Adolescence

Adolescence

The Transitional Years
1983, Pages 98-137
Adolescence

4 - SEX-ROLE CONSOLIDATION IN ADOLESCENCE

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This chapter discusses behaviors associated with the biological gender distinction. Within psychology, the term sex role refers to sex-typed behaviors in a general sense, behaviors that are expected for males and females in a stereotypical fashion. A role is a social category that implies a set of behaviors that distinguish it from other social categories. Students are expected to take a certain number of classes and to perform the tasks associated with those classes to accumulate the credits necessary to graduate. Graduation enables them to move from the college community and to take on additional roles in the larger society because some roles are restricted to individuals with educational credentials. Adolescence is a period of particular vulnerability with respect to sex differences. Not only are hormonal secretions at their peak for generating physical sex differences during adolescence, but it is also the time when societal pressures operate most forcefully. Sexual and sex-role identity are primary issues in adolescence, and the status changes that accompany physical maturation provide a basis for differentiating adult role requirements by gender.

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