Gender Stereotypes And Gender Roles

2036 Words Dec 13th, 2016 9 Pages
From a young age, children are surrounded by influences that shape how they come to understand the world around them. With the formation of schemas during early childhood comes along the development of gender stereotypes and gender roles that have an impact on how children come to understand their own gender identity. Environmental factors such as peers, the media, and even parents perpetuate stereotypes through their own actions. Children come to understand gender during development through experiences that are shaped by their environment and perpetuated by their culture, which ultimately encourages gender stereotypes and conformity to gender roles.
Children are born into a world that is already built upon gender stereotypes and gender roles. From a young age, children are already forming schemas about what it means to be a boy or a girl (Bem, 598). Psychologists Hilary Halpern and Maureen Perry-Jenkins defined gender as the “sociocultural expectations about the meaning of being male or female as it is constructed and enacted through experience within a social context” (1). The existence of a concept of gender creates gender stereotypes which researchers describe as the beliefs and expectations that surround gender (Halpern & Perry-Jenkins, 1). Stereotypes are a direct outcome of our tendencies to categorize and label the world around us and based off children’s experiences they develop schemas onto which these stereotypes will develop (Martin & Halverson, 1120).…

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