AP English 11 Language and Composition, 2
19 November 2012
Stereotyped At Birth
Gender roles are usually are neither positive nor negative; they are simply inaccurate generalizations of the male and female attributes. Since each person has individual desires, thoughts, and feelings, regardless of their gender, these stereotypes are incredibly one-dimensional and do not at all describe the attributes of every person of each gender. While most people realize that stereotypes are bias, many still make assumptions based on gender. There are many stereotypes we may all be guilty of, such as assuming that all women want to marry and have children, or that all men love sports. Stereotyping based on gender starts at birth and continues for life. Men and women are individuals; they are more than just male or female.
Stereotyping based on gender begins as soon as expecting parents find out if they are having a beautiful baby girl or a bouncing baby boy. When they find out that they are having a girl they automatically start decorating the nursery in shades of pink, flowers, and butterflies. They fill her closet with cute-frilly dresses and her drawers with bows and lace. They set up a table with a tea set and put dolls in the surrounding chairs. They place a toy kitchen next to the doll house and Barbie’s. There is a mirror on every wall and ribbons all around. These parents unknowingly are setting their daughter up to be a stereotypical woman; a “perfect lady”. When expecting parents find out they are having a baby boy the automatically decorate the room in blue, dinosaurs, sports, super heroes, and cars. They fill their closet with denim jeans, jerseys, and their drawers with ties and polo’s. They place trucks and action figures through the room and they fill up the toy chest with balls and toy dinosaurs. They set up a basket ball hoop next to the hot wheels track. There are posters of athletes, NASCAR, and military tanks up on the walls. These parents unknowingly set...