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By Richard D. Ashmore

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Changes in adult sex-role norms and the impact of the women's movement has caused rethinking of many of our old assumptions about child-rearing and has caused some changes in research trends as well. There has been less concern with the documentation of sex differences, per se since the mid-1970s. Preferences for sex-stereotyped toys and activities, while still conceptually regarded as evidence of gender learning, are not necessarily treated as the sine qua non of the socialization process. , Bern, 1975, 1977), investigators have begun to look at non-sextyped or androgynous patterns in children (Hemmer & Kleiber, 1981; Lott, 1978).

Chapter Three, this volume. 2 2. Gender Identity: Development and Consequences 43 Adolescence The period prior to puberty is a time in which the gender identities of boy and girl are at their zenith. The onset of physiological sexual maturity, however, may dramatically alter the stability of all aspects of this identity. The sweeping biological changes of puberty must be adjusted to, and these adaptations may ultimately comprise a significant portion of adult gender identity. New patterns of interpersonal skills must be acquired in preparing for appropriate adult sex roles.

Gender Identity: Development and Consequences unless they are divorced and are themselves involved in dating. ) Career decisions, on the other hand, are very much influenced by parents (Kandel, 1981; Katz & Boswell, 1985), as well as by teachers and peers. In summary, the major components in the development of gender identity during adolescence include (1) adjusting to physical sexual maturity, (2) developing social skills and relationships with the opposite sex, and (3) considering future options with regard to vocation and marriage.

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