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Gender Development

“It’s a girl” exclaimed the ultrasound technician. The baby’s parents had tears in their eyes and gave each other a big hug. The baby’s mother placed her hands on her belly and said with a smile “Let’s name her Maisie!”

Before people are even born, gender begins to permeate every aspect of their life. They come into the world with biological differences and are met with social expectations, messages, opportunities, and interactions that vary according to their gender. Given that gender is one of the most significant and salient characteristics throughout the lifespan, much attention has been paid to its role in lifespan human development. This entry describes the influential role of gender in development, including major theoretical explanations and social and cognitive influences.

Theoretical Approaches ...
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