Gender typing refers to any association of objects, activities, roles, or traits with one sex or the other in ways that conform to cultural stereotypes. “Boys will be boys” is one example of a phrase that serves as a shining example of gender typing in our society. Although there are strong biological forces that compel “boys to be boys” and girls alike- a lot of where children derive their opinions comes from environmental influences. Parents, caregivers, and teachers can do more to reduce their influence on young children’s gender stereotyping which often leads to discrimination and certain expectations of genders roles in adulthood that can limit or suppress opportunities for themselves and others, vocationally and even academically. By reducing media consumption and watching language and behaviors that conform to gender-stereotyped beliefs, we can greatly reduce the influence of the negative aspects of gender typing on our children’s lives. There are many theories that attempt to explain the process of ones development of gender identity/role and subsequently their gender stereotypes. The more widely accepted one is the Gender Schema theory, which is an information processing approach to gender typing that combines social learning theory and cognitive developmental features. It explains how environmental pressures and children’s cognitions work together to shape gender-role development. Children begin organizing gender-typed preferences and behaviors at an early age; they also begin to develop masculine and feminine categories, which are called gender schemas, which they use to interpret their world. As soon as a child can label their own sex they begin to select gender schemas consistent with it. (“Only girls wear Pink” or “Only boys can play with trucks”) and they begin to apply those categories to themselves. The two major influences on Gender Typing are genetics and environment. Evolutionarily speaking, the adult life of a male was...
Cited: “Exploring Lifespan Development” Second Edition, by: Laura E. Berk Illinois State University. Allyn & Bacon 2010
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Nathanson et al. (2002, p. 932). Ibid.
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