Essay about Gender Identity

1074 Words 5 Pages
The development of gender awareness is fundamental for our sense of self and is also predominant in any assessment made of another person as from birth on people respond differently to males and females. Gender identity can be seen as one of the earliest social categories that children learn to apply to both themselves and other people. This is suggested in Schaffer’s (1996) definition where gender identity is the correct labelling of self and others as male or female. There are three main theories that have been explored which all suggest multiple ways in which gender awareness is developed: Bandura, Kohlburg and the Gender Scheme Theory. Firstly, Bandura (1977) notes that the idea that social influences clearly plays a very significant …show more content…
Therefore, this shows that the development of gender awareness and identity has been the topic of many debates, thus showing how important the development of gender awareness is.
Sex role development begins in infancy and is a basic component of a stable identity throughout life and it can be suggested that the key component to identity formation are the social influences. This includes parental expectations, peer relationships and social experience that result in conforming to the gender stereotypes. Research into this has explored the ways in which parents and children interact with each other. From the beginning, parents tend to treat their child by their sex, ranging from the name given to the baby, to toys and furnishings. This, therefore, places the child into one category or another. The seemingly simple act of decorating a room or providing access to various play things is intimately connected with factors of adult influence. For example, this is shown in a study by Rheingold and Cook (1975) who showed how boys’ rooms were more likely to be blue and filled with toy vehicles, sports equipment and stereotypical male items. Girls’ rooms on the other hand tended to be decorated with floral wallpaper and lace, and would be more likely to contain dolls and more feminine objects. This experiment is supported
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