Gender Socialization Among Children Essay

2508 Words Sep 2nd, 2008 11 Pages
In our society, there are norms of what is considered to be feminine and what is to be considered masculine, but how are these norms constructed? Through the use of toys, books, and clothing, children are socialized into their “appropriate” gender. These objects provide influence over behavior and appearance, showing boys and girls what is appropriate for each gender. After some investigation it was found that the toys, books, and clothing that children use not only foster the norms of gender behavior and appearance, but also construct gender roles in their young minds. Toys play a major role in socializing young kinds into “appropriate” gender roles. The first obvious characteristic that separates toys for boys and toys for girls, …show more content…
Little girls are socialized to believe that physical appearance is of great importance.
Toys also influenced children with gender roles. In our society, the typical expectations of men is to financial support the family, and for females it’s to cook, clean, and take care of the children. “Both wives and husbands tend to perceive this as a “fair” arrangement” (Zimmerman 30). To instill this idea in young minds, there are toys that influence these gender roles. Boys have toy tool sets, promoting hands on work. Girls on the other hand have cooking and cleaning toys such as the Easy Bake Oven or toy vacuums. Also “parents tend to encourage more gender-typed activities. One study found that household tasks differ along gender lines. American boys are more likely to mow the lawn, shovel snow, take our the garbage, and do the yard work, whereas girls tended to clean the house, wash dishes, cook, and baby-sit the younger children” (Newman 133). Girls also like to play “house” fostering wife and motherly qualities such as taking care of the family. These toys help with socialization making children believe and understand that these are the norms of our society. So in conclusion to toys, “Sex-specific toys foster different traits and skills in children and thereby serve to further segregate the two sexes into different patterns of social development. “Boys’ toys” encourage invention, exploration,
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