The first question that is usually asked about a newborn baby is whether it is a boy or a girl. The single fact of the child's gender has enormous implications for the course of his or her entire life. Gender-identity formation refers to the complex processes through which children incorporate the biological and social fact of their gender into their behavior, attitudes, and self-understanding.
This area includes ideas about two major, interrelated processes: gender-identity development and sex typing. The term "gender-identity development," used in its narrower sense, refers to the process through which children come to label themselves cognitively as boys or girls and to have an inner sense of themselves as male or female. "Sex typing," also called gender-role acquisition, refers to the processes through which children learn what is expected of members of their gender and come to exhibit primarily those personality traits, behaviors, interests, and attitudes.
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