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Social Learning Theory of Gender Development.

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Social learning theory of gender development states that gender identity and roles are learned through observation learning. As children grow up, they observe gender related behaviours of their parents or other role models and imitate them.

Other role models may include friends, siblings, television or other medias. A child is high likely to observe and imitate those whom it views it as similar to itself, meaning, the child is high likely to observe and imitate the behaviours of those who are of the same sex as it is. As such, parenting style determines children's gender development as they observe and learn gendered behaviours from their parents. This learning involves vicarious reinforcement or punishment. Meaning, the child will be reinforced for demonstrating appropriate gender behaviours or punished for inappropriate gender behaviours. For example, children gets praised for engaging in sex-appropriate behaviours and punished for cross-sex behaviours. Another example, a boy gets praised for playing with his robotic toys. Basically, through observational learning, children observe and learn which behaviours or activities are sex-appropriate for them so they pay close attention to same-sex models, learning what is appropriate and not appropriate from them.

Hogben. Gender social learning explanation.