Sex refers to one’s biological identity of being male or female while gender refers to the socially learned expectations and behaviours associated with being male or female. Sex is biologically assigned while gender is culturally learned. From the time that we are born we are influenced by various things, the surrounding environment, our parents, the culture of the area and country. Children are most influenced by their parents and are at their most impressionable from a very young age [Lauer & Lauer, 1994; Santrock, 1994; Kaplan, 1991] . Generally it is widely accepted across the board that early gender socialisation is one of the most important issues in early childhood, as it is affecting both boys and girls.
Discuss the significance of Gender in children’s daily lives with reference to processes of gender socialisation. It is generally accepted in society today that early gender socialisation is the most relevant issue in early childhood, affecting both boys and girls. Early gender socialisation lays the foundations for stereotypes in gender roles. Gender role stereotypes are present and produce negative effects, especially for women. Gender roles are the behaviours that society teach us as appropriate for boys and girls.
Post modernists believe that some aspects of identity can bought, therefore changing how identity is formed. There are many agencies of socialisation which help form identity. The family are primary agents of socialisation, showing us how to act from a young age, giving us gender typical toys to play with and changing the way to speak to different genders i.e. ‘stop acting like a boy!’ Or ‘be man and get on with it!’ Family teaches us to accept our ascribed status, feminists say that from an early age the family socialise girls to be taught to be housewives via the toys they play with. Education and school are also agents of socialisation although it is secondary socialisation.
Gender Stereotyping in Children’s Toys Today, toy stores divide the many toys, games, and movies into two primary categories: boy and girl. Toys teach children at such a young age what their roles are in society and that they cannot stray from these roles. Through their gender-biased toys, boys learn to be tough, “warrior like” leaders and girls learn to be nurturers. Girls’ toys stress physical beauty and appearance while boys’ toys focus on respect for their physical abilities (Campenni 122). Gender socialization through toys, teaches and reinforces stereotypical gender roles.
Exposing children to a broad set of experiences is paramount with regard to their development on into adulthood to become productive members of society. The focus of a child's development and how they will react to any given mindset is extremely important. It is even more important than any dogma based on fear and insecurity whether that is rooted in religion, societal norms or cultural assignments. If parents allow thier children to remain metaphorical prisoners, they will grow up to continue that destructive cycle. Flexibility is the key to molding children and if we give the ancient philosophers their due, they too, can give modern day civilization a hint as to the appropriate level of teachings and experiences that we as parents, caregivers, and teachers give to our
Social experience is a must in every child to be able to develop their personality. However, for children to operate successfully in society, they must learn to interact with others in a healthy, positive, and productive manner. In order to prepare children to be successful in adults, it is essential that we as adults encourage social interaction, monitor social skills, and teach healthy ways to interact with other children and with adults. Socialization skills are important not only in school but in all of adult life as well. As I think about the process in which has molded me into the person that I am today, I realize that most of my beliefs were instilled in me at a young age.
When we take care of children, we are also helping the human species find the truth and understand the world. (Gopnik et al. 1999: 211) This chapter begins by looking at what elements need to be in place to ensure that children develop to their full potential and have opportunities to explore and extend all their capacities and capabilities. It will further explore the generalized impact on children’s development of social breakdown because of war and conflict – looking in detail at the developmental processes of early childhood, and noting what happens when that progress is interrupted. The major theories of play will be outlined, with the emphasis here on play not only as a necessary feature of childhood and essential component of development, but also as a means to regain ‘lost childhoods’.
While boys are encouraged to be adventurous and granted freedom that is perhaps undeserved, their female counterparts will be given toy ovens and princess dolls to play with. Well meaning adults will often correct or shame a child who exhibits behaviors that are not suitable for the gender roles Ornelas 2 they are being raised to fill. Though parents and relatives mean no harm by introducing children to the societal constructs of behavior befitting their gender, these practices directly harm the child.
In all societies, children are surrounded by a variety of influential objects including guardians or parents in the family, friends in their peer groups, teachers at schools and religious institutions, and characters on television (Akers, 2009). The models offer cases of feminine and masculine behavior to watch and emulate. Children give significant attention to some of the models and imitate their behavior. In other cases, they do this irrespective of whether the behavior is ‘appropriate’ for their gender or not. There are, however, some processes which make it more possible that children will replicate the behavior that the society terms appropriate for its gender (Akers, 2009).
This essay will discuss the historical significance of the family in relation to the issue, as well briefly examine the impact of gender. According to Perry & Perry (2009), the family as a social institution is identifiable in almost every society ever documented. Families contribute to ones identity (Perry & Perry, 2009), particularly parents, who greatly influence their children. Parental behaviour will affect how a child relates to others in both positive and negative ways, as in the case of bullying. Parson understood this when he developed the theory known as Primary Socialisation, which indicated that the fundamental role of the family was to mould the character of the offspring (Van Krieken, Habibis, Smith, Hutchins, Haralambos & Holborn, 2010).