Gender Roles And Gender Development

1598 Words Mar 20th, 2015 7 Pages
Gender and sex are not synonymous, although they are often used interchangeably. Sex is a biological term and defined as “the categories of male or female of the sum total of biological attributes on which this distinction is based within a species” (Colman, 2009). Gender, however is a social construct and consists of gender role, gender identity and sexual orientation / preference. Gender identity is “a sense of awareness, usually beginning in infancy, continuing through childhood, and reaching maturing in adolescence, of being male or female, or of the gender associated with one’s biological sex”. Gender role is defined as “a set of behaviour patterns, attitudes, and personality characteristics stereotypically perceived as masculine or feminine within a culture” (Colman, 2009). Understanding gender development is important because the perception of gender identity affects the roles individuals play in society. If the reason behind the gender differences can be understood, they can be minimised to develop a more gender equal society. Also, research into gender development has real world applications. In many aspects of psychological research, gender differences can affect results. This can be reduced through gender equality. This essay will focus on the development of gender identity and the role nature and nurture play in it; specifically the role of genetics and cognitive gender development / social learning theory.
The nature-nurture debate is one of the oldest issues in…
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