Gender Role Adaptation Essay

Two distinct assumptions dominate the discussion on gender-role adaptation - Gender Role Adaptation Essay introduction. One school of thought argues that gender-role adaptation is primarily influenced by biological factors, while the other argues that gender-role adaptation is based on environmental influences. Compare the two theories. Point out the strengths and limitations of each. Which theory are you likely to adopt and why? Make sure to support your discussion by providing relevant examples pertaining to the stages of middle childhood and/or adolescenc

Gender-role adaption is most clearly described in one of two ways: being primarily influence by biological factors or environmental influences. In my opinion, it is a 25/75 split between the two schools of thought. Because I believe that transgender people are born that way, I cannot discount the effects biology has on gender roles. Researchers have linked sex hormone levels with certain gender specific behaviors. Androgens, a class of sex hormones aligned with testosterone, promotes male genitals and secondary sex characteristics. A higher fetal testosterone level in amniotic fluid was found to be linked to greater male-typical characteristics during play. Of course, the way our bodies are created has an impact on our gender-roles. However, I believe that we mostly develop our gender-roles as explained by the social cognitive theory of gender. I believe a child’s gender development occurs mostly through observation and imitation, just as the text explains. Parents are the first step in this action and through their example a child is often given their first lessons in gender identity. As a father rough houses with his son, he is teaching the boy to be aggressive and tough.

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On the flip side, this same father may have tea parties with his young daughter and her stuffed animal friends – but not engage in the same type of physical play he does with his son. Additionally, I have noticed with my own daughter, she imitates me by rocking her babies and singing them to sleep, asking if I’m ok when I cough, showing a sad facial expression and going towards a crying baby or toddler to give a consoling touch and ask if they are sad. As children get older, gender typing takes on an even greater importance through their peers. In adolescence, a “tomboy” may be ridiculed or criticized for not dressing in a typically feminine way. This can lead children to acquire more traditional gender roles for the sake of fitting in even if it is not what makes them most comfortable in their own skin. Additionally, a “sissy” can get the same kind of treatment whereas a boy who sticks up for a kid being bullied by fighting for the weaker person may be rewarded by his peers as a type of hero or “real man”.

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