Gender Socialization

1694 Words Oct 23rd, 1999 7 Pages
Gender Socialization

Sociology 100

Before a newborn child takes his or her first breath of life outside the mother 's womb, he or she is distinguishable and characterized by gender. A baby is born and the doctor looks at the proud parents or parent and says three simple words: Its a boy, or Its a girl The baby is brought home and dressed in clothes that help friends, family and even strangers identify the sex of the child. Baby boys are dressed in blue and baby girls are dressed in pink. The baby boy may be dressed in a blue jumpsuit with a football or a baseball glove on it. The baby girl may wear a bow in their hair and flowered pajamas. As the boy begins to grow, he is given a miniature basketball and a hoop to play with.
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Another aspect of everyday life that is highly influential in gender socialization is the media. What we see on television or at the movies, what we read in the newspaper or in magazines, what we see on billboards or hear on the radio are all very significant on how we form a opinion on gender identity. Media publishers have very successfully learned to play to an audience and are extremely successful in communicating with the audience they wish to reach. Advertisers are the biggest example of this concept. Society is very apt in recognizing images seen in commercials and printed ads and viewing them as socially acceptable behavior. For example, beer companies will target the twenty to thirty year old male audiences and include scantily clad women enjoying their favorite beers. Ironically, popular women magazines also use beautiful women to promote cosmetics and beauty products. Both examples show the exploitation of female images in society. It is this societal ignorance that clouds the mind and allows the images to continue to influence what we believe to be socially acceptable. And when society is presented with something or someone out of the ordinary, which doesn 't follow what we deem to be correct, we rebel and try to modify it to our socially acceptable standards.

Imagine a baby born with no visible sex organs. Now imagine after some tests that there are no internal or external
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