Module 3 Notes
Section 1
Section 2
Section 3

Sex and Gender Development in Early Childhood

Section 3, Article 4 - In early development, children begin to naturally form and apply gender labels and stereotypes. As early as 2 years of age, children can denote gender labels, and by age 4, they are assigning a gender to various roles and inanimate objects, such as toys (). Dynamic systems theory notes the changing influence that  and  have on an individual’s view of what is acceptable behavior for each gender. In spite of how society has blurred the lines of gender differences, many preschoolers are naturally inclined to rigidly develop gender-specific ideas. Many scientists are now considering the implications of nature and nurture upon development ().

In an attempt to explain the dynamic system of sex and gender development, many of the theoretical responses from module one have been applied. Though Freud’s theory has largely been rejected, there are many other key theories that seek to explain the differences in children’s . While none of these theories decisively answer the sex and gender debate, it is clear that both parental perspective and culture are influential. When it comes to sex and gender differences, God has very distinctly shown that sex is determined by His design of an individual's nature, not an individual's decision of mind (Romans 1:19-28). Consider this statement by :

…nature is one of God’s methods of revealing what we should prefer, what our choices should be. Preference or choice is guided by God’s design in nature. It is not independent as though you can simply choose your own essence. …who we are sexually is not left to our preferences. … [it is] dictated by God’s revelation in nature.

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