Blog 3

Does gender socialization hurt men as much as women?

The best argument for those who believe gender socialization hurts men more than it does women is due to the influence and pressure of masculinity on males which demonstrates that society has less expectations for women whereas men have to behave the way society portrays them. As stated in the article, The Impact of Parenting Experience on Gender Stereotyped Toy Play of Children by Wood, Desmarais, and Gugula, “Gender role stereotyping continues to be one of the most consistent domains in which adults, particularly parents, play an important role in children’s socialization (Campenni, 1999; Idlewood & Desmarais, 1993; Lytton & Romney, 1991).” Our world is fixated on children’s gender upbringing because it is not gender-neutral. A child’s environment with whom they surround themselves with also includes the physical and social aspects of growing. The physical environment is how the child is exposed and the social interactions of how the child experiences towards others. “With respect to physical environments, gender-role stereotyping is evident in the decor of children’s rooms and clothes and toys that match traditional color schemes: pink for girls and blue for boys (Pomerleau, Bolduc, Malcuit, & Cossette, 1990).” One of the main uses to define a gender is through color in which also applies to toys and attention to attract either males or females to them. An example would be the appearance of a truck or a flower could discriminate whether the toys should masculine or feminine depending how children perceive them. In addition, to determine whether a toy is appropriate for either a boy or girl is how the function of the toy is and what gender can make better use of it. Typically when it comes to toys, girls room usually have more dolls along with dressing up and experimenting with make-up. On the other hand, a boys room usually consist of toys that are similar to tools, sports, equipment, and large & small toy vehicles. In summary, it is clear that adults have an impact on gender socialization of children.

For gender stereotyping, adults desired masculine toys for boys and prefered feminine toys for girls. The overall result on outcomes for boys and girls is based on the situations found on the analysis for both boys and girls. During the play sessions, boys were spent majority of the time with masculine toys whereas girls had more options with toys during the play session. As a result, girls spent an equal amount of time playing with both feminine and neutral toys. “When we used the revised gender categories to analyze play, girls’ flexibility across toy categories became striking” (Wood, Desmarais, and Gugula). The time spent for girls with the three types of toys, masculine, feminine, and neutral were equally distributed. Boys again had the same outcome, they were only limited to spending majority of their time with masculine toys during the play session.

From this research, boys spend most of their time playing with the traditionally masculine toys which is steady with past researches on gender stereotyping. The variety of toys for girls diverged from the traditional feminine toys. Boys and girls commonly tend to stick and associate with the same gender toys because both more frequently choose same gender rather than opposite gender toys. Although both genders majority of the time sided with their same gender toys, girls started getting a little bit more involved with neutral toys than boys. These results have been emerging more recently and are being consistent with today’s study. These results suggests that girls have a greater flexibility with cross-gender toys play rather than boys due to being restricted to mainly masculine toys when having play sessions with adults. “Traditionally, boys played most with masculine toys, less with neutral toys, and least with feminine toys. Girls, on the other hand, played most with feminine toys less with neutral toys, and least with masculine toys” (Wood, Desmarais, and Gugula). Today, both feminine and neutral toys hold the same value for girls. For boys, not much of a change of being engaged mostly with masculine toys and equally but less of feminine and neutral toys. “When traditional categorizations were used to analyze girls’ play, they also played equally with feminine and neutral toys but more with these than masculine toys” (Wood, Desmarais, and Gugula). Overall there is a notable change in the value of toys. Even though girls began to have the ability to access a wider set of toys overtime, boys selection of toy opportunities has never been the case for them.

Going back to my argument, gender socialization hurts men than it does women as read from the article I chose because it clearly shows that even adults choose what they believe is best suited on the gender child they have. All this gender expectations starts from the very beginning to the start an infant and slowly builds up from there. Due to girls having more variety of options in toys than boys is the same exact situation of women being less judged by society whereas men have to act or behave a certain way to earn their respect.

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