Gendered Behavior Across the Life Span

Part II. Social and Emotional Development

  1. Melissa Hines

Published Online: 20 SEP 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470880166.hlsd002010

The Handbook of Life-Span Development

The Handbook of Life-Span Development

How to Cite

Hines, M. 2010. Gendered Behavior Across the Life Span. The Handbook of Life-Span Development. II:10.

Author Information

  1. University of Cambridge, Cambridge, England

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 20 SEP 2010


Gendered behavior results from numerous factors, including the sex chromosomes (XX,XY), hormone concentrations during prenatal development, postnatal socialization and encouragement of sex-typical activities, and cognitive developmental processes involved in gender identity and valuing of sex-typical behavior. This chapter reviews the evidence as to how these various factors contribute to a range of specific behaviors that differ on average for males and females across the life span, including toy and activity preferences; core gender identity; sexual orientation; verbal, mathematical, and spatial abilities; and aggression and empathy. Although many types of factors are involved in the development of each of these gender-related behavioral outcomes, the specific factors involved appear to differ from one outcome to another. Thus, the development of differences in behavior between males and females, as well as individual variability within each sex in gendered behavior, is multi-determined.


  • sex;
  • gender;
  • hormones;
  • socialization;
  • cognition;
  • play;
  • toy;
  • sexual orientation;
  • gender identity;
  • aggression;
  • empathy