Boys play with trucks and girls play with Barbies. Boys grow up to be doctors and girls grow up to be nurses. Boys will be boys and girls will behave. These are all phrases being spoken and taught by parents all around the country. Molds are set out and children are made to fit them whether they would like to or not. But is it possible to rear a child in an environment that is totally free of gender biases? The answer is clearly yes. It can be done. The key to demolishing gender biases in the household can be summed up in a single word: equality. Rather than setting out molds for children to fit, parents should provide their children with uninfluenced choices when it comes to things such as what to wear, what to play with, and in which activities to participate. Parents need to get involved in their children’s lives on every level, regardless of gender, but along with that, parents must be involved in each other’s lives as well. When two parents love and respect one another, a boy seeing this will learn to emulate this same level of reverence towards women and vice versa. If enacted, these ideas can easily demolish gender prejudices.
Many analysts are startled by the fact that “today’s girls outshine boys” in academic areas where they previously failed (Sommers 310). They argue that boys are being short-ended by the school system, but the truth is that boys are being short-ended by their parents. In fact, the school has little to do with it. Boys not being able to sit in their seats has nothing to do with them not being physically able to do it. The problem is that parents raise their sons and daughters with a completely skewed form of discipline. Almost anyone has come across the phrase, “boys will be boys.” This is a common cop-out parents use to avoid disciplining boys while girls are scolded for doing the very same things. How does this seem fair? To raise a child in an environment free of gender bias, parents must stop treating their sons and daughters differently. One analyst notes that “daughters want to please their teachers by... making homework as neat as possible, [while] sons rush through [it] and run outside to play, unconcerned about how the teacher will regard the sloppy work,” but wanting to play outside is no excuse for not completing one’s homework (Sommers 310). Parents need to have the same expectations for their children when it comes to grades, time spent on homework, and the neatness of that homework. Children thrive with clearly defined boundaries and expectations, a truth many parents cannot seem to grasp when it comes to raising boys.
Parental involvement has been proven to have a great effect on school-aged children regardless of gender, but most parents are not getting involved in their children’s lives. Generally, it is the mothers who are most involved, while the fathers only attend special events or the occasions that they can extract some enjoyment out of such as sporting events. To raise children in an environment free of gender prejudice, both parents must get involved in each of their children’s lives. For