Gender in childhood and youth

Holford, Naomi (2023). Gender in childhood and youth. In: Cooper, Victoria and Tatlow-Golden, Mimi eds. An Introduction to Childhood and Youth Studies and Psychology. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge, pp. 170–185.



This chapter explores how gender comes to be important in shaping how adults treat children and how children and young people think about themselves and experience the world. It discusses the idea of gender as a social construction that varies across contexts and that intersects with other aspects of identity. It reviews research evidence that suggests that adults treat children differently based on their gender. It looks at how expectations based on gender affect children and how children actively engage with gender through their own identities and interactions with peers. It also examines the experiences of children who struggle with strict gender norms, including transgender children.

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