-Gender dysphoria – a dissatisfaction with their biological sex, provide puzzling
cases for gender development
Gender Identity Development
-Gender identity does not equal gender role
-Gender identity – refers to identifying and accepting the self as male or female.
-Gender role – behaviors that are typically associated with males or females.
- for gender identity to develop, an individual must have some understanding of
what is categorized as male or female, activities that distinguish the two.
-process starts early in infancy
Development during Childhood
-study done, infants can distinguish difference between male and female faces,
using hair lengths.
-24 months, can distinguish gender related vocabs.
-24 months, can distinguish between gender atypical activities.
The Sequence of childhood Gender Role Development
-age 3, children lack gender constancy, inability to realize that being male or female
is permanent, unchangeable feature.
-Gender constancy important in cognitive development, it has two components.
-Gender stability- the knowledge that gender is a stable personal
-Gender consistency-the belief that people retain their gender even when
they adopt behaviors or superficial physical features associated with the
-e.g. a boy will say he’s still a boy even he puts on a dress
-girls allowed greater leeway than boys. More acceptable to be a tomboy than sissy.
-Gender schema theory- children master information about their own gender than
opposite gender -evaluate their own gender more positively than opposite gender. “Girls are
better” or “boys are better”.
-gender development completed by age 6
-boys attend more gender-related activities, where girls interact with boys and well
-children with stronger identity, showed better acceptance by peers.
Influences on Gender Identity Development
-other than biology, family, peers, and media influence our gender identity
Biological Factors and Gender Development
-most obvious, configuration of external genitalia
-evolutionary psychologist state that toys direct girls to nurture and boys to explore
-genes and environment contribute to behavior; genes contribute more to girl’s
behavior than boys
-testosterone prompts development of reproductive organs but also influences brain
development in ways that affect gender-typed behavior.
-Congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) disorder – female fetuses that are exposed to
high levels of androgen, born with masculinized genitalia – intersexed.
-vast majority of girls with CAH accept themselves as women and develop
female gender identity. No index of hormonal exposure or masculinization of
genitalia predicts which of these girls develop a female gender identity. Thus,
prenatal exposure to testosterone seems to be more strongly related to gender-
related behaviors than to gender identity.
-John/Joan case- John’s penis destroyed at 2 months age, underwent sex-
reassignment , identified herself as girl.
-Evidence indicates that both genetic and prenatal exposure to testosterone
influence gender-related behaviors, especially during childhood. The relation to
gender identity is not as clear. Babies may arrive primed to identity as male or
female, but gender identity is not entirely dependant on any biological factor. Of
course, the appearance of the external genitals is also the main signal for a cascade
of social influences, making a distinction between the biological and other
influences virtually impossible to disentangle. Family Environment and Gender Development
-attitudes and behaviors of gender development are generally learned first in the
home and are then reinforced by the children’s peers, school experience, and
-parents’ influence on