Gender Socialization Research Paper

1163 Words 5 Pages
For as long as humans roamed the Earth, they have, in one way or another, learned what was expected of them in order to be viewed as a member of their group. This includes an understanding of their society’s beliefs and values, and any lack of comprehension could certainly result in their public ridicule. This process, which is one that is lifelong, became to be known as socialization, which is specifically defined as “the lifelong process of learning to become a member of the social world, including learning the values and beliefs of our culture”. Through socialization, one would learn cultural norms, unacceptable behaviors such as folkways and taboos, language and symbols, how society operates, and one’s place in the world. Through socialization, …show more content…
The gender norms in American society are that men are masculine, i.e. strong, aggressive, and the breadwinner, while women are feminine, i.e. emotional, nurturing, and the homemaker. The roles are expected behavior in society, and socialization regarding gender norms is evident all throughout one’s life. For example, when a child is born, the room is often decorated according to its sex—blue for boys and pink for girls. This overlooked habit inconspicuously encourages boys to be masculine and girls feminine by associating the colors with the gender norms. Later on in life, families continue to emphasize these norms by influencing the way children play, promoting rough-housing for boys and non-physical play for girls, among other things. When one reaches adolescence, peers also maintain a role in enforcing gender norms, specifically by gender-policing each other. Adolescent males have no problem calling each other out for actions deemed un-masculine, and even use terms such as “sissy” to exemplify their breach of the male gender norm. We can also see this behavior being prominent in the media, whether it is subliminal or not. For example, in cleaning commercials, women are often depicted doing daily cleaning chores while smiling and in unpractical attire. We rarely see men doing the cleaning, and when we do, they are depicted as …show more content…
Family provides the knowing of what is right and wrong, exemplifying the correct treatment of others, and helps one learn basic skills such as language, personal hygiene, how to talk, and how to walk. As the most influential agent of socialization over one’s lifetime, family socialization varies by culture and sub-cultures including race, religion, class, and ethnicity. Religion, on the other hand, can reinforce values and beliefs encouraged by family and can even become the most influential agent for some. Quite often, religion is introduced to one by their family, and is most often continuously encouraged by the family. For example, when a child is growing up, one of the beliefs families can share is the importance of religion in culture and one’s life. Families can base their view of what is right and wrong and the treatment of others based on their religion, and pass those beliefs on to their children. If the child is also taken to church regularly, religion can become all the more important, and mold the child’s beliefs and norms based on the religion supported by their family. Religion, on the other hand, can go on to reinforce the beliefs parents taught to their children. Or, in some cases, religion can take on a life of its own, replacing all of the ideas, beliefs, and norms taught by one’s

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