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How does gender constancy theory relate to gender development?

Gender constancy theory explains how children develop a stable understanding of their gender identity.

Gender constancy theory, proposed by Kohlberg, suggests that children develop a stable understanding of their gender identity by the age of 6 or 7. This theory states that children go through three stages of gender development: gender identity, gender stability, and gender constancy.

During the gender identity stage, children can label themselves and others as male or female based on physical characteristics. In the gender stability stage, children understand that gender remains constant over time, but may still be confused by superficial changes such as clothing or hairstyles. Finally, in the gender constancy stage, children understand that gender is a stable characteristic that does not change regardless of external factors.

Gender constancy theory has been influential in understanding gender development and has been supported by research. However, some critics argue that this theory does not fully capture the complexity of gender development, as it focuses solely on biological sex and does not take into account social and cultural factors that shape gender identity.

Overall, gender constancy theory provides a framework for understanding how children develop a stable understanding of their gender identity. However, it is important to consider the limitations of this theory and the broader social and cultural influences on gender development.

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