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Outline and Evaluate Gender Schema Theory

  • Submitted by: charlyisbell
  • on March 27, 2014
  • Category: Psychology
  • Length: 534 words

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Below is a free excerpt of "Outline and Evaluate Gender Schema Theory" from Anti Essays, your source for free research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Outline and evaluate Gender Schema Theory

Gender schema theory suggests that children learn gender stereotypes by actively structuring their own experiences rather than by observing and then imitating role models as social learning theory might suggest. Unlike Kohlberg’s theory, gender schema theory suggests that gender labelling or gender identity is sufficient for children to begin actively seeking information about their gender including how they should behave and how they should look. These schemas, that are clustered information on a particular subject, come from many sources such as parents, peers and in the media where gender stereotypes are abundant. Furthermore, children will only pay attention to schemas that are relevant to their own gender and therefore are similar to themselves. For example, girls will pay attention to how other females act and boys will pay attention to how other males act. These are called ingroup schemas and it is only the ingroup schemas that are paid attention to. The outgroup schemas are ignored as behaviour relevant to these schemas want to be avoided. These schemas are crucial when growing and developing gender as it has been found that sex-typed behaviours, beliefs and attitudes stay throughout childhood, meaning that they could carry a particular view or behaviour for their entire life.

There has been research on this theory that supports the suggestions of gender schema theory. Researchers found that children younger than 4 years old showed no signs of gender constancy but held strong gender stereotypes, this suggests that gender constancy is not necessary for a child to understand gender. There has also been research to support the idea that children pay more attention to ingroup schemas. A study found that when children were shown a series of pictures of people and their professions, children remembered gender consistent pictures (male firefighter) than gender inconsistent pictures (male nurse). Further research...

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