The Effects of Gender Roles and Gender Identity on Behaviour
Gender is a psychological term, which refers to our awareness and
reaction to biological sex. It is also a fundamental part of our
Gender is influenced by many things, which include:
Such as, Genetics, Estrogens and Androgens.
Identification theory, which is:
1. Sexual attraction to the opposite sex
2. Anxiety about sexual attraction
3. Identification with same sex parent- adapting there characteristics
Social learning theory, which is:
1. Learning through observation
2. Rewards & punishments received for gender appropriate /
And Media stereotyping
Cognitive development theory
This is when gender typing occurs after a child has developed a
concept of gender.
Gender Schema theory
This is when, behaviour and attention are guided by motivation and the
child has understanding of gender consistency and they know that a
person’s sex will always stay the same despite the changing of clothes
There are biological roots to our behaviour, in fact behavioural
genetics has provided us with lots of information regarding the roles
of individual genes in the implementation of behaviour. Even events
before birth can contribute to determining sex behaviour as adults and
in gender identity.
There is an ongoing debate centred on the effects of androgens and
estrogens during a Childs development in the womb. Hormones present
during critical developmental stages could affect the development of
gender role behaviours.
The androgens affect males by controlling the onset of puberty,
biological fertility etc and the estrogens are important to females
hormones which control the timing of biological maturity and
menstruation. Girls exposed to higher levels of androgen are
defeminized in sex type interests, abilities and behaviour, but not
core gender identity.
“Some studies by John Money and his colleagues have been made of girls
whose mothers received excessive amounts of androgens during pregnancy
(to reduce the likelihood of miscarriage) .The babies developed
Androgential Syndrome. As they grew they tended to be more aggressive
and “tomboyish”, and less feminine. They preferred male activities
with male company and expressed more interest in a career than in
having a family.”
(G.C Davenport, ESSENTIAL PSYCHOLOGY, chapter five, page 116.)
When a child is born their gender role (set of expectations to say how
they should think, act, feel.) is based on their gender identity
(sense of being male/female), which is usually based on what sex...