Gender Development and Stereotyping

Gender Development and Stereotyping

 

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“As early as age 2½, children have learned basic stereotypes about the sexes, including information about appearance and activities” (Martin & Fabes, 2009, p. 304).

 

Think about young children you know. Think about what they like to play, the activities they choose to participate in, or their favorite toys. Now, think about your own childhood. What were some of your favorite activities and toys? What messages did you receive—from your family, school, culture, and community—about being a boy or being a girl?

 

For this Discussion, review the section “How Do Young Children Develop a Concept of Gender?” in your course text (pp. 302 – 308). Think about gender stereotyping and the three theories—biological, social learning, and cognitive—that “attempt to explain critical changes that affect children’s gender development” (Martin & Fabes, 2009, p. 306).

 

With these thoughts in mind:

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Post the following:

 

  • A brief summary of the theory that interests you most. State whether you agree with the theory and explain your reasoning. Explain whether this theory helped to confirm or dispel any assumptions you had about gender identification and stereotyping.
  • Your views on how gender stereotyping during early childhood might influence children’s future development. Include examples from your own early childhood experiences and the messages you received that fostered stereotypic views and expectations, or helped to dispel them.

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