Gender Roles

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Gender Roles GENDER ROLES In the article "Gender Studies" the author states, "Gender is a fundamental aspect of personal and social identity and a biological, psychological, and cultural construction of paramount importance for people everywhere"(1). Who ever said men and women are equal must be blind. Women have always taken a back seat to men in American society. There has always seemed to be one set of standards that apply to men, and another set of standards that apply to women. This is evident in the home, workplace, and all throughout society. I would like to briefly discuss some of the differences that we learn about our gender, which will enable us to better understand men, and women. Our supposed roles as men and women start at the hospital when we are born. Boys get blue blankets while girls get pink blankets. While children are growing up, gender roles are highly defined by parents and teachers as well as societal influences. Boys were taught to do "boy" things and girls were taught to do "girly" things. The toys that children play with growing up are targeted at either males or females. The activities that are encouraged by adults demonstrate the influence of gender roles on today's youth. Little boy toys include trucks, blocks, guns, soldiers, and action figures. While toys made for little girls include dolls, kitchen utensils, dress-up, and doll houses. Lena states, in her book Genders that "boys are raised to be aggressive, tough, dominant, and daring, while girls are raised to be passive, emotional, sweet, and subordinate"(Jacob89). The expectations that parents hold for each of the children vary among their gender role. For instance, when boys get hurt their parents say things like "shake it off," or "that didn't hurt much," but when little girls got hurt, they would give her attention and pull her aside and take care of her. Parents treat each child in completely different regard. These patterns and thought processes continue on into our adulthood and begin to play out in our relationships with others, which include dating and marriage. With these gender biases and stereotypes in mind, it is easy to see how gender roles are created. As Dianne Cullims states, in her book Gender Roles "Parents have a lot to do with how their children turn out"(47). Parents always encourage boys to skateboard, play football, rides bikes, or take karate lessons.

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