An appraisal of sex-role development in New Zealand boys: A dissertation presented to the Faculty of Social Science, Massey University, New Zealand, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree Doctor of Philosophy

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Massey University
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A growing literature attests to the importance of sex-role identification as a crucial component in the structuring of personality. Much has been written, too, concerning the significance of interpersonal relationships in the development of sex-role. Surprisingly, however, little has been done to examine the process of the acquisition of a sex-role identity in either males or females. Past research has been heavily committed to the study of parent effects on children's sex-role development at a variety of ages. The parent-affects-child paradigm is viewed, for present purposes, as conceptually threadbare, for within the numerous approaches which it has embraced, the influence - even the existence - of any model other than the parent has been consistently ignored. The study is devoted to some aspects of sex-role development in a sample of New Zealand boys of primary school age i.e. between ages five and twelve. It breaks with the conventional; for it reports upon sex-role identification (a) in a familial context and (b) at three different age-levels. The work is presented in three parts. Part A deals with theoretical considerations which are relevant to the present study. Prior to an examination of sex-role identification, problems which arise from the diverse uses to which the term 'identification' is put are discussed. There is good reason for this ordering: identification is conceptualised as generic, sex-role identification as one of its derivatives. Although it is the derivative which is of primary concern in this study, discussion of the overarching concept cannot be precluded.
Sex role, Child development, Sexual behaviour, Boys