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Gender Developement Essay

1941 words - 8 pages

Gender Development(A)It is said, the first question asked of a newborn baby is "Is it a boy or a girl?" A fundamental part of self-concept, not just a label written on a birth certificate. The answer to this question will, however, initiate a pattern for the expected role of the newborn child.Society has expectations, based on the knowledge of what gender the newborn child is. It is already known, that from the moment of birth onwards, the child shall begin to develop. The debate being, how does the baby receive its knowledge? Why do different genders learn in different ways, or do they? Is it because nature intended it to be this way, or because of the nurturing given from the child's environment!The reasoning behind societies expectations, has been a cause of dispute since the 18th century, intriguing psychologists, creating in its path several key perspectives. It is improbable that any one theory, will be conclusively correct, but possibly more than one perspective may evaluate the very essence of man.It is a biological fact, genes determine the sex of a child, XX equals female and XY equals male. This is an alternative approach, suggesting personalities have little to do with the cultures or societies we live in. But fundamentally from the genes we were born with. A biologist would claim, the genetic code inside the brain is a fact of nature.Research in gender differences show, that it is believed that female babies are hardier, more regular in their sleeping and eating patterns, more socially responsive, mature faster and are more sensitive to pain and noise. For boys the differences are that, they tend to sleep less, cry more, be more active, along with being more irritable and harder to pacify.The biological argument, suggests that this might influence and make boys more susceptible to be more assertive, restless, more ready for rough and tumble play, while girls might be predisposed to be obedient, co-operative and nurturing.From the cradle, girls like to gurgle at people, while boys are happier to jabber away at cot toys, so adults are likely to communicate more with a girl child, as they will get a reaction, so the girl child will learn to communicate sooner.In a study by Condry and Condry a group of people were asked, to describe the emotional behaviour of some nine month-old infants, who had been startled by a Jack-in-the-box toy. Those, who had been told the infants were boys, described the reaction as anger. If they thought the infants were girls they described the reaction as fear.Social learning theorists argue that the mind is a "blank slate" devoid of all characters. This is the nurture side of the argument, that all people are born equal, that development and nurturing, cause the root of all problems.Bandura (1977) felt the learning theory was not sufficient, to explain all learning, he suggested that reinforcement or punishment could take place indirectly. If an individual see's someone else, being rewarded for a particular...

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