Toys play an important role in childhood development as children learn roles and skills from playing. As a result, the toys children are subjected to have an affect on which roles, interests, and skills are learned and practiced. Through Lego’s product Duplo, I will demonstrate the influence particular gendered toys have on children and their performance of traditional gender roles. Gender, which is a learned performance, is something society has been taught from a very early age and toy advertising has played a significant role in reinforcing the performance. One tradition that is reinforced and naturalized by society is the ideology of a male dominated society, representing strong characteristics of heterosexuality and masculinity; also known as hegemonic masculinity. Therefore, using Ideological Criticism, I will analyze how through the branding and design of Lego’s Duplo toys, children have been constructed to do gender differently, ultimately perpetuating and reinforcing hegemonic masculinity.
Home life is a core area that can be the biggest influence on ones opinions of gender roles. The content of the article “Parental Influence on Children’s Socialization to Gender Roles” written by Susan Witt introduces where stereotypical gender association derives. Gender roles can easily be adopted through the household and when children are placed in an environment where it is easily transmitted through the parents’ then that child will follow their parents’ influences (Witt, par. 1). Schooling, media, and society are also large influences on children at a young age to behave a certain way. Self-concept is also a large chunk of the way children see themselves when they begin to grow and criticism from parents can be a large influence on shaping that child’s perspective (Witt, par. 3).
When someone is pregnant, people will usually ask for the sex of the unborn child thus proving that people are socially categorized from the beginning of life and is something that is continued throughout life. One is expected to behave the way their assigned gender is supposed to behave. Gender socialization is when people are expected to act a certain way based on their “gender”. Through the following agents: family, schools, peers, and media, gender socialization is emphasized and made very real in the world today.
As stated in the textbook, gender socialization is the outcome of countless interactions, starting with those between parents and children. At the youngest ages, of course, parents have the dominant influence over this process. But as children age, their socialization continues under a variety of influences, including their own personalities and their interactions with siblings, peers, schools, and the wider culture. In adult life, socialization more often occurs in the other institutional arenas (page 167-168).
Girls and boys both grow up being socialized on what is normal and unusual for their gender. Toys are a prominent factor in this socialization, because they are typically presented for one gender and are unacceptable for the other. To assess how toys play a role in gender socialization, I made a trip to Toys “R” Us in College Station and was surprised by how the store was organized.
"Gender Socialization is the process through which children learn about the social expectations, attitudes and behaviors typically associated with boys and girls (Hanish & Fabes, 2014)". Children learn from their parents about how the world works. Children first teacher are there mother and father. If they had learned children who play with the opposite sex toy grow up into a gay man or a lesbian female, then they would believe the same acts could happen to them if they were to play with the opposite sex toy. Children not only learn about gender roles from their parents but they also learn from their peer groups. According to Doctor Laura and Richard also stated: In regard to gender development children’s gendered behavior becomes more similar to those they spend time with (Hanish & Fabes, 2014). Children learn either bad habits or good habits from their peer circle, they would change their self’s in order to be well liked by the others in their groups. Our society should not care about socialization and what's an appropriate toy for children to play
Children’s gender development begins almost as soon as children can talk (Serbin, Powlishta, & Gulko, 1993). With the early age of gender development, children’s toy choice and play behaviours have been found to be efficient ways of measuring gender stereotypes. Many studies have found that males and females are more likely to engage in gender-typed behaviours during periods of play (Cherney & Dempsey, 2010). Recent research is beginning to see this as a problem and recognizes gender flexibility as more positive for children’s development. An article
This article details the different ways that gender is socialized through children’s toys and how drastically this mechanism has changed throughout time. This doesn’t stop at toys but goes as far as sexualized Halloween and dress up costumes. Girl’s costumes more often portray sexualized appearances while boy’s costumes often resemble “masculine” characters. These toys and costumes can influence what direction a child’s life will take with regards to college major, occupation and societal roles. It doesn’t stop there; children are even being drawn away from talents and interests and towards stereotyped gender related activities. These different mechanism of gender socialization didn’t exist until recently, though. In the 1970’s, only 2% of
