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Similarities and Differences in Adolescent Development

Is the experience of being an adolescent the same for males and females? Is it the same across different historical time periods or eras? What about across different cultures or subpopulations within a culture?

Similarities and Differences in Adolescent Development
Is the experience of being an adolescent the same for males and females? Is it the same across different historical time periods or eras? What about across different cultures or subpopulations within a culture? This assignment involves exploring similarities and differences in one of these areas.
Write a 1000-1500 word paper summarizing your findings. Your paper should include a brief introduction to the topic, a review of research findings, and a conclusion.
Include at least four references from professional peer-reviewed journals.

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Similarities and Differences in Development Among Male and Female Adolescents.

Introduction
For decades there has been a growing interest and curiosity and may research studies to decipher if there are in fact sex differences (male and female) in cognitive and psychological variables. Empirical studies as well meta-analyses have contributed evidence on the differences between male and female individuals; and the evidence from studies done in the field of gender similarities hypothesis have supported the evidence that points to the similarity of males and females in most psychological variables, and differences and similarities in areas including but not limited to: Cognition, social and personality (Cook & Cook, 2009). This report takes a closer look at the supporting available evidence as it relates to similarities and differences in development among male and female adolescents in areas such as cognition, social and personality variables.

Discussion
Gender differences in cognitive, sexual, social, and personal characteristics have been investigated since the early 1900s. The research indicates and has identified differences in several specific cognitive skills as well as in a range of social and personal characteristics; these include but are not limited to: Differences that are apparent from infancy; others that emerge only in late childhood to adolescence. A noteworthy point is that in several skills the differences between boys and girls have decreased over the last two to three decades. A possible explanation could be that socialization and differential experiences play roles in gender differences (Cook & Cook, 2009; Berk, 2004). Although the differences in gender remain consistent and significant over time; it is still mind-boggling as to the real reason they exist. Researchers (e.g., Cook et al., 2009; Berk, 2004; Lipsey, 2006) posit that different experiences and socialization are almost certainly involved, and biological factors may also have important effects.

Cook et al (2009) purport that to date, the most striking finding in the study of gender is that in most areas the similarities between girls and boys are dramatic. For example; a comprehensive review indicated that out of 124 meta-analyses conducted; and which was representative of approximately 7,000 individual research reports that examined a broad range of social; cognitive; and personality variables; 78% showed small or close-to-zero effect sizes. This would indicate that very few statistical differences do exists between males and females in such studies (Cook et al., 2009).

The answer is not so black or white; instead we have to see this is context and see if gender differences were found. For example, when the study participants were told that gender differences had been found on in the administrations of a math test; the males outperformed females. In contrast, if participants were told the test was gender-fair; gender differences did not exists (Cook & Cook, 2009; Millstein & Halpern-Fleischer, 2002). This emphasizes the fact that while it is important to understand how, when, and why gender differences exist, it is just as important to know when such differences do not exist so that neither males or female(boys and girls) are stunted from developing their optimum individual potentials(Cook & Cook, 2009; Graham, 2009).

Cognitive Skills
As it relates to cognitive skills; the most consistent and dramatic gender differences have been found in certain areas in spatial skills, language, and verbal skills. More specifically; girls tend to produce words at an earlier age than their male counterparts; they also have a broader repertoire of words and vocabulary; and a higher level of language complexity that begins in early childhood (Cook & ...

Solution Summary

The similarities and differences in adolescent development are determined.

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