Essay On Gender Identity Development

Essay On Gender Identity Development

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In the article, Children’s Gender Identity Development: The Dynamic Negotiation Process Between Conformity and Authenticity, the researchers argue that children are active in the development of their gender identity and that there is a great influence on whether they wish to conform or not to gender stereotypes. There are three known theories about development of gender identity, the three theories are (1) developmental, (2) socialization, and (3) essentialist. Developmental theories say that gender identity develops over time and as children get older, they incorporate gender expectations and gender rules that they have learned from media, and environmental sources. The socialization theory states that gender identity occurs over time and is influenced by others by certain cues they receive. Lastly the essentialists theory says that gender is tied to the persons’ biological sex determined by ones’ genetics and hormones.
Children’s gender identity has been shown to be greatly influenced by the pressures to conform to the expectations that are set for their gender. They fear that if they do not conform they will be harassed and punished. Brinkman, Rabenstein, Rosen, and Zimmerman (2012) state that most research shows that children express their gender identity based on the presence of others. When children are playing by themselves, they tend to show less interest in playing gender specific activities. However, if there are other children around, especially a child that is of the opposite sex, they will play with the gender appropriate toy. This shows that children understand the potential risks of being “outside the box” of their gender.
In the study presented in this article, children were asked what they thought to be stere...


... middle of paper ...


...ng to stereotypes. Children make their decisions on how to change their gender identity or how they express it by experiencing gender prejudice from others. This causes the child to change who they are and hide their selves from others. It was found that children do understand stereotypes of boys and girls, and how they influence the expression of their gender identity.
These conclusions relate to our target article “Gender Identity Is Not A Discussion For Pre-Schoolers” by showing that children do have an understanding of gender identity and that they are aware of the influences of the environment. Gender identity should be talked about at a young age so that children are aware of the influences others have on them and how they can really understand themselves to make sure that they are the deciding factor on their gender identity instead of others around them.

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