In this article it is clear that parents are allowing their children to take part in activities that are not associated with their gender. This is causing gender identity problems for many children who are never shown how they are to act and what toys to play with. Parents play a pivotal role in the development of their children. Many children may have a difficult time growing out of a stage in their life where they are playing with toys not generally associated with their gender, such as the case in the article. In the textbook, the author states that “For most children, parents are the single most visible and available models of masculinity and femininity,” (Wood, 172). This shows that even though parents feel that they are not impacting their child’s gender identity, that in reality they are. Parents need to act and be positive role models for the way they want their children to act. There may be toys, such as these dolls, that may confuse a child’s gender identity but it is ultimately up to the parent to be a model for the way they want their child to grow up in
Ideas of gender develops through socialization at a young age for many. First, to understand gender among toddlers within an educational setting, I need to address how socialization is implemented. I am going to work on Lawerence Balter's ideas of social context which states that “the social context of child care, peer interactions... and peer social networks” provides first-hand experience and knowledge of what is gender (Balter 144). Balter's social context is related to Stanley Greenspan's work articulating the child's mind is a vulnerable piece of work that constantly molds and tends to developing patterns (Greenspan 26). Moreover, pattern recognition within the toddler's mind composes a baseline for knowledge of gender (Greenspan 27). The relationships the child forms from their peers and teachers are the foundation to a child's intelligence constituting the comprehension of gender.
Every society trains its young to function within its own view of the world and according to the rules and regulations that control that world. This is known as socialization. Socialization is defined as the, "Process by which a human being beginning at infancy acquires the habits, beliefs, and accumulated knowledge of society through education and training for adult status" (Merriam-Webster). Through socialization people adapt and learn to modify their behavior, thoughts, feelings and attitudes according to the requirements of their culture and society. Society is seen misrepresenting genders in how the younger generations are taught. At a very young age children are exposed to what it means to be either a boy or a girl and gender roles are
Social Learning Theory is a perspective from psychology that was developed to understand the importance of observations and direct instructions that influence gender identity. Professor Susan Golombok at the University of Cambridge and psychology professor Robyn Fivush at Emory College of Art and Science defined Social Learning Theory as a way to study behaviors through differential reinforcement and modeling (Golombok and Fivush, 76). For decades, children were taught to follow specific standards when it comes to gender identity. Girls were encouraged to play with dolls while boys were reinforced to play with cars. Also, children observe adults such as their parents to comprehend and imitate behaviors; consequently, this creates gender stereotypes through differential reinforcement and modeling. Throughout this paper, readers will understand the influence of Social Learning Theory on behaviors and how differential reinforcement and modeling induce gender stereotype.
From a young age, people are told who they must be and how they must act determined by their gender. Gender roles are a set of societal norms that dictate a person’s behavior based on the appropriate and acceptable rules for their gender. This notion derives from the assumption that girls favor dolls and dress-up, while boys prefer toy guns and trucks. These instances contribute to the concept that those of male and female gender must fulfill a specific ideology. These societal standards are ingrained within us as children and we are taught to become exceedingly aware of them. Girls are trained to become vessels of unstable emotions with an excess amount of vulnerability and sensitivity. Females must be the picturesque embodiment of
Early gender socialization is perhaps one of the most relevant issues and debates of early childhood. The beginnings of stereotypes for gender roles are typically established at birth, and continue a process of learning specific cultural roles and standards in accordance with the sex of the individual. Gendered interactions begin early in the family and hence influence the process of gendered socialization, as was such the case for myself growing up.
Socialization, most important agent, is family. It is the responsibility of the family to embed and open their child’s mind to explore the world in a neutral manner. At home, children are constantly being told how to behave, speak, and respond according to their gender and their cultural norms. Society itself expects different behavior for girls and boys to become a member of an ideal society. Unfortunately, these gender expectations have created stereotypes that have placed women as the inferior gender and males as the more powerful and dominant gender in our society. For instance, women are expected to be gentle, gracious, nurturing, sensitive,