Beginning at very young ages children begin to see their world as divided between two genders and sexes. The pervasive cultural impact of gender and sex has lead to an impressive amount of research on gender development in children. Many theories exist to describe this process, but this presentation focuses on research within the cognitive developmental theory. This theory states that gender development begins with the acquisition of gendered cognitions which motivate children to seek out information on their gender/sex and also to behave in a manner similar to the norm for their gender/sex. This presentation addresses several keys issues within the cognitive developmental theory such as the stages and corresponding ages of gender constancy understanding and the relationship between gender cognitions and gender behaviors. Finally, this presentation addresses the next directions for future research.
Sasha Burnett, ’08 Cedar Rapids, IA
Majors: Psychology, History
Sponsor: Alice Ganzel