Development of Gender Roles and Stereotypes

Even though biological factors may impose predispositions and restrictions on development, sociocultural factors have important effects. Culture prescribes how babies are delivered, how children are socialized and dressed, what tasks children are taught, and what roles adult men and women adopt. The scope and progression of children's behaviors, even behaviors considered to be biologically determined, are governed by culture.

Within the context of cultural stereotypes about male-female differences, children's knowledge of gender roles develops. In the United States, children as young as 2 years of age stereotype objects as masculine or feminine (Thompson, 1975; Weinraub et al., 1984), and by age 3-4 years they use stereotypic labels accurately with toys, activities, and occupations (Edelbrook & Sugawara,

1978; Guttentag & Longfellow, 1977). Similar gender stereotyping of toys is found in West Africa, where girls play with dolls and boys construct vehicles and weapons (Bloch & Adler, 1994).

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

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