Gender Developement

Essay by florencenightingaleUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, January 2004

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Gender Development


It is said, the first question asked of a newborn baby is "Is it a boy or a girl?" A fundamental part of self-concept, not just a label written on a birth certificate. The answer to this question will, however, initiate a pattern for the expected role of the newborn child.

Society has expectations, based on the knowledge of what gender the newborn child is. It is already known, that from the moment of birth onwards, the child shall begin to develop. The debate being, how does the baby receive its knowledge? Why do different genders learn in different ways, or do they? Is it because nature intended it to be this way, or because of the nurturing given from the child's environment!

The reasoning behind societies expectations, has been a cause of dispute since the 18th century, intriguing psychologists, creating in its path several key perspectives.

It is improbable that any one theory, will be conclusively correct, but possibly more than one perspective may evaluate the very essence of man.

It is a biological fact, genes determine the sex of a child, XX equals female and XY equals male. This is an alternative approach, suggesting personalities have little to do with the cultures or societies we live in. But fundamentally from the genes we were born with. A biologist would claim, the genetic code inside the brain is a fact of nature.

Research in gender differences show, that it is believed that female babies are hardier, more regular in their sleeping and eating patterns, more socially responsive, mature faster and are more sensitive to pain and noise. For boys the differences are that, they tend to sleep less, cry more, be more active, along with being more irritable and harder to pacify.

The biological...