Analysis: American Gender Identity

Decent Essays
American Gender Identity
In the United States of America, genders are organized into two categories, male and female. According to Oxford Dictionary, gender is defined as, “the state of being male or female (typically used with reference to social and cultural differences rather than biological ones).” The “sex” of a person includes the physical characteristics, like genitals or sex chromosomes. Gender expectations and norms have been taught since birth; the family, the media, peers, and religion are examples of where these beliefs are learned. Another way gender norms are taught is through separated colors, toys, and clothes for male and female. There are specific gender roles for males and females. Men are seen as dominant and in charge,
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Elizabeth Sweet argues that during the 1920s to the 1960s toys were more gender neutral than today. Sweet also argues that specific gender roles portrayed in toys effects how children see themselves, and toys should be based on age. Dr. Elizabeth Sweet is a sociologist and gives lectures at California State University in Sacramento. In 2012 and 2014, she wrote articles about the connection between gender and children's toys for The New Yorker and The Atlantic. She also went to the White House and gave a lecture about this topic and gave two TED…show more content…
Sweet argue that it affects a child’s creative process and mindsets towards gender. Lori Day, a psychologist, explains that girls and boys stop playing with each other during childhood, an that leaves a lasting impression that they are different when they are very similar (Hains par. 8). This debate about sex-specific toys shows the core issues about gender inequality in American society. These gender roles teach children what jobs and careers are appropriate for their gender. Boys learn that their jobs include hands-on work, while girls learn that child-care or nursing is for them. This reflects the number of women in occupations like mechanics and engineering. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women make up 26.7 percent of the jobs in motor vehicles industry. This also affects how many men are nurses. According to Bureau Health Professions, men make up 9.1 percent of registered nurses. Gender stereotypes that are learned when kids are younger affect their future occupation. This article disrupts gender roles by explaining how sex-specific toys affect children’s individuality and view on themselves and
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