Psych- Final - Gender Differences in Child Behavior Tamar...

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Gender Differences in Child Behavior Tamar Paltin April 2007 PY102
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Gender differences in behavior are apparent to most individuals who work with, live with, or have even seen, children interact or play with each other. However, what is less understood is at what point and for what reasons children behave differently and prefer different activities. It has been observed that children choose different games and activities almost precisely along gender lines and even exhibit aggression in gender specific ways. It is also clear that even young children behave differently and recognize the gender differences in behaviors and preferences. Morrow (2006) related the impact of family on a child’s perception of gender specific behavior, an idea that most people would agree is obvious though they may not fully realize why. While it may seem apparent that most boys would choose to confide in their fathers, and most girls in their mothers, when asked to choose a parent figure, the effects of siblings on gender differentiation may seem less noticeable. “Talking together was presented as a significant aspect of their connection to their sisters” by the girls being studied while “doing activities together” was more highly preferred by brothers. (Morrow, 2006, p. 95) These sorts of bonding preferences instill early differences in gender specific behavior as young children learn from their older siblings how they are expected to bond and then transfer these same behaviors to other children, thus forming the beginnings of gender specific preferences. This same article continues to discuss the views that children have of each other and themselves. In general the children remarked on the fact that “boys show their
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emotions less than girls…while girls…are more likely to confide.” (Morrow, 2006, p. 99) They also noticed that boys are less modest or likely to self blame or apologize, acts that are seen as typical feminine behaviors, even at a young age. This type of research illustrates that these traits are not only noticeable in adults, but form at a relatively young age and can be recognized by children, which could lead to reinforcement of such behavior by other children and the ostracizing of children who fail to conform to these seemingly normal social behaviors. While boys are characteristically seen as less emotional, Rekers and Morey
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This note was uploaded on 04/10/2008 for the course PSYCH 102 taught by Professor Wiley during the Spring '07 term at Arcadia University.

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Psych- Final - Gender Differences in Child Behavior Tamar...

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