Gender Roles Research Paper

1896 Words Apr 14th, 2013 8 Pages
Is it a Boy or a Girl? When a child is born, it does not know anything about the world. As it gets older, the child learns morals and values from the people around it. One concept children learn is the role of gender in their lives. Young boys and girls are given different messages about what they are and are not supposed do in social situations, causing them to act and dress differently from one another. Gender is not something tangible that happens; it is something perceived by American society. Only by teaching children that there is no difference between men and women can the world have true gender neutrality. As soon as a child is old enough to understand what is going on around it, it has already been subjected to the sexist …show more content…
Many people have tried to study the psychological differences between genders and found that there are very few. One such study, conducted by Janet Shibley Hyde, used meta-analysis to compare men’s and women’s reactions to certain social situations. Using the equation difference is equal to the mean score for males minus the mean score for women divided by the within-gender standard deviation, Shibley Hyde found that most differences were close to zero, difference was equal to or less than .1, and very few were large dissimilarities, where difference was above .66 (Shibley Hyde). She also found that differences varied according to social context.
However, people’s perception of gender due to society ignores these findings. Women who exhibit agency, or assertiveness in the workplace, are considerably less likely to be hired for a job than a man who has the same traits or a woman who is sensitive and motherly (Shibley Hyde). Gender stereotypes also affect young men in an even harsher way. Society believes that girls are more sensitive and more likely to have self-esteem issues. However, in Shibley Hyde’s meta-analysis, she found that there was almost no difference between adolescent boys’ and girls’ issues with self-worth (Shibley Hyde). This could potentially lead to boys not getting the help they need because society expects them to “take it like a man”.
It is commonly believed in American society that young boys need a father figure to secure
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