The Developmental Debate on Gender Identification

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Psychology The Developmental Debate on Gender Identification Name Institution Debate: Gender Identification by Developmental Theorists Child developmental theories were developed by different people who tried to explain the gender identification, changes, and growth throughout childhood, while some extended their research to adulthood. These theorists propose that a child behaves as either male or female as influenced by their biological schema, social interactions, and attachments, learning through conditioning, and observation and environmental influences. Kohlberg states that gender identity is as a result of the interaction of social experiences and mental schema. There is a mental framework in every child that makes them identify with a certain gender identity. For instance, a boy child will pick a car toy as opposed to a doll. Socially, a child learns through observing what roles are played by his/her gender and organizes their behavior to align with it (Moser, 2012). I agree with this notion, although this theory fails to look at the cultural differences that affect gender role and ignores the biological factors involved in cognitive schema development. On the other hand, behaviorists like Pavlov, John B. Watson, and B.F. Skinner view gender identification and development as a reaction to rewards, punishments, stimuli, and reinforcements to certain behavior. The environmental interaction influences the behavior of a child from the onset, such that good behavior is rewarded while the bad ones are punished (Cheng, Chandramouli & Subbalakshmi, 2011). For instance, a boy dressing in girls’ clothes will be punished to discourage such behavior. This idea

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