Thesis: Female Child Cognitive Development

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Female Child Cognitive Development

The objective of this work is to describe, compare and contrast the effects on the development of cognitive thinking behavior of girls between the age of six to puberty when they are exposed to over sexualized media (video clips, reality shows, beauty contests, television shows) and to examine the 'normal cycle of their life span development in cognition, thinking and behaviors as compared to when they are exposed to media at an early age. This work will provide specific examples of the differences on their thinking behaviors and scientific research to support these changes.

NORMAL COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT

The work of Gentile and Sesma (2003) states that the normal stages of cognitive development of a child include those as follows:

Key Development Tasks of Toddlerhood (1-2 1/2 Years) a) Curiosity, exploration and mastery;

b) differentiation f self from world;

Independence of actions, such as self-care and feeding; and d) Learning of language.

2) Key Developmental Tasks of Early Childhood (2 1/2 to 5 years) a) Learning behavioral self-control and compliance with external rules;

b) Learning emotional self-control; and Learning gender roles and stereotypes.

3) Key Development Tasks of Middle Childhood (6 to 12 Years) a) Learning how to build loyal friendships and to be accepted by peers;

b) Learning social rules and norms;

Adjusting to school;

d) Learning the importance of academic achievement and real-world competence;

e) Moral development; and f) Consolidating self-concept (in terms of the peer group)

4) Key Developmental Tasks of Adolescence (13-18 Years) a) Learning to build intimate and committed friendships/relationships;

b) Adjustment to pubertal changes;

Transition to secondary schooling; and d) Developing strong and coherent personal identity.

II. EXPOSURE TO OVERLY SEXUALIZED MEDIA CONTENT

The work of Debbie Naigle (2005) entitled: "Literature Review of Media Messages to Adolescent Females" relates that the role played by media is a dominant one in the influence of the perceptions of females of the world and in their defining their "sense of self." (Naigle, 2005) The period of adolescence is a time in which severe psychological and emotional stresses are known to occur and as well, this is a time when gender identities and values surrounding self-worth and sexual attitudes are seriously focused upon by the adolescent. These changes do occur in both male and females however, this time is more difficult for the female adolescent. This age for the female is characterized by anxiety and uncertainty and the female adolescent is most likely to experience "decreased feeling of attractiveness and self-esteem." (Naigle, 2005) Girls become "more insecure and self-aware than do boys during adolescence. This is a time of "extreme introspection in which females "look to media to help them define and explain the world around them." (Naigle, 2005) Media is all pervasive in the lives of the female adolescent and strongly influences the construction of meaning in the life of the adolescent female. The work of Granello (1997) as cited in Naigle (2005) states findings that girls "12, 17 and 21 looked to the media to help them define social meaning in different ways. All three age groups looked to television programs to help them construct meaning into their lives. How this meaning was created varied at each developmental level. 12-year-olds looked to the media to define how their lives will be. They looked at the characters and situations presented on television and believed that if they modeled themselves in the same manner they would be able to achieve the same status and rewards as those characters presented. 17-year-olds looked to the media as a way to see how their life could have been given different circumstances (e.g. had they lived in a different geographical location or had a different socioeconomic status). They looked to characters on television as role models and strived achieve the same experiences. They were however, cognizant of the fact that there was no guarantee that their lives would turn out exactly like those portrayed; television characters simply exemplified the ultimate goal. 21-year-olds we able to distinguish the difference between their real lives and the fantasy lives portrayed on the television shows. However, they used the circumstances portrayed on television as a way of initiating dialogue with peers. Though this interaction they were able to collectively construct social and personal meaning" It is… [END OF PREVIEW]

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https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/female-child-cognitive-development/186.