Discussion Prompt 1
The Developmental Debate on Gender Identification
There is debate among developmental theorists as to what influences thoughts and behavior related to gender. For example, what influences a child to play with a doll versus a truck, or what influences a child to engage in active play versus passive play? Do we make these choices because of innate desires determined by biological factors, or is it because we have become socially conditioned to make certain choices? Review and identify the positions that developmental theorists take regarding the influences of gender, and describe what you believe influences gender identity most. Elaborate on your answer.
Discussion Prompt 2
Some experts emphasize the importance of adult reinforcement of early speech, others suggest that language learning is innate, biologically wired, while others believe it to be a biproduct of social impulses. Reflect on this week’s video, Out of the Mouths of Babes. Which language development theory does this video emphasize, and how can you tell? To support your answer, provide an example of one of the experiments conducted and explain how it fits in to the learning theory process you identified. What position do you take on the matter of language acquisition, and based on that position, would you advocate that parents read to children even before they start to talk? Explain your rationale.
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