Gender development starts at conception, it is from this point forward that one is treated as male or female (WebMD, 2011) . At conception a female embryo has the XX chromosome while the male embryo has the XY chromosome. Those who suffer with a gender identity crisis may possess either the XX or XY chromosome but in fact identify with as well as exhibit traits of the opposite sex. One's sense of gender and one's anatomical sex are two distinct elements: each developing at different times in different parts of the body (Kaneshiro, 2011) . According to Nevid (2008) in his book, Psychology: Concepts and Applications, the biggest argument related to gender identity is the nature versus nurture, the role played by hereditary and environmental factors as well as their relationship to gender identity.
Gender roles are the behaviours that society teach us as appropriate for boys and girls. These are based on gender stereotypes, which are “assumptions made about the characteristics of each gender, such as physical appearance, physical abilities, attitudes, interests or occupations.” (Gooden and Gooden, 2001). This essay will define and discuss gender and its significance throughout early childhood. Gender socialisation will be related to throughout this discussion as the effects of the family, the school, the media and the peer group on gender socialisation will also be looked at. To conclude the essay, statistics and studies will be discussed with relation to gender role socialisation.
Outline and evaluate the Biological approach to gender development The biological approach to gender development tells us that sex determines if an individual is genetically a male or female but that gender determines your own feelings about who you are as a person, either masculine or feminine, and this is due to the differences in their brains. This usually is due to the chromosomes a person has or hormonal differences. Every individual has 23 pairs of chromosomes. Women have 2 X chromosomes while men have an X and a Y chromosome. As an embryo, a male’s Y chromosome starts to produce testosterone and other male sex hormones.
For example, masculinity femininity and the male and female anatomy are factors that determine gender identity. Hermaphrodites are individuals who are born with ovarian and testicular tissue, resulting in having a testicle and an ovary. Hermaphrodites are labeled as male or female at birth, so the gender identity and gender role are determined as soon as a newborn in born, known as the sex assignment. However, intersexual individuals are known to have testicles or ovaries, but do not result in having both. Intersexual individuals show either testes or ovaries of one sex, but external genitalia show sexual organs of the other sex.
The biosocial theory. The term ‘culture’ encompasses the knowledge, beliefs and values shared by a society that are passed down the generations through imitation and communication. By looking at research through a variation of different cultures we can distinguish between universal features, which suggest an innate basis for gender therefore supporting the nurture side of the argument, and culturally specific features, which suggest gender is learned and so support the nurture side of the argument. A famous piece of cross cultural research on gender was the Six Cultures Study by Whiting and Whiting (1975) studied child rearing processes in North America, the Philippines, India, Mexico, Kenya and Japan. Researchers integrated themselves into the societies and conducted systematic 5 minute observations of the children’s daily lives.
Much work is being done to challenge such gender stereotyping, especially to encourage women to enter professions which have traditionally been a largely male domain, such as construction and engineering. The June 2002 Review by the Social Science Research Unit, University of London  concluded that tackling gender stereotyping at the primary school stage is vital, as it develops early and quickly. Various interventions were reviewed including the use of fiction in challenging gender stereotypes. 1. ^ "Social Science Research Unit, University of London Review 2002".
Sex refers to one’s biological identity of being male or female while gender refers to the socially learned expectations and behaviours associated with being male or female. Sex is biologically assigned while gender is culturally learned. From the time that we are born we are influenced by various things, the surrounding environment, our parents, the culture of the area and country. Children are most influenced by their parents and are at their most impressionable from a very young age [Lauer & Lauer, 1994; Santrock, 1994; Kaplan, 1991] . Generally it is widely accepted across the board that early gender socialisation is one of the most important issues in early childhood, as it is affecting both boys and girls.
That is, gender is widely perceived as simply being a natural occurrence that happens at birth. Yet, studying gender as a social-economic driver rather than just a natural phenomenon, allows us to understand that there is more to gender than simply human nature. In reality gender is continually been re-created through” human interactions, and is the texture and order of social life”. In other words, we identify the differences between male and a female based on the behavior each one of these respective statuses constitutes in our social life. Personally, I define gender as a human production that depends on everyone constantly “doing” gender.
“THE GENDERED NOTIONS OF EMOTION” To begin with , it is neccessary to differ the term gender from sex. Sex refers to our anatomical and genetical identity as being a female or male that is inscribed in our genes, whereas gender is an outcome of process of socialization combined with the effect of the genes. Our gender becomes evident in the way we dress, we make our hair,we walk and speak. The ways we express and experience emotions also seems to be dependent on our gender. As the way of walking or speaking diverges in male and female, the expression and experience of emotions in different genders also diverges.
What are gender stereotypes and how are they conveyed in our society? According to Mior and Jessel (1989), gender refers to the socially constructed roles of, and relations between, men and women, while 'Sex' refers to biological characteristics which define humans as female or male. These biological characteristics are not mutually exclusive however, as there are individuals who possess both. This definition is also shared by the website http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender. A stereotype is a popular belief about specific social groups or types of individuals.