Parents and Gender Socialization Sociology Help

Parents and Gender Socialization

From birth. parents act toward Children on the basis of the child’s sex. Baby boys are perceived to be less fragile than girls and   end to’ be treated more roughly by their parents. Girl babies are thought to be “cute. sweet. and cuddly’ and receive more gentle  treatment. Parents strongly influence the gender-role development  of children by passing on-both overtly and covertly-their own  beliefs about gender. .When girl  babies cry. parents respond to them more quickly. and parents are more prone to talk and sing to   irl babies (Wharton. 2004).

Children’s toys reflect their parents’ gender expectations. Gender-appropriate toys for boys include computer games. trucks and  other vehicles. sports equipment. and war toys such as guns and soldiers. Girls’ toys include “Barbie” dolls. play makeup. and  homemaking items. Parents’ choice toyboy for the children are are not likely to change in the near future. A group of college students  n one study were shown slides of toys and asked to decide which ones they would buy for  girls and boys. Most said they would  buy us. soldiers. jeeps. carpenter tools. and red bicycles for boys; girls would get baby dolls. dishes. jewelry bobbysoxer  boxes. and  ink bicycles (Fisher-Thompson. 1990). \When children are old enough to help with household chores. they arc often assigned  different tasks. Maintenance chores (such us mowing Reassigned (Ire  assigned to boys. whereas domestic chores (such as shopping.  king and clearing the table) are assigned to girls. Chores may also be occupational ture  occupational choices and personal characteristics. Girls who are responsible for domestic chores such as  caring for younger brothers and nurturing behaviors nurturing behaviors that later translate into employment as a nurse or schoolteacher. about computers learn about computers and other   types of technology that lead to different career options.

In the past. most studies of gender socialization focused on white. middle-class families and paid little  attention to ethnic  differences (Rafael and DOn’t Contain 20042004). According to earlier studies. children from  middle- and upper-income families are less  likely to be assigned gender-linked chores than children from lower-income backgrounds. In addition. gender linked chore   assignments occur less frequently in African American families. where both sons and daughters tend to be socialized toward  independence. employment.  and child care (Bar dwell. Cochran. and Walker. 1986; Hale-Benson. 1986). Sociologist Patricia Hill Collins (1991) suggests that African American mothers are less likely to socialize their daughters into roles as subordinates;   stead. they are likely to teach them a critical posture that allows them to cope with  contradictions.

In contrast. more-recent studies of gender socialization in U.S. Latino/a families suggest that adolescent females of Mexican.  uerto Rican. Cuban. or other Central or South American descent receive different  gender socialization l~omtheir parents than do their male siblings (Raffaelli and Ontai, 2004). Latinas are given more-stringent curfews and are allowed less interaction with   embers of the opposite sex than are the adolescent males in their families. Rules for dating.  school activities. and part-time jobs  re more stringent  for the girls because many parents want to protect their daughters and keep them closer to home

Across classes and racial/ethnic categories. mothers typically playa stronger role in gender socialization of daughters. whereas  athers do more to. socialize sons  than daughters (Mcfiale, Crouter, and Tucker, 1999). However, many parents are aware of the  ffect that  gender socialization has on their children and make a conscientious effort to provide nonsexist experiences for them.   or example. one study found that mothers with nontraditional views encourage their daughters to  be independent (Brooks-Gunn,  986). Many fathers  also take an active role in socializing their sons to be thoughtful ani! caring individuals who do not live by  traditional- gender stereotypes. However. peers often  make nontradittonal gender socialization much more difficult for parents   nd children (see Rabinowitz and  Cochran. 1994).

Posted on September 5, 2014 in Sex and Gender

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