Development of Peer Interactions

This week, we have discussed issues related to gender and sexuality. You should have some idea of the ways that both biology and society shape our expectations and views of both males and females. Sometimes, however, the issue is not so clear-cut. If you are not familiar with the terms “hermaphrodite” or “intersex,” I suggest that you look them up before participating in this week’s discussion. Then link to and read the following account:
This is obviously a very tragic case on many levels.
1.) What does this case tell you about the power of biology?
2.) Does it support or refute Dr. Money’s (and others’) apparent view that children are a “blank slate,” and that they can successfully transition from one sex to another if it is done early enough in childhood?
3.) Given what happened to David Reimer, what would be your opinion now on whether “sex reassignment surgery” should be done on infants or young children who are born with an intersex condition? Support your argument with empirical research findings. 



This lesson will cover peer interactions, friendship and gender. We will begin by exploring how peer interactions develop, and what peer acceptance means in the context of child development. We will investigate how social information-processing functions in popular and unpopular children, and the impact of this on children’s short- and long-term development. We will then move onto friendship, where we will look at what friendship means in the different stages of development. We will look at how groups function, and the importance of teenage romances. We will also look at gender, and the impact of gender stereotypes in child development. We will discuss the role of biology, cognition, family and other social influences on the genders. Lastly, we will have a brief discussion about sexual orientation and androgyny.

Development of Peer Interactions


· Early Social Experiences

As we have discussed throughout this course, the home environment has an enormous effect of child development. However, interactions outside the home influence also child development, and the ability to socialize successfully is a cornerstone of development. As the prevalence of preschool education increases, and as more mothers are employed outside the home, children’s ability to socialize at a younger age becomes more significant because of the profound impact social interactions have on a child’s self-esteem. Children’s early social experiences set the foundation for future interactions.

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