Developmental Psychology provides student readers with essential help in all aspects of their first course in developmental psychology, including advice on revising exams, preparing and writing course assessment materials, and enhancing and progressing their knowledge and skills in line with course requirements on a developmental psychology course.

Gender Development

Gender development

Core Areas

  • Biosocial theory
  • Cognitive-developmental theory
  • Electra complex
  • Gender consistency
  • Gender identity
  • Gender schema theory
  • Gender stability
  • Oedipus conflict
  • Psychoanalytic theory
  • Sociobiological theory
  • Social learning theory

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this section you should be able to:

  • define and understand the key concepts above;
  • describe each of the explanations offered for gender development;
  • show an understanding of whether they are psychological or biological theories, or both;
  • evaluate the theories in terms of the research evidence available to support them;
  • understand the limitations of each approach.

Running Themes

  • Cognitive-developmental viewpoint
  • Nature
  • Nurture
  • Psychoanalytic viewpoint
  • Stage theory of development
  • Transformational change


Gender itself refers to the psychological characteristics associated with being male or female. Gender identity goes beyond the biological aspects focusing on the awareness of being male or female and will include aspects of gender role (expectations about gender-appropriate behaviours) based partially on stereotypes. It is ...

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