Very often, children encounter numerous moral dilemmas on their way that reflect in various ways. The majority of these difficulties occur once they have to define their life paths. Therefore, understanding of the theoretical background provides an additional incentive to the clarity of interpreting children’s behavior in various ways. In the majority of cases, moral dilemmas are directly linked to the age of a child, as based on the multitude of theories.
As mentioned above, theoretical background significantly contributes to the better understanding of moral dilemmas of children’s development. In particular, Kohlberg’s Cognitive Developmental Theory mainly referred to the determination of sexual orientation which is linked to the particular age of a child. Kohlberg divides this process into three steps, each defining the limitations of children’s development. Through the first step, a child would define a basic gender identity, then gender stability and gender consistency. According to Kohlberg, a process of child’s cognitive development occurs between 4 and nine years old.

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If I were to develop a situation, my scenario would be the following:
A six-year-old is unsure what kind of toys he is playing with. In the gender-segregated industry, when certain toys are aimed at men, and the other are targeted at women, a child is confused in making a definite choice. When parents note these doubts, they question what’s going on with the gender identity of a child. Thus, gender identity is not defined and questioned. What shall a child do?

Personally, I think that there are instances when people determine their sexual identity much later in their lives, rather than in childhood years. That is why I strongly share that position that a child is not an age-appropriate stage, and therefore timeline shall be analyzed in the context of child’s development.

  • Kohlberg’s Cognitive Developmental Theory. (2016). Retrieved 11 August 2016, from
  • Newman, B. & Newman, P. (1975). Development through life. Homewood, Ill.: Dorsey Press.