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Beyond Sissies and Tomboys: Atypical Gender Deviance

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  1. Male survey respondent
  2. Existing literature
  3. Gender deviance
  4. Where females may be discriminated against in their diagnosis
  5. Research design
  6. Parental influence
  7. Other adult influence
  8. References

Gender roles shape how a person interacts with other members of their society. Young children learn gender roles from many sources, and are strongly influenced by their parents and family, peers, media presentations and daily interaction with other individuals. Gender becomes a critical component of one's identity even at a relatively early age. All societies have expectations for members of each gender to behave in one manner and adopt the fitting gender role, and these do not typically display a great amount of room to deviate. For those children who act differently than their expected gender role, there can be negative reactions. How do others respond to gender-atypical behaviors in children?

[...] Table 3 illustrates overall means for strength of influence for peers compared to parents and other adults as included in this survey. Table 3 Strength and Source of Gender-Conforming Influence Source of influence Men Women N=120 Across all sources of influence, men rated their pressure to display gender- typical behaviors higher than women did. This agrees with prior research suggesting that boys have more narrow expectations for their gendered play than girls do (Brooks 2000). Age Factors Most respondents reported that the strongest overall discouragement from continuing gender atypical behaviors took place before the age of ten. [...]


[...] Not all gender- atypical behavior lasts beyond the childhood years and may be considered a normal phase as children learn about their culture and role expectations. However, this temporary phase is not always the case, as many children experience strong feelings of belonging to the gender that does not match their biological sex. Gender-role violations that are persistent and life consuming can be summed up in gender identity disorder which is increasingly being applied to children (Bartlett et al 2000). [...]


[...] Brooks, Franklin ?Beneath Contempt: The Mistreatment of Non- Traditional/Gender Atypical Boys.? Journal of Gay and Lesbian Social Sciences 107-115. Coleman, M mistreatment of non-traditional boys: A minority in need of reassessment.? Child Welfare 252-259. Fan, P-L., & Marini, M.M ?Influences on Gender-role Attitudes During the Transition to Adulthood.? Social Science Research 258-283. Langer, S. J., and Martin, J. I wearing dresses can make you mentally ill: Examining gender identity disorder in children.? Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal 5-23. Rekers, George [...]

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