Conry-Murray (2015) examined whether children judged that differential treatment for boys and girls is unfair when the differences in treatment coincide with gender stereotypes related to interests or abilities. The participants of the study judged whether it is acceptable for a teacher to reward children in a class by giving the boys a robotics kit and the girls an old maid card game. At a very young age children are concerned with fairness, research indicates that young children have a strong sense of justice but may have more difficulty than adults in considering other relevant information that would justify an unequal split of resources (Conry-Murray, 2015). “The current study examines whether children at ages 6, 8, and 10 are more accepting of unequal distributions when the ite...
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...y will be seen as less “feminine” or “manly”.
From these few studies on how gender norms affect children and youth we can see that gender norms play a huge role in the lives of children and majorly dictate how they act and view themselves. I believe that there needs to be a serious shift in how we perceive gender norms. Adults often think that it’s impossible to change gender norms because they’re already so deeply entrenched. But they’re much more rooted in adults than they are in young people; it’s actually very easy to reach young people if we create opportunities for discussion, if we get them to think about their own experiences. By shifting how adults view gender norms we can easily change how they affect children both physically and mentally. I believe that a simple solution like opening up more discussions on gender norms is a big step towards change.
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