At a young age, children rely on observational learning to acquire skills. This learning style is works by observing and replication another person’s behavior (King, 2014). Much of the skills a child learns are from their parents. In a research article called “Parental Toy Choice Stereotyping and its Effects on Child Toy Preference and Sex-Role Typing” it was said that, “toys are designed and made to appeal to both children and their parents” (Peretti, Sydney 1984). During infancy, it is up to the parent to pick the toys, this process conditions on gender and social-role identities.
I’m am in no way implying that making your infant son wear blue is bad and if he wears pink as he gets older, it your fault. I know that I probably wouldn’t be to happy about the fact that my little boy is wearing pink either, but its how you approach and deal with the situation the can have an effect on your child. Many parents would probably tell their children this type of situation, “ Pink is for girls, take it off. What are you gay or something. Are you a sissy?
Kids Toys & Socialization Toy stores are perfect places for a sociologist to use their sociological imagination. Gendering and racism is thought to be something that is socially constructed as opposed to biologically constructed. Gendering starts during infancy, and around 2 years old children start to internalize these gender differences. I argue that children’s toys help socialize children into gender specific roles. Toy stores, like Target and Toys R Us help us understand what types of toys help to gender children.
“For the individual, gender construction starts with assignment to a sex category on the basis of what the genitalia look like at birth (Lorber, 141).” Gender stereotyping starts at very young age. Gender is not something we are born with; it is something we are taught to do. Most parents start placing gender roles on their children when they are first born by buying them clothing associated with their socially constructed gender. Also, parents will typically buy their child toys that correlate with their gender. As well as race, African Americans tend to buy African American dolls, and white people will buy white dolls.
Ideally it would be great to see a boy not get teased if he wanted to play with a doll or a girl with a ninja warrior. It may be more socially acceptable for a girl to cross over the norm than it would be for a boy. In my opinion the worst toy that I found was the Uggly’s pet, this pet was encouraging bad manners and virtually no imagination. The toys that I found were the best was the movie character additions. These toys were gender neutral and would be socially acceptable for both genders.
The highlighted décor in the store’s displays and packaging for girls involves embellishments such as pictures of girls, flowers, glitter, and jewels. The boy section portrays color schemes that are primarily in blue, red, yellow, gray, and black. Packaging images are of male children. The sections including educational toys, games, sporting equipment, outdoor play, sound and music, building, puzzles, and arts appear to be more gender neutral although some gender specific items can be identified by color or themes such as princess/fairytale or Ninja Turtle. The configuration of the toys clearly states that color, themes, and character representation are irrelevant to infants and toddlers, while parent’s attitudes about color and gender may be important aspects of unintentional socialization in the maturation of children.
The portion of Scanlon’s essay that I disagree with is the statement, “the least gender-specific toys and games in the stores are, arguably, those in the baby and toddler section” (472). My theory is that children are taught appropriate gender role behaviors through play long bef... ... middle of paper ... ...y. And if we start this process at such a young age, we will have molded our children into stereotypical citizens very well by the time they are adolescents. The board games that Jennifer Scanlon writes about will only serve to reinforce the gender perceptions children have already learned. In order to raise caring men and assertive women the practice of labeling toys for gender-specific play needs to stop.
Which could imply to adolescent girls that basketball or football is not a sport for them. For girls all of the toys stayed cohesive to a domestic lifestyle. I could convey that by what the children gravitated to in the store. Toys have a huge impact on children when it comes to gender simply because of the way toys appeal to them. If a young boy sees a blue toy he automatically suspects that is for his gender only and so forth.
The value of playing with baby dolls. Catalogs, Retrieved from http://www.catalogs.com/info/children/the-value-of-playing-with-baby-dolls.html Witt, S. D. (n.d.). Parental influence on children’s socialization to gender roles. Retrieved from http://cla.calpoly.edu/~bmori/syll/311syll/Witt.html oodhouse, R. (2008). The value of playing with dolls for girls and boys .
‘Boys will be boys’, a phrase coined to exonerate the entire male sex of loathsome acts past, present, and potential. But what about the female sex, if females act out of turn they are deemed ‘unladylike’ or something of the sort and scolded. This double standard for men and women dates back as far as the first civilizations and exists only because it is allowed to, because it is taught. Gender roles and cues are instilled in children far prior to any knowledge of the anatomy of the sexes. This knowledge is learned socially, culturally, it is not innate.