Gender Development: Social or Biological

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In a variety of contexts, the word "gender" is used to describe "the masculinity or femininity of words, persons, characteristics, or non-human organisms" (Wikipedia, 2006). More specific to psychology, gender role is a term used to describe the normal behavior associated with a given gender status. Those that do not follow this customary role given to their particular gender are said to have an atypical gender role. "A person who has normal male genitalia and identifies himself as a man will usually take up a masculine gender role, a role in society that will be viewed by the other people in his society as a normal thing for a male to do. A person who has normal female genitalia and identifies herself as a woman will probably do things…show more content…
According to cognitive developmental theory, children develop the stereotypic conceptions of gender from what they see and hear around them. Once they achieve this, the belief that their own gender is fixed and irreversible. They seek to behave only in ways that are congruent with that conception. An example of this would be a boy, who wants to do boy things, therefore the opportunity to do boy things is rewarding. Last is gender schema theory, here the mastery of gender identity, the ability of children to label themselves and others as males or a female is necessary for gender development. A child who knows the he or she is male or female, and can tell which someone else is due to his or her environment and norms can be an example of this (Shaffer, 2005). After weighing and researching both the socio-cultural and the biological side of the debate, and especially after reading the John/ Joan article, I would defenetly have to say that gender role development is biological. "John/ Joan" was clearly a male and was for the most part behaving the way a typical man would, showing that regardless of the way Joan was being raised, Johns identity still stayed dominant (as did baby X in Gould's article). John was born a male, and after having the sex change operation due to a botched circumsisim, still had a male pattern of thinking and feeling. I truly believe after everything I read, that this side of the debate must be true. "Children's understanding
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