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Development of Self and Gender

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Cora Sargeant

on 20 April 2018

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Transcript of Development of Self and Gender

Text book:
Chapter 8 (pp.243-284): Wendy Lawrenson. The Development of Self and Gender

Further Reading:
Chapter 13: Social Identity: Gender Roles, Ethnicity and National Identity. In Leman, P., Bremner, A., Parke, R. & Gauvain, M. (2012). Developmental Psychology. London: McGraw-Hill

Rosen & Patterson (2011). The self and Identity (Chpt 4). In M.K. Underwood & L.H. Rosen (Eds). Social Development: Relationships in Infancy, Childhood and Adolescence. New York: Guildford.

Younger, J.L., Carver, P.R., and Perry, D.G. (2004). Does gender identity influence children’s psychological well-being? Developmental Psychology, 40, pp. 572-582.

Interested in gender identity:

Boskey, E. R. (2014). Understanding transgender identity development in childhood and adolescence. American Journal Of Sexuality Education, 9(4), 445-463. doi:10.1080/15546128.2014.973131


Suggested Reading
At the end of this session you should be able to:

Define the
subjective
(existential) and
objective
(categorical) self

Explain how to measure
self-awareness

Explain the development of a
self concept
and
self-esteem

Explain the development of
gender concept
and
gender role development

Understand what the term
transgender
entails

Objectives
René Descartes
Subjective Self
I am, I exist
Agency
Permanence
Subjective Self
9-12 Months
(William James, 1890, 1892)
Objective Self
https://www.youtube.com/user/ThinkElephantsIntl
Tested by the '
rouge test
'
By 18 months about half of children pass

by 20-24 months 65% pass


At the same ages children tend to
use their own name when looking
at pictures of themselves.
Gordon Gallup Jr
Self-awareness brings...
A sense of ownership
Self-conscious emotions
Judgement against a standard
From 'I got dirty' to 'am I pretty enough?'
The search for approval
Emotional self
With more complex awareness come more complex feelings and a need to regulate them.
Impulse control
Social rules of expression
Infant
- Parents help to
regulate
Can
approach or withdraw
Can
self-soothe
somewhat

2 years
- minimally able to regulate as emotions become more complex and
regulation
becomes harder

5-6 years
- much stronger
emotional control

Age 3
-
Social smile

3-4 years
- use of
abbreviated emotions

Preschoolers
begin to use emotions to get what they want - '
crocodile tears
'
Emotional self
Children between 9-18 years were asked the question “Who am I?”

9 years
:
My name is Bruce.

I have brown eyes. I have brown hair. I am nine years old. I LOVE sports. I have great eye sight. I have lots of friends. I’m a boy. I have an uncle that is almost 7 feet tall.

11 years
:
My name Is Anna.

I’m a human being. I am a girl.

I’m a truthful person
.
I am not very pretty.

I do so-so in my studies. I’m a very good cellist. Mostly, I’m good, but I lose my temper.I’m not well-liked by some girls and boys.

18 years
:
I’m a human being. I’m a girl
.
I am a moody person. I am an individual.

I am a Democrat. I am an atheist. I don’t want to be a classifiable person.”

Montmeyer & Eisen 1977
Figure 10.2, p. 262 in Bee & Boyd (2010)

Self-concept
From age 6-10 self-concept shifts...
Egocentric
Socially comparative
Self-esteem
(Harter, 1987, 1990, 1999)
The distance between the
ideal
self and the
real
self


Self-esteem
(Cai, Wu, Luo, and Yang, 2014)
Subjective value of a certain skill

Sense of support from peers, parents and adult mentors

Greenwald and Banaji (1995)
Bear in mind these are young people in East China
Implicit

vs

Explicit
Gender concept
Gender
identity
Gender
stability
Gender
constancy
'Is this child a girl or a boy?' (e.g. when a boy is dressed as a girl)
'Are you a girl or a boy?'
'Will you be a mummy or daddy when you grow up?'
Gender identity
Cognitive components
Gender identity
Hormone hypothesis
Gender identity
Social components
Biological components
Kohlberg (1966)
2-3.5 years
3.5-4.5 years
6 years
Label gender on appearance.
Child's gender is consistent but cannot generalise this to others
Gender is conceptually constant across time and situations.
Schema theory
Social Learning Theory
Bussey and Bandura (1992)
"Both boys and girls disapprove of cross-gender play"
But...!
Identifying
the model

Acting
like the model

Feeling
what the model feels

Being
the model
But...!
Gender variance
Hypothalamus
6-10 weeks gestation
Y-Chromosome -> SRY gene -> Testes
Testosterone
then leads to development of internal sex structures and organs
Dihydrotestosterone
(DHT) leads to development of external genitalia
What about brain differentiation?
50,000 papers on sex differences
Professor Daphna Joel from Tel-Aviv University
Huge number of differences
between male and female brains.

However the idea of a 'male' or 'female' brain has been
criticised
.

The brain of the developing foetus changes based on the hormones it produces as well as the womb environment.
Gender Stereotypes

Why do people tell George not to play with dolls?
Is there a rule that boys shouldn’t play with dolls?

4 year olds
: It’s
ok
for George to play with dolls

6 year olds
: It’s
wrong
!

9 year olds
:
differentiated
between
what is wrong
and
what is against the norm
- “Breaking windows is wrong, you can play with dolls, but boys usually don’t”

Gendered behaviour
Serbin (2001)
William Damon (1977)
At around 2 years of age the gender typed behaviour appears to be
more pronounced in boys than in girls
.

In general,
boys
tendency to prefer gender-stereotyped toys and behaviours
remains stable
across childhood, for
girls
the tendency to engage in gender stereotyped behaviour and prefer gender stereotyped toys
declines with age
.

This discrepancy between boys and girls in showing clear preferences for gender-typed play may be associated with
potentially greater social risks for boys
(i.e. greater degree of disapproval from peers) when they transgress gender-stereotypical boundaries. Transgressions by girls tend to be less readily penalized

O'Brien & Huston (1985)
Gendered behaviour
52 14-35 month-old children
Gender variance
Diagnostic
Statistical
Manual

Menvielle, 2012; Ehrensaft, 2012
'Normal developmental variation'
Transgender
Biological
configuration
Gender
identity
Gender
expression
Development of Self and Gender
Subjective Self
Objective Self
Emotional Self
Self-concept & Self-esteem
Gender identity
Subjective Self
Objective Self
Emotional Self
Self-concept & Self-esteem
Gender identity
Dr Cora Sargeant
Full transcript