Gender Socialization And Gender Roles Essay

Gender Socialization And Gender Roles Essay

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From the moment a person is born and often earlier, that person is categorized by their gender and will spend the rest of their life facing the questions of identity and appropriate behavior respective to their gender. Diana Kendall defines gender as “the culturally and socially constructed differences between females and males found in the meanings, beliefs, and practices associated with “femininity” and “masculinity” (Kendall 303), and socialization as “the lifelong process of social interaction through which individuals acquire a self-identity and the physical, mental, and social skills needed for survival in society” (Kendall 75). Gender socialization begins at or before birth and is perpetuated by the parents’ views on gender, is reinforced throughout childhood by various social groups and institutions, and carries over into adulthood affecting occupational opportunity and compensation. The gender socialization people experience during the earliest stages of life often reflects their own culture’s views on gender roles and stereotypes, and differential treatment of boys and girls prepares them as children for the gendered division of paid work as adults.
Gender socialization begins at or before birth and is perpetuated by the parents’ views on gender. Evidence of this occurs daily in many American hospitals, where the newborn babies are dressed in color-coded caps and swaddling: pink for girls, blue for boys. If parents elect to learn their baby’s gender in utero, they may begin perpetuating gender stereotypes before the child is even born; they may decorate a girl’s nursery in a princess theme, with delicate flowers, or female characters, while a boy’s nursery may feature a hunting or fishing, sports, or male character-them...


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...r of the dominant male sex, an issue women are seemingly conditioned to disregard from birth.
In conclusion, “there are numerous examples from varied parts of the world confirming that gender socialization is intertwined with the ethnic, cultural, and religious values of a given society. And gender socialization continues throughout the life cycle” (Early Childhood). Those who experienced gendered socialization are likely to pass it down to their children, and through other social groups and institutions outside of their families. Stereotypes and bias are sometimes perpetuated without the realization that it is occurring, if they are so ingrained a society or smaller social group. Perhaps the dynamic and attitudes toward gender identity, bias, and stereotypes will change as most of the world begins to shift toward greater acceptance and opportunity for both genders.

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