Barriers on Gender

Topics: Gender, Gender role, Gender identity Pages: 1 (657 words) Published: October 26, 2014

According to research, Sandra Bem formally introduced schema theory in 1981 as a cognitive theory that explains how individuals become gendered in society, and how sex-linked characteristics are maintained and transmitted to other members of a culture. Gender associated data is transferred through society by what they call schemata and some of this data is easily adapted more than others. This means that gender schemas develop through an individual’ observation, belief and cultural system. It is my opinion that gender schema theory refers to a system that children learn about what it is to be male and female from the culture in which they live. Gender Schema theory suggests that children adjust their behavior to fit in with the gender norms and expectations of their culture. Gender schemas according to research is initiated from a child's observation of how society defines what it means to be male and female in his or her culture. This schema assists us to determine what the child pays attention to, his or her interpretation of the world and what the child retains about his or her experiences. This simply means that gender schemas categorizes the child's experiences by providing a means for the child to make sense of new social information. Example of this, a 7-year-old boy may have a schema that contains information about which type of clothing that their sister should wear. Since dresses are for girls, the boy would refuse to wear one if presented the opportunity. According to the gender schema theory, children begin by developing a simple concept of what distinguishes a male from a female. Children first learn their own gender by ages two or three. After such age, they then learn what it means to be a male or female in their society. When the child understands the difference between male and female, gender roles and traits, the child tries to display the appropriate behavior for the gender. Children take everything they observe of males and females and...

Cited: retrieved 4th October 2014
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