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Gender development in kids - Research Paper Example

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Thesis Statement: According to sources, there are different factors that affect the development of gender of a child. From the moment that the child is born, he is exposed to these factors that shape him to be the person he grows up to be. The media, society, parents, government, educators, and environment are just some of the factors that affect the gender development of a child…
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Download file to see previous pages “Gender focuses on whether an individual is male or female based on how a person acts. It is related to what people expect from women and men. Sex, on the other hand, is related to a person's body. It has to do with whether an individual is biologically male or female (Myers-Walls, 2010).” Very few cases of wrong sex identification have happened in the past. Meanwhile, the gender of a person can only be known by himself or by those close to him, and this does not need to be printed in any legal document. According to Oswalt (2008), “Kohlberg's theory of gender identity development describes how young children learn to understand their gender, and what being that gender means in their everyday life. Kohlberg theorized that there are 3 stages to this process. Initially, during the early preschool years (ages 3 to 4 years), young children engage in gender labeling. Young children can tell the difference between boys and girls, and will label people accordingly. However, these very young children still believe that gender can change and is not permanent.” Influences on Gender Development of Children Everyone is influenced by society. From the moment each one is exposed to others, he begins to think about how he should act around them in terms of words and characteristics. Another influence that society has on an individual is the development of his gender. Recent studies show that children of age five and up already have an idea of the gender that they belong in, and it is also during this time that they act out to be a boy or girl depending on what they think is appropriate (Gender and Child Development, n.d). Oswalt (2008) also says that “by age 5, children tend to play with ‘gender-specific’ toys…Young boys often play together in larger groups, while young girls tend to play more in pairs and smaller groups.” Some of the stereotypes that the community has are that a little girl should play with dolls and a little boy with trucks or other “masculine” toys. This is in reference to the kind of personality that they need to develop: women being passionate and kind and men being aggressive and strong. The children themselves do not know this during their early days, but when they look up at their models (i.e. parents, guardians, media), they try to act out the role of the one that they consider to be the most similar to them. Little girls tend to take up the actions of their mother, while little boys tend to copy their fathers. Durso (2000) also states that “gender stability is the realization that girls grown up to be women, that they don't grow penises and becomes men, and vice versa. Little boys realize that their penises will not fall off and that they won't grow a vagina and become a woman.” This trend is disrupted when parents do not give their children the right affection that they deserve. For example, a father who wants to have a son and is given a daughter instead would either feel indifferent towards the daughter, or raise her as he would his son. A daughter that is raised in a masculine role most ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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