Gender recognition is one of the first cognitive developments in a toddler. Many scholars from both the sciences and humanities have been very interested in trying to the origin of gender recognition within toddlers and the effects it has on developing social lives. Some scientist have determined that gender is not something that is “hardwired” into your brain (Elliot, 1), it is a trait that is learned through experience and how one is raised. Toddlers learn their roles they take on in their playgroups, as either boys or girls, from their interaction with the influential adults in their lives and the limited social experiences they have encountered.
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.
According to Jean Piaget’s stages of cognitive development, children go through four stages of development which are sensory motor, pre-operational, concrete- operational, and formal operations. The second stage, which is pre-operational is the age where preschool age students who are between the ages of two and a half to four years old start to develop a sense of self. Between two and a half and three is the age where children start to develop stereotypes associated with gender roles as well as views of how the world works around them. Children who are in the age range of two and a half and four that are enrolled in a child care program are being exposed to various views about what is acceptable behavior for their
I decided to do my ethnographic work on the subculture of preschoolers. There is much to be gained from observing such a subculture. It is apparent that at a very young age children, preschoolers included, have picked up on gender roles and other social cues. These behaviors, obviously learned and therefore cultural, were observed by them and in turn replicated. This is evident in the behaviors I observed during the time I spent at a local preschool. I have agreed not to disclose the name or location of the preschool as well as the names of the students and the teacher. I will refer to the teacher simply as teacher and each child as either male or female.
In the stage of gender stability children are able to indicate that a gender remains the same throughout time and therefore, children start to realise that they will be male or female for the rest of their lives. Nevertheless, their understanding of gender i...
From this research of examining how gender socialization is projection through toys to children, have led to conclusion that in order to prevent children from living by these stereotypes portrayed through toys, parents should encourage gender-neutral and cross-gender play in children at an early age. Just for the mere that their brain is so receptive to knowledge into creating to become the person they are to be in life. Give children a chance to not only have fun while playing with their toys and that there aren’t any pressures on them that this what they should be and that there a mind full options that they can choose from.
Children develop their first sense of self at around age four, when they develop metacognition. (Berk, 2006) In pursuit of their self, they start to develop personal identities, informing their likes and dislikes as well as their disposition. Although children are born into a certain sex, they do not immediately develop a sense of gender. Their gender forms at the same time as their sense of self, by observing their outside environment. But even before the child understands their sense of self, they are already placed into gender specific play from around age 2 (Zosuls, 2007).
A current debate in Developmental Psychology centers around when gender labeling, identity, and stereotyping first occur in children, and how the timing of these events correlates with a moment in every child's life where they reach what is called "gender constancy." Gender constancy, briefly, is the knowledge that the mechanical sex one has been assigned will always be his or her sex, but also the knowledge that he or she will always be a girl or boy, and the characteristics that go along with that gender are a part of his or her permanent future identity. Before the age of around three or four, children state that they believe that they can grow up to be a different gender than they are now, and they can change genders based on how they dress or cut their hair.
In order to fully comprehend the how gender stereotypes perpetuate children’s toys, one must understand gender socialization. According to Santrock, the term gender refers to the, “characteristics of people as males and females” (p.163). An individual is certainly not brought into the world with pre-existing knowledge of the world. However, what is certain is the belief that the individual has regarding him- or herself and life stems from socialization—the development of gender through social mechanisms. For instance, when a baby is brought into this world, his or her first encounter to gender socialization arises when the nurse places a blue or pink cap on the baby’s head. This act symbolizes the gender of the baby, whether it is a boy (blue cap) or a girl (pink cap). At the age of four, the child becomes acquai...