Gender Socialization Through Toys and Sports

1147 Words Feb 7th, 2011 5 Pages
Gender Socialization through Toys and Sports
In today’s society, there are many guidelines of how one should act and be. Gender socialization is the process where people take on notions of gender roles, gender ideas and gender behaviours. At an early age, boys and girls are told how to behave and act according to societal norms of gender behaviours and roles. The comparison of Jane Smiley’s article “You Can Never Have too Many” and John McMurty’s , “Kill ‘Em! Crush ‘Em! Eat ‘Em Raw!” provides an insight about how gender socialization is conditioned through toys and sports at an early age. Also teaching and reinforcing stereotypical gender roles through traits, appearances and occupation. (this is an incomplete sentence and it doesn’t flow
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The author stereotypically socializes the gender roles of males through the quote “The choice is made straightforward. Either you, too, do your very utmost to efficiently smash and be smashed or you admit incompetence or cowardice and quit.” (McMurtry 251). This quote portrays that stereotypically males should possess characteristics of courage and strength and that weakness is frowned upon. Society portrays an image that male should be strong and warrior-like whereas female are nurturing and supportive at the early ages through toys and sports. Gender appearances are also introduced in the early stages of the children. ( try and make this flow more with your previous sentence) Toys and sports also promote gender appearances. Male appearances are characterized by being physically fit, strong and aggressive whereas females are to be beautiful, feminine and nurturing. Jane Smiley describes Barbie as being slender, stylish and most of all popular. Barbie is often dressed in pink and wears make up. Models in today’s society fit this description which makes other females want to achieve the same look. The appearances for females set by society‘s norms are presented in toys that gives off the message that ‘if you do not look like this’, it is considered unattractive. “Frilly, sexy, pink, purple, bedizened, and bejewelled were the preferred Barbies,” (Smiley 238) shows that females should have these characteristics in order to be seen as