Stereotypes in Early Gender Socialization

explanatory Essay
1370 words
1370 words

If we try to categorize human by the term “gender”, people will be divided into two groups, males and females. Using this kind of categorization, it is considering people who belong in the same group are similar, and these two groups are very different from each other. However in real life, men and women’s characteristics tend to overlap (Crespi) . Even people who are in the same group may have different characteristics and personalities which are formed influencing by the environment and experiences.

Socialization refers to “the lifelong social experience by which people develop their human potential and learn culture”. (Macionis, 2012) By gender socialization, the simplest explanation is the process of learning what it means to be a male or female in the society, in which gender stereotypes and bias are usually involved. For example, boys should be tough, brave, strong, sporty, while girls are soft, moody, passive, and allowed to cry.

In fact, gender socialization appears very early in childhood, and it is generally regarded as one of the most related issues in early childhood. (Early Childhood, 2007) Children learn the differences between boys and girls by the environment they are exposed to, and the ideas are reinforced mainly by family, education, peer groups, and the mass media.


Family is the first influence to the children’s gender socialization. The interaction of children with their parents is the first exposure of the gender differences idea to them. Since the babies is born, parents start to treat sons and daughters differently with their gender stereotype by dressing infants with different colors’ clothes, giving them gender differentiated toys. One study indicates that parents have differential exp...

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...ion of gender differences. Journal of Social Issues , 46, 186-201.

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Macionis, J. J. (2012). Sociology. In Sociology (p. 102). PEARSON.

Rubin, J. P. (1974). The eye of the beholder: Parents' views on sex of newborns. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 512-519.

Witt, S. D. (n.d.). The Influence of Peers on Children’s Socialization to Gender Roles. Retrieved from University of Akron:

Wood, E. (2002). The impact of parenting experience on gender stereotyped toy play of children. Sex Roles, 47, 39-50.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that gender socialization is the process of learning what it means to be a male or female in the society, in which gender stereotypes and bias are usually involved.
  • Explains that family influences children's gender socialization. parents dress infants differently based on gender stereotypes.
  • Explains that the next environment children enter is education, where a conscious socialization is happening.
  • Explains that peer relationships are important in the development of children's self-concept, as they influence their view on the roles of males and females in society.
  • Explains that children learn gender roles through different media, such as educational books, picture books and animated cartoons.
  • Concludes that stereotyped and biased gender socialization on children can cause bullying among peers. this bullying is not uncommon around the world and is due to stereotypes and bias.
  • Explains that a boy aged 11 attempts suicide after being bullied for liking my little pony. campenni, c., 1999. gender stereotyping of children's toys: a comparison of parents and non parents.
  • Explains that gender role stereotypes, expectancy effects, and parents' socialization of gender differences in children's television advertising.
  • Cites rubin, j. p., witt, s. d. and wood, e.
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