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Kohlberg's Theory AO1 stages
- Three stages:
- Stage one; Gender identity:
- This occurs when the child is age 2-3 and has an immature view of gender. They can correctly label themselves a boy or a girl, however believe its possible to change gender.
- Stage 2; Gender stability:
- This happens when the child is 3-4 years old. The child has limited understanding but can correctly say whether they will be a man or a woman but believe a change in appearance will alter gender.
- Stage 3; Gender consistency:
- This happens when the child is aged 4-7 and now realises that gender is consistent and that appearances will not change a persons gender.
Kohlbergs theory AO1
- Argues against the social learning theory - children must have a sense of gender identity before copying same sex models because gender identity makes them copying sex appropriate behavior rewarding.
- However children cannot be expected to show sex typed behavior until they have formed the necessary mental structures required to understand gender - therefore must have a certain amount of knowledge before social experience has an influence on them.
Piagets ideas - Kohlberg's Theory AO1
- Children automatically classify the information they encounter in their environment into social categories.
- One of the most useful categories is gender, which once is formed it's quickly filled with all sorts of information relevant to gender (appearance, clothes, activities and personality characteristics)
- Doesnt require a teaching from an adult
- Does not happen until the child has reached gender consistency.
Kohlberg's Theory AO2 experiment
Ruble et al (1981)
Ruble et al (1981)
- did an observation of pre-schoolers, either with high gender consistency or low gender consistency. The children watched TV ads where toys were gender stereotyped.
- They found a greater effect on those with high gender consistency.
- Children’s responses aren’t very reliable, may just trying to impress the researcher meaning that it is social desirability bias.
- Also may be some form of experimenter bias as it is very easy to manipulate children into answering what you want them to which decreases the validity
- Does not take into account the influence of parents and their encouragement of sex-typed behaviour. For example, parents will encourage a boy to play football and a girl to play with dolls, therefore influencing their gender development, something Kohlberg did not consider and claimed it was purely biology meaning the theory is biologically reductionist.
- Nature and genes - Munroe who found that in different cultures around the world children were in similar stages at similar times suggesting that it is a human’s biological make-up that influences gender, not their upbringing as gender is the same universally meaning Kohlberg’s theory can be generalised across cultures
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