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Gender Identity and Role Development

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Further emphasis on me being a girl, by showing me what I should like and which are boy things to do. Finally, I was instructed how to dress and act, with the constant barrage of statements starting with “ little girls don’ t do that” .However, the age of seven was not the age where I finally understood myself as a female person. Kohlberg’ s theory does not acknowledge that gender identity and roles continue to develop, alter and change with time during a person’ s life, and therefore, are not limited to the childhood (Cox, 2008 and Sammons, nd).

For example, I was able to understand my true physical appearance and role as a female upon reaching puberty. Before that, the play times playing a mother only meant having a little baby to feed and tuck into sleep. I truly began to understand the complexity of the role of a mother upon reaching teenage. I was able to demonstrate another shortcoming of this theory that a person, although aware of his or her gender, may not show interest in the stereotypical roles or activities that that society presents to them (Sammons, nd).

Therefore, while gender identity may help a person realize that he or she is male or female, there are many other factors which determine whether he or she will behave in the societal patterns set down or presented to them (Cox, 2008). Here the concept of gender stereotyping evolves. This concept has been defined in the gender schema theory, which aims to identify the social contexts that are involved in gender identity and role (Bussey and Bandura, 1999). The theory starts from the basics of gender identity as stated by Kohlberg but differentiates itself on many grounds.

Firstly, it only identifies the gender constancy and identity as a step rather than the final conclusion towards gender identity (Sammons, nd). This, according to the theory is only the base, from which a person learns to explore the further concepts of gender, sexuality, and societal behavior (Bussey and Bandura, 1999).  

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