Gender socialization & its impact on the individual.
Gender socialization is part of life. From the moment babies are born, they are either called a boy or they are called a girl. Gender socialization first happens in the home with the family. Depending on whether we are born male or female, we are set on a separate course in life for that sex. From cultural guidelines, Parents begin to teach children their part in this symbolic separation of the sexes. Based on this socialization that happens at a very early age, there is a strong impact on the identity of the individual. .
Color plays a big part in the gender socialization of a young child's life. Girls are dressed in pink clothes that symbolize femininity. Boys are dressed in blue clothes that symbolize masculinity. Girls are given Barbie dolls, jewelry, and make-up to play with and boys are given dinosaurs, airplanes, and power rangers. "According to Stoller, labels such as "masculine and feminine" represent gender differences. In effect, gender refers to the various ways that culture ascribes all kinds of behavioral differences to males and females." (Eqdam)"Parents let their preschool sons roam farther from home than their preschool daughters and the subtly encourage them to participate in more rough and tumble play."(Henslin, 79) It is differences like these in the gender socialization of children that make boys and girls different.
Parents teach gender roles to their children at a young age. Gender roles are the behaviors and attitudes considered appropriate because one is male or female. According to a study done in 1969, it was shown that mothers tend to implement and enforce gender socialization at a very early age. Mothers kept their daughters close and encouraged their sons to be more aggressive, even reprimanding for passiveness. (Henslin, 78). Just as parents play a role in leading a child down the right path of gender socialization, media also has a part.