Gender Socialisation Essay

3102 Words13 Pages
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. These are based on gender stereotypes, which are “assumptions made about the characteristics of each gender, such as physical appearance, physical abilities, attitudes, interests or occupations.” (Gooden and Gooden, 2001). This essay will define and discuss gender and its significance throughout early childhood. Gender socialisation will be related to throughout this discussion as the effects of the family, the school, the media and the peer group on gender socialisation will also be looked at. To conclude the essay, statistics and studies will be discussed with relation to gender role socialisation. Gender “is a social construction organised around biological sex. Individuals are born male or female, but they acquire over time a gender identity that is what it means to be male or female.” (Gregson et al., 1997. p.53). This explanation gives us the idea of two different relationships. That is the relationship between the two genders, and the relationship between gender and society. Girls and boys are encouraged to adopt female and male characteristics that are determined by society. Their behaviour is reinforced by praise or reward for being appropriately masculine or feminine. (Buckingham-Hatfield, 2000). Freud’s psychodynamic theory implies that a child’s gender identity is absent before the age of around three and that it is not fully formed
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