Ever since the dawn of time, women and men have been associated with specific gender roles that can be seen controversial in the eyes of many. Traits and roles associated with a specific gender can be either innate or learned over time. Looking into the deeper concept of gender roles and stereotypes, it is clear that these fixed gender roles are not naturally born with, but rather taught, learned, or influenced by external forces.
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.
This paper will summarize the ERR articles from the bulleted topics and issues. This paper will also include summaries on toys that may encourage violence and aggression, toys that may promote pro-social behavior, gender stereotyping in toy selection, and cultural stereotyping or, lack of cultural awareness in toys.
Both Deborah Blum’s The Gender Blur: Where Does Biology End and Society Take Over? and Aaron Devor’s “Gender Role Behaviors and Attitudes” challenges the concept of how gender behavior is socially constructed. Blum resides on the idea that gender behavior is developed mainly through adolescence and societal expectations of a gender. Based on reference from personal experiences to back her argument up, Blum explains that each individual develops their expected traits as they grow up, while she also claims that genes and testosterones also play a role into establishing the differentiation of gender behavior. Whereas, Devor focuses mainly on the idea that gender behavior is portrayed mainly among two different categories: masculinity and
Gender has been a big issue in society. Sex is biological, and it is through sex that gender is produced (which according to West and Zimmerman, “gender, we said, was an achieved status: that which is constructed through psychological, cultural, and social mean” (West and Zimmerman 1987, 125) - in other words, it is the categorization of both sex to act in a certain and acceptable way by the society, also known as norms) and can be recreated through human interaction and social life. All of this is being constructed by our environment; Inequality is being formed through identity. Everything all begins from when we are born. In society, it is believed that boys are tough while the women are believed to be soft and nurturing. There
Among the biological and genetic factors listed in Figure 1.1 are genes, prenatal sex hormones and brain organization, ongoing genetic and hormonal effects across the life span, hormonal and physical changes of puberty, and the biological processes of childbirth and parenthood. Family influences include parental socialization, sibling influences, and gender roles and stereotypes transmitted by families (Wallien, 2008). Peer influences include the effects of classmates, friends, and coworkers. Broader social and cultural factors include teacher attitudes and influences, mass media effects, the structure of educational and work settings, and the influences of government, political, and social organizations. All these myriad influences come together to mold the behavior of individual males and females, to produce the phenomenon we term gender. The complexity of gender has implications both for theories of gender and for public policies that relate to gender. This final chapter will explore the future of gender research, and it will examine how the nature-nurture debate relates to
At a very young age we are introduced to a gender identity based upon the sex we were born with. Girls are associated with the color pink, dolls, nurturing tendencies, and inclined to be more emotional. While boys are associated with the color blue, the nature of masculinity, sports, and said to be more outspoken. However, gender and sex are two different things. Sex is the biological differences between female and male, while gender is social construct attached with social roles
Coltrane and Adams argue images of others and we are largely developed by gender stereotypes, which provide a baseline for cultural differences between men and women. It has also been argued that early cognition about gender is influenced more by the overall delegation of gender in society rather than the gender portrayal occurring within individual families said by O’Brien. Researchers remain interested in the topic of gender largely because of its pervasive influence on social attitudes and behavior of an individual, as well as evidence that children's perceptions of gender limits their options open to them.
The concept of gender has a strong social impact on me. When I was born, I was immediately assigned to a biological sex as a female with two X chromosomes. I was then socially classified as a girl in the society with feminine gender roles. Gender is defined as a social principle which attribute to the roles and expectations of males and females through the years of different societies (Phillips, 2005). Gender can be considered as behavioural, cultural and psychological traits
All humans are born with the idea of which gender they are, but each discovers their gender identity through the relations with who and what they grow up with and how society expects them to act. There is no way that individuals could learn what they believe in and behave as they want through natural influences. Overall, society has a much stronger impact on the way people act exclusively based on gender. Almost everyone in this world is born with some distinctive ability on how to perform about gender, but the way individuals are raised, interact with others and influenced by media is what impacts one's gender identity. This result of society’s permanently set gender roles prevents men and women from becoming the humans they want to be by
The development of our gender identity is influenced by both the biological nature of a person and society, but the biology is the foundation of our gender identity. In the following paragraphs I will be discussing the interaction between hormones and behavior, and how these interactions affect the determination of gender identity, the roles of biological factors nature and environmental influences, nurture on sexual differentiation and gender identity and which has the greater influence on gender identity: nature or nurture.
Through my experience in the toy department of Wal-Mart I have learned that no toy is manufactured unintentionally but that each has a purpose and a targeted audience. This conclusion was made through my critical analysis of marketing, colour choices, layout, and cost in regards to the toys. As I strolled through the three aisles, sections of toys began to blend together as it was organized in an orderly manner; separated by colour choices and characteristics. As a result, it was made evidently clear which toys were being targeted to which specific sex. Moreover, from the flyer to the bright, over-the-top graphics, the marketing methods were very persuasive and convincing to children and parents alike. In addition, Wal-Mart used sale methods to draw customers to their products. These sales worked to promote the product to parents as well as reach families of different socio-economic backgrounds. However, despite their effort, the products within Wal-Mart do not achieve the reduction of the economic gap due to the separation of one product set, which increases overall cost of that whole product. In conclusion, Wal-Mart’s Toy Department worked to convince children and parents alike to need and want their product in addition to instilling societal gender stereotypes and sustaining economic inequalities.
“Gender” is a social construct that is developed solely by our society and the early developmental stages of an adolescent’s life. By introducing youths to the roles, behaviors, expectations and activities that correspond with males or females we give a clear guideline of what is accepted from a young male or female. An individual however can identify his or her gender based on their own system of beliefs without corresponding to their natural biological sex. Our lives are shaped by our true biological identities but the influence of the world and society is enough to define what a male and what a female truly is to an individual.
Society has clearly defined boundaries between what is considered to be male or female. The development of an individual’s gender role is formed by interactions with those in close proximity. Society constantly tells us how we should look, act and live based on gender. Family, friends and the media have a tremendous impact on how these roles are formed and the expected behavior of each gender role.
Gender stereotypes are everywhere. ‘Both masculinities and femininities come into existence at specific times and places and are always subject to change.’ (Connell, 1995: 185 cited in Wharton, 2012: 6). The term gender is a ‘doing’ word. It is a constant, active process. A role, is the expected behaviour which is associated with a status. Roles are performed according to social norms, shared rules that guide people’s behaviour in specific situations.’ (The sociology of gender). The media play a huge role, it is argued, in acculturating men and women into separate gender roles based on their sex. Implying the idea that gender is learned and not ‘human nature’ (Jaggar, 1983) (Ross, Karen 2011).