On broadening the cognitive, motivational, and sociostructural scope of theorizing about gender development and functioning

Comment on Martin, Ruble, and Szkrybalo (2002)

Albert Bandura*, Kay Bussey

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    74 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    In their article on gender development, C. L. Martin, D. N. Ruble, and J. Szkrybalo (2002) contrasted their conception of gender development with that of social cognitive theory. The authors of this commentary correct misrepresentations of social cognitive theory and analyze the conceptual and empirical status of Martin et al.'s (2002) theory that gender stereotype matching is the main motivating force of gender development. Martin et al. (2002) based their claim for the causal primacy of gender self-categorization on construal of gender discrimination as rudimentary self-identity, equivocal empirical evidence, and dismissal of discordant evidence because of methodological deficiencies. The repeated finding that gendered preferences and behavior precede emergence of a sense of self is discordant with their theory. Different lines of evidence confirm that gender development and functioning are socially situated, richly contextualized, and conditionally manifested rather than governed mainly by an intrinsic drive to match Stereotypic gender self-conception.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)691-701
    Number of pages11
    JournalPsychological Bulletin
    Volume130
    Issue number5
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Sep 2004

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