Flashcards in A2 GENDER - COGNITIVE EXPLANATIONS; KOHLBERG'S STAGE THEORY AND GENDER SCHEMA THEORY Deck (6)
Describe stage 1 of Kohlberg's theory
Gender identity (labelling) (2-3 yrs old): child begins to understand that there's male and female and can begin to apply labels to other people, but doesn't understand that their own sex and other's sex stay the same across time and situations, e.g. a little boy might say "when I grow up I'm going to be a mummy"
Describe stage 2 of Kohlberg's theory
Gender stability (3-4 yrs): child understands that their own sex remains constant over time but still doesn't understand that other people's will stay the same too. Also doesn't understand that others' gender remains constant across situations, e.g. if a child sees someone building something and then cooking, they'll think they've swapped genders from male to female. Understanding of gender based on physical characteristics e.g. long hair, so if they see a man with long hair they may become confused and assume he's a woman.
Describe stage 3 of Kohlberg's theory
Gender constancy (about 6 yrs old): child no longer fooled by external appearances and recognise that gender remains constant for everybody across time and situation; final stage of gender understanding. ONLY NOW CAN CHILDREN SEEK GENDER ROLE MODELS (according to Kohlberg), and understanding of gender is linked to *cognitive maturation*
Evaluate Kohlberg's stage theory
(+) Slaby and Frey (1975) showed kids a split-screen images of males and females performing the same tasks; younger kids spent equal amounts of time looking at each because they were confused, older children (in gender constancy) spent the majority of the time looking at the model who was the same sex as them; seeking gender role models in constancy
(-) Bussey and Bandura (1992) found 4 yr olds reported "feeling good" about playing w/ gender appropriate toys and "feeling bad" about playing w/ gender inappropriate toys, i.e. seeking gender role models and gender appropriate behaviour, which should happen until later according to K; therefore gender dev happens much earlier than K said
(-) K interviewed kids to dev evidence for his theory, but this isn't appropriate because kids often misunderstand the q's, want to please the researcher or may sometimes lack the vocab to properly express their understanding
(-) No cross-cultural research so can't say that K's theory is true for everyone.
Describe gender schema theory
- Put forward by Martin and Halverson, agrees w/ K that kids dev gender labelling/identity at 2-3 yrs old, but says that kids DON'T need to reach constancy before they seek gender appropriate role models.
- At 2-3 yrs old kids dev a basic set of schemas that are in two groups; male and female, and then decide which group they fit into (their in-group). They then reject the other group (out-group).
- Kids seek info on their in-group from the other members of the group (role models) whilst forgetting their out-group info. In-group identity strengthens the child's self-esteem.
- By age 6 ish, the child has a very fixed idea about what their gender identity is, and by about 8 they've developed elaborate schemas for both genders
- Order tends to be appearance, objects and activities