Normal and Pathological Gender-Role Development in Children

  • Anna C. Lee


The study of sex- and gender-role identity development subsumes a multitude of psychological differences between the sexes. Although based on sexual dimorphism, these differences are critically influenced by factors more profound than biological givens. These primarily include normal versus abnormal development, social stereotypes, and sex-role behavior. This chapter will discuss the influence of biological and social factors on psychosexual development in childhood. It will also investigate ways in which children come to develop particular perceptions, attitudes, affects, and behaviors consistent with their gender-role identity, focusing on the interaction of biological substrates and constitutional endowment with environment. This will be followed by brief reviews of the three major theories of gender-role development, psychoanalytic, social learning, and cognitive development. Issues concerning the development of sex-role stereotypes in early childhood will also be surveyed, with reference to both normal and pathological gender-role development in childhood and to the consequences when disturbances go untreated.


Gender Role Gender Identity Apply Behavior Analysis Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome Cognitive Developmental Theory 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anna C. Lee
    • 1
  1. 1.Rehabilitation ServicesHospital for Special SurgeryNew YorkUSA

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