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

Discuss explanations of the development of gender identity and / or gender roles

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Discuss explanations of the development of gender identity and / or gender roles The first explanation into the development of gender identity is the Social Learning Theory or Social Cognitive Theory, developed by Bandura (1991). Bandura suggested that gender identity, or roles, develop through several modes of influence, principally modelling, enactive experience and direct tuition. Bandura demonstrated modelling through the Bobo doll experiment where young children copied aggressive behaviour, particularly when the modeller was the same s*x as the child. This suggests children copy same s*x models in everyday life and thereby learn what's considered appropriate behaviour from the behaviour of those around them. This may be reinforced or inhibited through enactive experience where the child's actions are 'rewarded' or 'punished' by people's reactions. This is also shown through peers, as a child may see them getting rewarded or punished for something and therefore model their behaviour on that outcome. People can also model their behaviour on gender roles shown in the media, which affects their self-efficacy. ...read more.

Middle

modelling begins once the child can tell males and females apart. This theory also doesn't account for the fact that a child is not completely passive in his or her development. Bussey and Bandura (1992) state that a child will move from external reinforcement from parents and peers to self-evaluation and self-regulation as they get older which the theory doesn't explain. For example, Bussey and Bandura's study found that four-year-old children would feel bad playing with cross-s*x toys, showing that they learn early through self-evaluation. Overall, this theory is good as it notices the important of society in gender role development and it explains why some children are more stereotyped in their views and it can be applied to people of all ages. This theory also holds implications in society such as how T.V programmes showing stereotypical gender roles could affect a person's self-efficacy. A second explanation into gender roles / identity is the gender schema theory. This theory states that we have all have gender schemas, which tell us how we should act in order to be accepted. ...read more.

Conclusion

Being gender schematic means that you organise activities and behaviours into masculine and feminine categories, and therefore leads to gender stereotyped behaviour. Those who are non-gender schematic develop an androgynous gender schema, and therefore behave in ways that represent males and females. This theory is strengthened by the study by Martin and Little, which found that pre-school children had strong gender stereotypes, which shows that they had information about gender roles at a young age, which is what the gender schema theory suggests. The gender schema theory suggests that children will only pay attention to information that relates to their gender schema, and this is also strengthened by Martin and Halverson (1983) who found that when children under six were asked to recall pictures of people, they recalled more gender consistent people. Bradbard et al told children that gender-neutral items were either for males or females, and found that the children took much more interest in those items in their ingroup. This also suggests that children pay more attention to their ingroup. However, this research can be criticised as it is based on trivial information, and this therefore may not be true of all types of information. ...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 star student thought of this essay

4 star(s)

Response to the question

Response to Question: All in all, this answers the question very well – a balanced amount of description and evaluation is given. This means the reader is able to understand not only the background information of the theories, but also ...

Read full review

Response to the question

Response to Question: All in all, this answers the question very well – a balanced amount of description and evaluation is given. This means the reader is able to understand not only the background information of the theories, but also the strengths and limitations of them. The theories of Social Learning and Gender Schemas are comprehensively covered with a large paragraph describing each. Then both are evaluated clearly and separately for example “Perry and Bussey (1979) support modelling by showing that children copied the fruit choices of same sex models” and then “This theory also holds implications in society such as how T.V programmes showing stereotypical gender roles could affect a person’s self-efficacy.” My only criticism of the overall response is that I would’ve liked to see a clear conclusion at the end to sum-up the whole essay (this could simply be a couple sentences reinforcing the main points already made and possibly saying which explanation is better). A conclusion ensures that the reader knows what the main point/’decision’ of the essay was – the essay title says ‘discuss’ so the examiners are looking for evidence for and against a theory and then a decision as to how good it is.

Level of analysis

Level of Analysis: A great deal of critical analysis was provided – with both points to support the theories and also dispute them. For example evidence is provided by Perry and Bussey but then this evidence is criticised for being too focussed on trivial examples and short-term effects. This is good as it shows the reader that the writer has considered both sides of the argument in an unbiased manner – something that is necessary for successful scientific research. To improve the analysis I would suggest a sentence to explain what each of the studies provided involved (this has been done towards the end of the essay e.g.” Martin and Halverson (1983) who found that when children under six were asked to recall pictures of people” but not consistently). I think this would add a bit more context to the analysis and therefore allow the reader to decide how useful/relevant/supportive the evidence is.

Quality of writing

Quality of writing: No criticism here, all the spelling and grammar are good. Additionally technical terms such as ‘enactive experience’ and ‘modelling’ are defined and used successfully.
Star rating: 4 (I think this could easily be a 5 with a few of the improvements suggested)


Did you find this review helpful? Join our team of reviewers and help other students learn

Reviewed by danielle-dansmell 21/02/2012

Read less
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-s*x 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. Physical, Social and Emotional Development of Children.

    On work placement I know that the school have a policy about fighting and guns and do not promote fighting or violence towards anyone. The children's behaviour seems to improve but it is not to say children are not subjected to viewing violence at their own home.

  1. Describe processes for initiating, maintaining, developing and concluding a counselling relation.

    The counsellor must understand themselves what the client has spoken to them about, if they do not they must ask the clients questions so they do. This will help them to make a decision on whether they can help the client with their problems or whether the client feels that they need different help, and to discuss this with them.

  2. Factors that Affect Growth and Development.

    In the preoperational stage, from ages 2 to 7, the child is preoccupied with verbal skills. At this point the child can name objects and reason intuitively. In the concrete operational stage, from ages 7 to 12, the child begins to deal with abstract concepts such as numbers and relationships.

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

    There may be a number of reasons for not having two parents for example death and divorce. If the situation were divorce would it not be better for the child to live with one parent than to live with both and have to cope with emotional turmoil.

  2. Free essay

    Unmasking Anxiety with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

    In turn, her patients experienced an ease of symptoms for their various disorders, including Lyme disease; of which, depression and anxiety are symptoms (Busse). Though drugs and supplements may assist in calming stress reactions from anxiety and depression for periods of time, studies show that through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT),

  1. DISCUSS THE EFFECTS OF GENDER ROLES AND GENDER IDENTITY ON BEHAVIOUR

    .The babies developed Androgential Syndrome. As they grew they tended to be more aggressive and "tomboyish", and less feminine. They preferred male activities with male company and expressed more interest in a career than in having a family." (G.C Davenport, ESSENTIAL PSYCHOLOGY, chapter five, page 116.)

  2. Is Popular culture an Influence on Violent Behaviour?

    Cultural value ('high' culture) has been traditionally associated with dominant or powerful groups - those who have appreciation of classical music, art, ballet, opera and so on. 'Low' or popular culture is everything not approved of as 'high'. It is vulgar, common, or 'easy'.

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