Gender Role Socialization In Children

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Children in this society learn at a very young age that there are differences between boys and girls. This idea permeates daily life and is encouraged by parents, peers, school, and the media. Little girls learn that they are supposed to like dolls and the color pink, while boys learn that they are supposed to like trucks and the color blue. Adults may inadvertently reward or punish children on the basis of these stereotypes. Gender role socialization is the process of learning socially acceptable expectations and attitudes that are identified with one’s sex. Males behave differently from females due to the different social roles they learned throughout their development. A child is first influenced to gender roles from the family. From birth …show more content…
This is especially true of television. It happens to be another strong influence in regards to children’s gender role socialization. “Studies show preschoolers spend an average of nearly 30 hours a week watching television; some spend more time watching television than doing anything else except sleeping” (Witt, 2011). Due to the fact that children spend as much time as they do watching TV, the images and concepts of genders that they see and/or believe tends to stick with them. Witt also goes on to state, “Gender role stereotypes seen on television are, in turn, reinforced by parents, friends, and school, contributing to the child’s sense of what it means to be male or female in society” (pg. 324). Young boys and girls are taught through the media that they are supposed to identify with the characteristics being portrayed to them. This confirms that television has become an overwhelmingly huge part of a child’s development that it simply can’t be ignored or deemed unrelated. “Children should be allowed to develop a sense of self in a gender-fair environment that encourages everyone to fully feel a part of society” (Witt, 2011). Their surroundings make this statement difficult to be true because of how strongly it molds the minds of boys and girls, especially when they begin learning these gender roles at a young …show more content…
In other words, there are various stereotypes pertaining to how each gender is expected to behave, dress, think, and talk and more. These stereotypes permeate society and as a result are evident in the family, the media, and the school system. During the early years of development, children learn what it means to be a girl or a boy within their society. Parents have the primary influence on a child's internalization of gender roles since prior to kindergarten most children spend the majority of their time with a parent. However, once the child attends school, the peer group also has an influential part in the child's view on gender roles. Children learn from their parents, their peers, and the media what is gender appropriate and what is not. Eventually, children internalize these messages and begin to believe their validity, which is why males behave differently from

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