Gender schema theory

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  • Gender schema theory
      • agree with Kohlberg that there is a positive correlation with increasing age and sophisticated understand
      • they think it starts early
      • relies on experience
      • at the core is the notion of schemas
        • a mental mind map that help us to understand
          • structure thoughts of infants about what behaviour is appropriate for their gender
      • development of G is active
      • starts at age 2
      • actively seek out info about the gender they identify with
      • initially based on stereotypical behaviours
        • e.g girls wearing pink
        • as it becomes more compre hensive they have heightened self esteem
    • GROUPS
      • first it is boy/girl
      • own sex are the in grouo, opposite are the out group
      • children aged 3-7 develop an identification with their in group
        • develop an appreciation for the outgroup at age 8
      • identification leads to emulating in group behaviours, avoiding out group ones
        • actively seek out info about how they are supposed to behave
      • to see gender schema biases memory
      • 48 pps, 5-6 years old
      • shown pictures of gender consistent and inconsistent behaviour
        • e.g girl cooking and girl chopping wood
      • children were asked to recall a week later
      • distorted the memory of the inconsistent behaviour, change schemas to fit stereotypes
      • research support from Bradbard et al (1986) shows how gender schemas are related to memory
        • took more interest in items that were labelled for their in groups
          • methodology issues with interviewing children, more subject to demand characteristic
      • adopts an empirical stance, believe behaviour will change if stereotypes do
        • allows for interventions and treatment as the environment can be changed
        • doesn't account for individual differences, children with the same env may respond differently to gender behaviours
      • overestimate the value of schemas, Hoffman (1998) mothers working meant children has less stereotyped views
      • gender bias, girls are more willing to do masculine activities than boys with feminine, because theyre more desireable
        • might be different for each gender


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