Theories of Gender Related Learning

Cultural universals in gender differences are often explained by similarities in socialization practices while cultural differences are attributed to differences in socialization. Children grow up within other people's scripts, which guide their actions long before the children themselves can understand or carry out culturally acceptable actions. For gender researchers, one of the crucial tasks is to unpackage broadly defined cultural variables to identify the aspects or processes responsible for the development of particular behaviors. Gender should be examined not only in relation to culture (e.g., social systems, practices, myths, beliefs, rituals), but also in the context of the history and economics of a society (Mukhopadhyay & Higgins, 1988).

Most theories of gender role learning emphasize the gender information readily available in the culture even though the theories were devised primarily in the United States. Social learning theories consider sex role development to be the result of cumulative experience. Parents, teachers, peers, and other socialization agents shape children's gender-related behaviors through reinforcement and punishment, modeling, expectations, toy choices, and other differential treatment of boys and girls. Cognitive developmental theory suggests that the impact of cultural factors is governed by the child's emerging cognitive structures. Children acquire gender knowledge in stages and their level of understanding structures their experiences. Gender schema theory assumes that the primacy of gender concepts in a culture serves as a basis for organizing information To date, there is little evidence regarding these theories cross-culturally.

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

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