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Stereotypes and Female Recidivisim

            The influence of society's gender biased roles can be traced back to the moment of human birth. Immediately sex roles are defined and can be divided into stereotypes. At a very young age the child is exposed to what it means to be either a boy or a girl. There are the gender specific color associations of blue for male and pink for female. There are gender distinct male names such as John, Paul and Tim while female names include Mary, Lisa and Elizabeth. As the child grows, even play toys have their gender differentiated purposes such as cars, balls and tools for males while the females are given dolls, doll houses and tea sets (Adolescence 1997). A child's earliest exposure to what it means to be male or female comes from the parents. There is an expectant behavior from the child and as children grow and develop the gender stereotypes that are continuously reinforced are further perpetuated throughout childhood and into adolescence. Thus the stereotypes become firmly implanted into beliefs and also as part of the child's self-concept. The theoretical perspective of gender polarization is the foundation for these gender specific divisions of male and female roles in society. "Gender polarization defines mutually exclusive scripts for being male and female and any deviation from these scripts as unnatural" (Lenses of Gender pp. 80-87). Traditional male roles in society .
             includes the economic provider, family patriarch, community educator, voter, property owner and sports athlete.
             In contrast the female traditional roles included the child bearer, home keeper and subordinate to the males. As females continue to cross over the boundary into the traditional male roles, then each act is considered to be abnormal or the act itself to be unnatural. The perceived invasion of females into the male role causes men to protect its once dominant social role. .
             Feminists argue that "no just society could tolerate the inequalities that women now experience in status, income, power, and physical security"" (Young,1998).

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