Gender Socialization Essay

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Socialization of Boys and Girls Gender socialization is the process of learning cultural roles according to one’s sex. This process begins the moment a newborn is declared male or female. Boys and girls are generally socialized through four means: family, peers, school, and the media. The first way boys and girls are socialized different is by their family. Parents are often the first ones responsible. When a newborn is brought home, the process is apparent. Boys’ rooms are most oft often painted blue or other bold colors. Girls’ rooms are painted pink or soft colors. Parents also give their children gender-specific toys. Common toys for boys are action figures, toy cars, and balls. Girls are frequently given dolls, tea sets, and stuffed animals. Even how children are treated is based on the child’s sex. Mothers are often stern with their daughters and easy on their sons. Fathers, on the other hand, are tough with their sons and more times than not baby their daughters (hence mama’s boys and daddy’s girls). Boys are also encouraged to be involved in sports. This is because to be male is to essentially be masculine. Girls, conversely, are encouraged to play with dolls and to be clean. This helps to prepare them for the possibility of motherhood. Often times, nurturing and sensitivity are seen as a feminine quality. The next way children are socialized is usually at school. School serves as a formal socialization for most children. Formal socialization is socialization occurring in settings intentionally designed for socialization. Teachers will address the class as “boys and girls.” Also gender is common way teachers separate students (i.e. games and competitions). It is at school that children begin to learn lessons about the relationships between the genders in society. Girls learn that they are more likely to be inferior and about male’s dominance in
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