Socialization Theories Propose That Children Gain Gender Differences

2564 Words Oct 24th, 2016 11 Pages
Socialization theories propose that children gain gender differences at young ages by socializing with peers, parents, teachers, siblings, and any other immediate family. These gender differences can range from preferring certain colors over others, playing with certain toys, and anything that could potentially be labeled as male or female (sports, games, careers, etc.). Gender differences can be harmful if children decide to push against them but they can also have no effect. It greatly depends on the child and the environment that the child lives in. For example, if a girl genuinely likes the color pink, participating in ballet, or other things gendered towards girls, then that is not a problem as long as she knows that she can do anything a boy can do too. However, if a girl is raised in a house where she is forced to participate in ballet even though she wants to play soccer, this can cause resentment and can have damaging effects. This essay is looking at two theories of socialization in particular: gender schemas and modeling and imitation. They are both very important in understanding how socialization theories function.
a. In the article, “Why So Slow?” by Virginia Valian, she explains how schemas are defined as less severe stereotypes that can be good, bad, or neutral (Valian). During our class discussion, they were described as a lens that is put over a baby, either pink or blue, and how people act differently towards the child depending on the color. Gender…
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