Effects Of Gender Socialisation Throughout The Lifespan

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Literature Review: Socialisation throughout the lifespan

Socialisation is the process by which individuals learn and recognise patterns of behaviour expected of them by the society (Beattie et al, 2014). This is a ‘continuing process whereby an individual acquires a personal identity and learns the norms, values, behaviour, and social skills appropriate to his or her social position’, (Dictionary.com, 2016). However, the primary and driving influencers of an individuals socialisation during the aforementioned stages are family, friends and those within the community. Another branch of socialisation is gender socialisation, a ‘process of learning the social expectations and attitudes associated with one 's sex’ (Chegg, 2003-2016). ‘Children
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Male and female babies are dressed in different kinds and colours of clothing. Parents respond differently to male and female infants (Bell & Carver, 1980) and people describe identical behaviour on the part of infants differently if they are told the infant is a boy or girl (Condry & Condry, 1976). This traditional gender barrier created by the society obstructs the notion of ‘complete and efficient’ socialisation, as it is through socialisation that an individual’s ideas and values are created. A consequence of ‘gender socialisation’ is that it forces certain thoughts and morals upon individuals especially in the beginning stages of like childhood and adolescence. For example, girls are taught to play with Barbie dolls, whereas boys are taught to play with cars. This separation and expectation between genders are seen to be the norm in our modern day society and act as building blocks towards the creation of their individual personalities. Not fulfilling society’s expectation towards this simple yet imperative matter can/ may result in exclusion from the community and have a direct and disastrous effect on their wellbeing, especially on an emotional and psychological level. Piaget’s theory on cognitive development suggested that ‘the development of gender identity… [can be understood through] examining young children 's day-to-day play and social interactions’(Oswalt, …show more content…
During these eight stages, they will develop certain ‘basic virtues’ that are essentially meant to assist them with the needs of the society. However, out of the eight, the first five stages contribute to the topic of socialisation during infancy, childhood and adolescence. The first stage that occurs between the ages of zero to one and a half years is ‘Trust vs. Mistrust’ (McLeod Saul, 2008) , it develops the essential virtue of hope. ’During this stage, the infant is uncertain about the world in which they live. To resolve these feelings of uncertainty the infant looks towards their primary caregiver for stability and consistency of care’(McLeod Saul, 2008). This idea of looking towards their primary caregiver supports the theory that parents and close friends are the primary agents of socialisation, who begin their roles very early on in the child’s life. The second stage that occurs between the ages one and a half to three is ‘Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt’ (McLeod Saul, 2008). ‘The child is developing physically and becoming more mobile. Between the ages of 18 months and three, children begin to assert their independence. Erikson states it is critical that parents allow their children to explore the limits of their abilities

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