife who does most of the chores mainly including the cleaning and cooking, but as she too works, chores are shared in the household. For example each member of the family will take it in turn to cook

  1. How does watching television influence the behaviours and cognitions of young children?

    The watershed on television was initially introduced in 1964, following numerous reports and complaints about inappropriate viewing for children before nine pm. Although at this time the BBC were not technically committed to this requirement and shockingly, it wasn't actually until 1980 that the BBC announced that they would also

  2. Discuss Piaget's theory of cognitive development (24 marks)

    However, research carried out in other cultures has shown that concrete reasoning may be more highly regarded, which may explain why children in those cultures often do not display formal operational reasoning. A problem with some of the earlier research on this theory is that it often failed to consider other explanations for the findings.

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