Development of the Self in Gendered Contexts
Bettina Hannover University of Dortmund
The present volume aims at bridging gaps between developmental and social psychological perspectives on gender. To promote this goal, this chapter considers the role of gender in the development of the self. We suggest that differences in the ways in which males' and females' selves change over time can account for gender-typed behavior and gender differences in various attributes.
Traditionally, developmental psychologists have focused on the prerequisite cognitive conditions for a self-categorization as male or female and for the acquisition of a particular gender-role identity (e.g., Fagot & Leinbach, 1985; Kohlberg, 1966; Martin & Halverson, 1981; Piaget, 1960), as well as on developmental changes in knowledge about gender stereotypes and their application (e.g., Berndt & Heller, 1986; Biernat, 1991; Deaux, 1984; Ruble & Martin, 1998). Social psychologists, on the other hand, have examined how gender stereotypes arise (e.g., Eagly & Steffen, 1984; Hoffman & Hurst, 1990; Swim, 1994), how they affect the processing of social information (e.g., Banaji, Hardin, & Rothman, 1993; Bem, 1981), and how they foster the development of gender-typed interests and behavior (e.g., Bussey & Bandura, 1984; Eagly, 1987; Geis, 1993; Lott & Maluso, 1993).
Eckes and Trautner (chap. 1, this volume) have pointed to the fact that whereas social psychologists have typically failed to consider variables referring to change over time, evident in their research participants almost exclusively stemming from a very narrow age group, developmental psychologists have often neglected the social influence emanating from the context in which an individual is acting. Here, we set about integrating social psychological and developmental perspectives by describing how social context variables influence individuals' self-construals over time. We
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Publication information: Book title: The Developmental Social Psychology of Gender. Contributors: Thomas B. Eckes - Editor, Hanns M. Trautner - Editor. Publisher: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Place of publication: Mahwah, NJ. Publication year: 2000. Page number: 177.
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