Gender Roles Essay

Submitted By missbtucker143
Words: 572
Pages: 3

Gender Roles
Human Sexuality Psy 120

-Brittany Tucker

Gender roles in early and middle childhood appear to stem from stereotypical gender role expectations. Children in today’s society are taught to identify with their gender role before they can even form words. From the moment children are born they are dressed in gender specific clothing and generally given names that fit that role as well. In the videos “Early Childhood: Gender Roles” and “Middle Childhood: Gender Roles” we watch as children demonstrate their premature strong views that have developed towards this issue. Both genders identify themselves as boy or girl and label the dolls with different characteristics based solely on their gender. Gender dictates acceptable dress and behavior and the children find it nonsensical that these views are being questioned at all. The dolls, one male and the other female, were immediately labeled with gender stereotypical activities. In “Early Childhood” the younger children labeled the female doll as the only obvious choice for cleaning, tending to children, and staying at home while the male doll was labeled as the one who worked. When a boy was prompted on what would happen if he wore a dress, he responded that others would laugh at him. In the “Middle Childhood” videos the children had similar responses of stereotypical gender identities. Not only do the children label them with gender-based activities, they now show gender role expectations. Woman are seen as the nurturers and males as the providers. The older children in this video have started evolving towards a more equal set of gender roles; unfortunately it is not the majority. I can understand why the children respond in this way to the questioning due to their upbringing in today’s society. Hearing the children label the women as the person to do the cleaning and child care because the man “did not want to” or “has to work” makes me sad for our society. We are an extremely gender obsessed culture as a whole. Gender identity itself is not the issue as much as freedom of gender expression. Roles should be seen as a choice outside of our