Discuss Two Influences on Development, Comparing and Contrasting Their Impact on Our Understanding.

Discuss two influences on development, comparing and contrasting their impact on our understanding.

This essay will consider specific influences on human development. Firstly discussing the effects of positive and negative early socialisation in babyhood, exploring the relationship and interactions between parent and baby and how this influences the development of the brain leading to an emotional stability or dysfunction later in life (Gerhardt, 2004). Secondly, it will examine the major developmental differences of both genders and the impact of gender stereotyping (Eliot, 2010). Finally, it will consider the differentiating learning styles of male and female learners and discuss research which suggests a distinctive sequence of brain development exists for each sex.

Early interactions as babies, with primary caregivers, parents, even siblings shape the nervous systems and establish a human’s future emotional constitution. A mother’s love is well documented as unconditional, but what happens when it is not? What happens when a new mother struggles to cope, fails to bond with her baby or is simply not inclined to nurture the infant the way mother nature suggests? A human baby, from the outset, is entirely reliant on other human beings to ensure its survival. The infants cry is an indicator to his primary care giver that something is wrong and requires addressing. They may feel the necessity for food, changing or comforting. Gerhardt (2004) argues that human infants may be installed with the fight or flight mechanism but are powerless to act on it without adult intervention.   An infant who calls out in distress, signalling to their mother to come, may be aware that without her arrival their chances of survival diminish, anxiety levels are raised. When the body perceives that it is under threat the adrenal cortex produces cortisol – the stress hormone. A prolonged period of increased cortisol levels in an infant may block their ability to learn and increase...