Case Study
Gender and Development
Franklin, a father of two daughters and a son, couldn’t sit quietly any longer.  “Carlton seems to spend a lot of time playing with his big sisters’ Barbies, doesn’t he?  Do you think that’s normal?”
“I wouldn’t worry about it, dear.  He’s just three years old.  I thought you’d be impressed with his interest in older women.”  Clarissa, Franklin’s wife, remembered her own brothers and their passing interest in Barbie dolls when she was a child.
“But what if he turns into a sissy or something?  I just don’t want him to get picked on when he gets into school.”
“I wasn’t going to tell you this, but he looks absolutely adorable in his sisters’ dresses.  Oh yeah, and he wants to be a mommy when he grows up.”
“You’re kidding, right?”
“Okay, so he doesn’t wear his sisters’ dresses.  But he does seem pretty excited about that mommy idea …”

  1. Are Franklin’s concerns about his son becoming a “sissy” valid? How do you explain Carlton’s interest in Barbie dolls?


  1. Carlton knows that he is a boy, but he wants to be a mommy when he grows up. According to Kohlberg, this reveals what about Carlton’s development of gender?


  1. If Franklin really wants to make Carlton more masculine, what should he do, according to gender-schema theory? If Clarissa wants to raise Carlton in a gender-neutral environment, what must she do?


  1. Regardless of his gender role, what differences can Carlton’s parents expect to observe between Carlton and his sisters?