Gender Socialization Among Children

2497 words 10 pages
In our society, there are norms of what is considered to be feminine and what is to be considered masculine, but how are these norms constructed? Through the use of toys, books, and clothing, children are socialized into their “appropriate” gender. These objects provide influence over behavior and appearance, showing boys and girls what is appropriate for each gender. After some investigation it was found that the toys, books, and clothing that children use not only foster the norms of gender behavior and appearance, but also construct gender roles in their young minds. Toys play a major role in socializing young kinds into “appropriate” gender roles. The first obvious characteristic that separates toys for boys and toys for girls, …show more content…
Gender differences are also displayed in books. Walking into Barns & Noble, you can easily spot out the girls books, just as easily as you can spot the girls’ aisle in the toy store. The books also vary in shades of pink, purple, and white. Many of the books influence little girls on valuing appearance. Books such as “Princesses are pretty” and “Period pieces: Stories for girls” foster femininity among young females. Most of the books that girls would be attracted to are cute and simple. The books for boys are very adventurous with pictures of dinosaurs, animals, and sports. The colors are solid bold colors of blue, green, and brown. A lot of the books that appear to be geared towards boys are the science books where children can learn about specific animals or the environment. What do these books say about how they socialize children? With the science books, it seems that children are to taught that boys are suppose to be smarter than girls because all girls care about is looks. The story of the Mattel computers exemplifies this same problem. “The Hot Wheels computer provides boys with logic, math, anatomy, and computer art software, all of which Mattel apparently deems unfit for girls. What does the distaff side get? Magic Fairy Tales: Barbie as Rapunzel!” (Shore). It seems that girls are suppose to be viewed as incompetent in comparison to boys. In books “males still tend to be portrayed as adventurous, competent, and clever; females are depicted


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