ERIC Number: ED453973
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2001-Apr
Putting Gender Development into Context.
Trautner, Hanns M.; Eckes, Thomas
Although there is a high level of research activities in the field of gender, these activities are only very loosely interconnected. In particular, the developmental and social psychological paradigms of research do not seem to have very much in common. This paper shows that at the intersection of developmental and social psychology many issues emerge that pose new kinds of questions for theorizing and research, and that developmental processes and social influences are closely linked. A conceptual framework is proposed for a developmental social psychology of gender. Gender is put forth as a social category, viewed as having many facets that are highly variable among people, as well as across contexts and points in time. The paper suggests that the sexes relate to each other at four interconnected levels: individual, interpersonal, group, and cultural levels. Content areas related to gender are proposed as biological/categorical sex, activities and interests, personal-social attributes, social relationships, stylistic and symbolic characteristics, and values. Gender-related constructs are: concepts and beliefs, identity or self-perception, preferences of attitudes; and behavioral enactment. The combination of constructs, content areas, and levels of analysis yields a three-dimensional 96-cell matrix that forms the basis for studying gender from a developmental social psychological perspective. Each cell in the matrix refers to a distinct set of research issues emerging at the intersection of a particular content area with a particular construct and level of analysis. An example is presented exemplifying the complex nature of the interrelationships between intraindividual changes, changes of social contexts, and changes in the relationship between the two: the change from hostile children in gender segregated groups to ambivalent adults with heterosexual relationships. (Contains 25 references.) (KB)
Descriptors: Child Development, Context Effect, Culture, Developmental Psychology, Femininity, Gender Issues, Group Dynamics, Individual Development, Individual Differences, Interpersonal Relationship, Masculinity, Models, Research Needs, Sex Differences, Sex Role, Sexual Identity, Sexual Orientation, Social Influences, Social Psychology, Theories
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Poster presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (Minneapolis, MN, April 19-22, 2001).