Gender Roles – Imposing Childhood Roles on Adults

Most theorists explain gender roles are learned though socialization the process in which individual learned and adopt behavior that is appropriate to their sex based on society influence and acceptance. There are five types of socialization that influence gender roles and these involved our parents, peers, school, media and religion.

Parental Influence

Most parents prefer to have boys over girls and they also care for baby girl more differently than baby boy. Baby girl received more attention and are treated more fragile than baby boy. Baby girl are cuddled when she cry whereas baby boy are told to suppressed his tears and to behave more assertive.

Parents encouraged their son to play with trucks and to engage in sports activities whereas daughter are encouraged to play with dolls and to engaged in housekeeping activities. Boys are more likely to engage in physical chores that involved painting and lawn mowing whereas girls tend to engage in less physical chores such as cooking, washing dishes, and laundry. Research conducted by (Pomerleau, Bolduc, Malcuit, & Cossette, 1990) indicated that girls' rooms have more pink, dolls, and manipulative toys whereas boys' rooms have more blue, sports equipment, tools and vehicles.

Peers Influence

During preschool years children are more likely to play with members of the same gender and to engage in same gender typed activities. The process of peer group socialization allows children to establish their own gender identity and this continues to school year which prepares children for adult gender roles.

During peer group socialization, boys tend to engage in competitive activities and are more comfortable being assertive whereas girls developed behaviors that are nurturing and nonassertive. Boys and girls use language in different ways, boys use language to maintain independence and social order whereas girls use language to establish rapport. Boys and girls have different approach to making friends, boys make friends by establishing status among peers whereas girls make friends by establishing intimate friendships among peers.

School Influence

In the classroom boys and girls received different treatment from teacher. In general, teachers encourage boys more than girls by calling on boys more often to answer questions and boys are praised more often for right answers. Girls are call on less to answer questions and are praised less for right answers but girls are more often than boys to be criticize for wrong answers. Teachers are more likely to assign problem solving tasks to boys and simple tasks to girls. Boys are more likely to received attention from their teachers who are also more tolerant of bad behavior among elementary boys than girls.

Media Influence

On television men are portrayed as strong intelligent leader in high status role whereas women are portrayed in lower status role that appear to be less competent with traditional feminine characteristic or traditional occupation characteristics involving domestic tasks and administrative tasks.

In most movies men are usually portrayed as leading role who are dominant and authoritative where as women are portrayed as follower, dependent, and emotional. On commercial most of the voice-over are men and in certain commercial that have women voice-over tend to be more seductive as compare to men who are more authoritative. In news reporting there are also more men than women as news anchor.

Religion Influence

In religion such as Jewish, Christian and Islamic, God is presented as male and almost everyone reference to God as Father or He. In the bible, God is represented as He and this teaching had being administered to us when we were young and we grew up with the teaching that God is a He. In most religious organizations, the person administering the teaching of God is mostly of male dominance whether a priest or a pastor.

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