Discussion: What Have You Learned From Others?

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Whether we like it or not, we are exposed to environmental influences every day that shape our behavior and how we view ourselves. While the influence of media is undeniable, the first and most profound models of appropriate gender-specific behaviors are our parents or other primary caregivers. From a very early age, children begin to develop their gender identity by observing and emulating behaviors of same-sex caregivers. You can probably easily think of 3-4 behaviors you observed from a same-sex parent or caregiver that you continue to emulate to this day. In this discussion, you will explore this topic in more depth by considering which behaviors of a same-sex adult you possess and why, based on Bandura’s social cognitive theory. To prepare: Review Resources on social psychology and sex-linked modeling. Think about how social psychology and, specifically, Bandura’s social cognitive theory, explains how modeling affects cognitive development and behavior. Consider your childhood and select a same-sex adult who influenced your personal development. The same-sex adult could include a primary caregiver, extended member of the family, or family friend with whom you were close as a child.

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