What are the differences between boys and girls? How different are they, andwhat causes thses differences? How is gender identity developed and how doesit affect childrens behavior and attitudes? Gender identity is the awareness ofones gender and all it implies (Human Development *text*, 286).
Genderdifferences are explained as psychological or behavioral differences betweenboth genders. There are many theories to how and why gender differences exist. Some people argue that circumcision at birth is a factor, others say thedifferences are greatly influenced by the human brain. Recent studies show thatthere are great specific differences found in both the male and female brain.
Next, on one side people claim that evolution and biology is what makes usdifferent, and the other side, people plea that there is a lot more variation to thegender roles. They say that society influences our reaction to the biologicalcourse. Finally, today some sex differences are considered to be of social origin. Whatever the case may be, many experiments have been conducted, andalthough some differences are more obvious than others, boys and girls are moreIt has been presented, with evidence, that circumcision of male infantscauses behavioral changes.
Gender differences instead, may be the outcome ofthe alter behavior of circumcised males. There are two studies which goals wereto examine the consequences and behavior of circumcision. In 1971 it wasconcluded that circumcision was followed by non-rapid eye movement sleep(NREM). The amount of NREM increased and the number of NREM sleepperiods increased. In 1974, after circumcision it was found prolongedwakefullness with crying during hours immediately after the procedure. Fromthe results of these studies it can be concluded that circumcision does haveeffects on infant behavior.
However, the clarification must be awaited. Anotherside to this issue is the thought that the difference in men and womens brainscauses the actual differences between men and women. During an annualmeeting in Toronto in 1999, it was stated that men have more neurons in thecerebral cortex, the outer layer of the brain , and women have more neuropil,and that has the processes allowing cell communication. Males have moretightly packed and more numerous nerve cells than females. This research mayshow why women are more prone to dementing illness than are men.
Althoughthese variations cause differences in how the brain works, neither type is said toBecause there are similar gender roles in various cultures its suggestedthat gender differences may be biologically based. By the time a child reachesthe age of 5, boys brains are close to 10 percent bigger than girls brains. Boyshave more gray matter in the cerebral cortex; this difference may be why girlshave greater neuronal density in the cerebral cortex. Evidence shows that sizedifferences in the corpus callosum are related to verbal fluency.
Since girls havegreater corpus callosum than boys, that my help explain why girls have betterverbal skills. Another approach to this issue is the psychoanalytic approach. Freud and others considered identification an important personalitydevelopment of early childhood. Freud believes that identification will happenwhen young children repress their wishes to posses their parent of the oppositesex and identifies with their parent of the same sex. Evidence from researchshows that gender identification is a result of gender typing. Gender typing isthe socialization process where children learn their appropriate gender roles.
Next, the cognitive approach. This is where the child comes to understand hisor her gender by thinking about their experience. This was presented byLawrence Kohlbergs cognitive-developmental theory. Here, Kohlberg statesthat children do their own gender typing. Their behavior is then organized byFinally, the socialization approach. This is where children learn their genderroles by socialization with their peers, hence the name socialization approach.
Here, gender development is the result of interacting influences, personal andsocial. This process starts at infancy even before a conscious understanding ofgender is formed. As children regulate their activities, standards ofgender-related behavior become internalized (Human Development *text*, 292). This approach is also where parent and media influence fits. For example,parents express their discomfort when their children do things according to theopposite of their sex. Such as when boys play with their moms shoes, or whengirls play with trucks.
This is shown more by the fathers about their sons,probably because girls have more freedom than boys with the clothes they wear,games they play and their friends. Also,