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

"Discuss The Development Of Gender Identity, Making Reference To The Nature/Nurture Debate"

Extracts from this document...


"Discuss The Development Of Gender Identity, Making Reference To The Nature/Nurture Debate" The development of gender identity is a notion explored greatly through the social sciences, with emphasis being placed on anthropology, philosophy, psychology and sociology. This essay is going to discuss the development of gender identity through psychological works, with reference to the nature/nurture debate. In order to do this, the essay will be broken down into specific sections. Initially, the themes outlined in the title will be individually explored to offer their definitions. Secondly, the essay will move on to look at the varying schools of thought within psychology surrounding gender identity development, where the essay will cite some key thinkers and their theories. Thirdly, the essay will move on to combine the notion of gender identity development with the nature/nurture debate to discuss and express any correlations between them. The essay shall then be wrapped up by way of a summary of the undertaken works, as a way of creating a conclusion. The essay shall now explore the themes within the title, to offer definitions. Gender, in its common usage is the term used to denote the distinction males and females in accordance with anatomical sex. The term is often used interchangeably with the term 'sex' when discussing anatomical differences, however, depending on the approach taking, the definition of gender changes. ...read more.


The premise of this theory is that of role observation, and the mimicking of behaviours, known as operant conditioning and vicarious learning, respectively. Applied to gender development by Bandura and Mischel; Social learning theory stresses many important factors in the development of gender identity; these include reinforcement, observational learning, modelling and imitation. Social learning theory incorporates both notions of primary and secondary socialisation, including parents, peers and the mass media as important for gender identity development. Cognitive development theories stem from the works of Jean Piaget. Piaget was one of the first psychologists to look at the way in which children think and reason. Despite moves in the 1960's and 70's to revaluate his theories, many of his basic principles and assumptions have been empirically supported to be correct. Piaget's works identified that children look only at a superficial level, focusing on surface appearances rather than looking for more depth. Piaget's works were greatly extended by Kohlberg to explain the development of gender concepts - Kohlberg argued that an important factor in a childs development of gender concepts is the acceptance that it is fixed and unchanging - regardless of surface appearances. Kohlberg advocates that a child must develop through three stages to understand gender - initially children do not use gender in any way, to categorise themselves or others. ...read more.


Outlining the importance of socialisation in the home (primary) and secondary through peers and the mass media. Cognitive Development Theories are in keeping with the nature side of the debate, where, in Kohlberg's view, gender development occurs through the resolution of three stages - where at the end of stage three the child is able to determine that gender is an underlying and unchanging aspect of identity. In conclusion, this essay has discussed the development of gender identities. To summarise the works undertaken, initially definitions were offered of the themes in the essay title, which then moved on to discuss the psychological works of Psychodynamics, Social Learning Theory and Cognitive Development Theories, writing in relation to the nature/nurture debate. Despite there being many more theories of gender identity development, certain aspects were omitted in order to reflect on different positions in the nature/nurture debate. As well as issues such as sexual orientation and androgyny were also over looked. Despite strong arguments arising from each theory, it is difficult to accurately and empirically deduce the exact role of nature or nurture in the development of gender identities as both are constantly interacting throughout ones own life, and at a time of radical social changes (from the writing of these theories), with immense family diversity including single parent and same sex families. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Child Development 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 GCSE Child Development essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Child Development - Child Study

    4 star(s)

    He does not bother with his new sister as much as I would have expected. His brother's are great with her. Jack's jealousy can turn to anger and frustration which brings on mini tantrums. Jack has a caring and considerate side to him and has best friends at school and he is very friendly.

  2. Child development - Study of a child

    you never know what might happen, also you don't know what is safe and what isn't safe anymore. Evaluation of FARs Activities I feel I gained a lot of information that is very useful to my research topic. I have learnt a lot about Alanya and her lifestyle and what her parents think of play as a whole.

  1. What are the essential qualities of a good Montessori teacher, and why are these ...

    accomplish the development according to the potential that is found within himself. The teacher, in partnership with the environment is there to serve him and present him with the objects and materials in the environment that he can use for his development.

  2. Free essay

    Child Development

    This is in line with Fahlberg and Sheridan who both mention that four year olds are able to count objects correctly, and begin to count objects by word and touch. (Fahlberg, 1991,P.89) and (Mary D. Sheridan 1997, P. 36) within this family John looks up to his older brother were

  1. Child development

    Below are the people you're most likely to meet. Some may have students with them who are being trained, and you'll be asked if you mind them being present. Who are they? What do they do? A midwife An expert in normal pregnancy and birth. Midwives are specially trained to care for mothers and babies throughout normal pregnancy, labour and after the birth.

  2. Discuss the nature-nurture debate in relation to individual development.

    Genes It is shown that our traits are coded within our Genes, this can be hair and eye colour to your height and facial features, and this has be scientifically proven. The twin to twin studies show that maybe behaviour and interests are also coded into the DNA with other traits as well.

  1. Child development study - I will compare my visits and look at Aroushs development ...

    Creative play helps to develop understanding of different concepts. What types of activities are involved in creative play? Sand and water- This will develop gross motor skills, and physical development. Painting and colouring- This will help a child intellectually as they will be able to learn their colours, it will also develop their fine motor skills and physical development.

  2. Development through the life stages

    have no wife, fiancé or even a girlfriend and have to provide for their family all by themselves. This can be a struggle to some. After the age of 60 it is said that they are starting to decline in logic, math, memory and spatial tasks.

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