The personal sense that shows who an individual really is can be seen from their identity. Awareness of gender development is vital in the realization of one-self and it is used in another person’s assessment of gender from the time of birth. According to Schaffer (1996), gender identity is branding one-self and other individuals as female or male. There are three theories that after research explain different ways of gender awareness’ development and its evolution. In the theory of gender scheme, Kohlberg and Bandura explain gender development evolution.
According to Bandura (1977), a child realizes the variation between a female and male through socialization. Specific genders have stereotypes that are still believed in by the society. Cultural and biological changes have been intertwined with social factors and this is what gives gender identity to a person. Another theory was developed by Kohlberg (1996). This explains gender development’s evolution. Kohlberg explains that young children seek explanations of the way males and females are expected to conduct themselves from specific regulations. Children are not physical information’s recipients. This information has social experiences. At birth, parents eagerly want to find out their child’s gender and this determines the treatment that a child gets on the basis of whether the child is a female or male.
There is a correlation between identity information and social expectations. Sex role development happens during childhood and this serves as an identity for stable gender in the entire life of a child. The expectations that a parent has for the child, peer relations, and various social experiences are all contributing factors of gender stereotyping. Interaction between parents and children starts at birth and even naming is based on sex. Toys that parents buy for their babies and how a baby’s room is furnished put them in a certain category. Typically, several sport toys are placed in the room of a baby boy and it is painted blue. Peer pressure can also cause gender stereotyping. When peers bully a child, the child develops an inappropriate behavior in relation to gender. It is against the expectations of the society for a girl to behave like a tomboy. It is also against the society’s expectations for boys to appear “sissy” (Kohlberg, 1996).
As I grew up, I realized that our parents were using feminine and masculine toys while playing with us. Any time I used masculine toys to play, I noticed a positive response from my parents. However, I noticed negative response from them when I used a cross-sex toy. Currently I am21 years and an Arizona State University graduate. I enjoyed playing with dogs while growing up during free time.
Every person remembers their childhood because they were filled with some of the most favorite experiences. My opinion is different and I am not fond of my childhood more so at the age of 13 years. I always try to forget this time but it is really challenging. The memories of that time make it seem like it was just yesterday. I was listening to my favorite music in car with mum who was driving. Suddenly, police from the New York Department came and stood on our way. After a while, my sister, my mum and I found ourselves on the way outside the city after the department issued direct orders. We were given 17 hours to leave the city.
Heavy commotion and loud screams from the bedroom of my parents woke me up. My mom was mumbling some words and commotion sounds were everywhere. When I went to the bedroom, I saw dad bang their bedroom’s door after which he went downstairs. Tears were rolling down the chicks of my mum as she sat in their bedroom’s corner. While looking at me straight in the eyes, she whispered the following, “I spoke about divorce with him. Go and wake up your sister in her room.”
I felt her words rip my soul the way a serrated knife would do to a crisp. It was a terrifying experience that went through my entire body. I found myself starring into the space because I was in utter confusion. Though I knew that there were many disagreements between my parents, I never imagined that they could be that serious to cause a divorce. I had never thought that this would happen. There was no convincing that would change the mind of my mum.
Together with my sister, we found our father immersed deeply in thoughts while seated in our sitting room. We were interrupted by my mum when she said, “kids we are divorcing.” Although at 13 years old I had heard about divorce cases, I never understood its real meaning. “What is a divorce?” I asked. In response, my mother said “a divorce happens when two married adults opt not to remain married.” Following this explanation Becky, my elder sister went silent. Perhaps, she knew about it.
I recall sitting on the house floor worried with my mother trying to comfort us but we could not listen to her. I had so much love for my father and I was not ready to be separated with him. As I hold my face, I asked whether I would ever see my daddy again. My dad said we would see each other and that it was similar to going on a long time vacation.
At this time, dad had to pack things in order to move out. I recall the way he went upstairs to pack things and later came downstairs. As a naïve boy, I took a moment to think and I felt like the world was crumbling on me. We were all hugged by dad except mum.
Looking into my worried eyes, dad told me not to be afraid. He said that he would continue taking us out for weekend picnics and swimming. He asked me to be strong and asked me about the gift that I would like him to give me during my birthday. After thinking for a moment, I told him “A motorbike” after which he left the house.
He left us hugging one another while crying. Mum was assuring us that dad would keep visiting us. The plan of my mother was that we move to New Jersey where we could have a different environment’s experience. My perception was that this was positive because it would erase my bad experience while allowing me to make new friends. The police department in New York presented an arrest warrant in the April of 1992. My mum was required to appear before the court in regard to charges filed by our father. The misinformation that the police had was that mum was running away from the authorities.
Bandura, A. (1977). Self-efficacy: Towards a Unifying Theory of Behavioral Change. Psychological review, 84(2), 191-215.
Kohlberg, L. A. (1966). The Development of Sex Differences. Calif: Stanford University Press