Gender Self-Socialization

Beginning in early childhood, individuals become aware of their membership in a gender category; how this knowledge affects their personalities, self-concepts, and social behavior is a question that is of interest to many developmental psychologists. An enduring view is that gender identity—thoughts and feelings about one’s membership in a gender category—motivates children to incorporate gender stereotypes into their self-concept (gender stereotype emulation). Self-perceived gender-typed attributes are also believed to shape the development of gender identity in children (gender identity construction). Furthermore, gender identity is thought to influence the learning of gender norms and stereotypes (gender stereotype construction). The common feature across these three processes is that children’s gender cognitions are conceived as the driving force, rather than external socialization agents (e.g., parents, peers). Collectively, these ...

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