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Gender Stereotypes In The Early Years Essay

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This section will include in depth information on the research topic- gender stereotypes in the Early Years. A range of theories and legislations will be used to critically analyse the concept of gender stereotypes and whether they affect children’s intellectual development. The main objectives of this chapter include how gender identity is acquired in children, whether or not gender stereotypes affect children’s education and the influences of gender stereotypes on children.
Stereotypes are a set of beliefs held about the traits of certain groups and their members. (Hauf and Forsterling, 2007). The terms ‘gender’ and ‘sex’ are defined as having the same meaning, however it has been argued that the term ‘gender’ should be used to refer to
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From a young age, parents are the very first agents of socialisation and so children learn and adapt to the experiences exposed to them. The toys and type/colour of clothing parents provide their children with shapes their perception into believing those to be gender appropriate. Stereotype may also differ depending on the child’s ethnicity and culture. For example, individuals from an Asian background grow up with stereotypes which favour males over females and may hold different stereotypes compared to the western culture. (Aina and Cameron, 2011). One of the focuses of this study will be to determine how much culture affects the gender stereotypes held by children. Therefore the observations carried out on children during play will help establish the link between the two.
Children’s interests in certain gender-specific toys and the gender stereotypical beliefs they hold has been found to have a clear link to their parents’ attitudes. (Newman and Newman, 2002).Therefore, this suggests how there is a clear relationship between how parents exposing children to behaviours which are thought to be gender specific can unintentionally be shaping their minds into thinking the
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