Hi, need to submit a 3750 words paper on the topic Psychology: Development of Gender. The changing nature of gender roles in the 21st century is discussed and some practical examples of these changes being investigated. Then, it will critically analyze the role media plays in shaping human behavior. Lastly, the report will look at how gender roles are acquired through the observation of male and female social role models.
The awareness of who we are and whether we are female or male is an important aspect of human development. Some eminent psychologists have raised concerns about how we come to be identified as male or female. They ask, does the process of identification of who we are starts right from the moment the child is born? Or does she/he learn about its identity from the social environment in which it is raised? Also, what effect does it create and how does it shape our emotional life and future relationships.
When the baby is born, the first question anybody asks is “is the baby a girl or a boy?” From then on, the sex of the child becomes an integral part of our perception of it. While the physical characteristics of the childlike its external genitalia indicate the baby’s sex, it is no proof of the baby’s gender. In fact, many parents are not aware of this duality between sex and gender. Ignorance of this can mislead the parents and caretakers into trying to impose unnatural and inconvenient habits and behavior upon the child. In reality, though, the distinction between sex and gender is the starting point to analyze gender development (Wood, 1995). Therefore, gender is a term that has psychological as well as cultural connotations. It is the degree to which the significant others perceive the child’s gender that shows induces the child into male or female behavior patterns, which are accepted and tolerated by the particular culture and society.
At this juncture, a discussion on the difference between sex and gender is quite relevant. The difference between sex and gender is that sex is limited to biological characteristics at the time of conception. That is, sperm from the male parent fertilizes an ovum of the female parent.