Gender Indoctrination Begins At Birth

Children are exposed to norms and stereotypes right from the beginning

Elle Beau ❇︎
Inside of Elle Beau

--

Photo by Fé Ngô on Unsplash

It is difficult to determine for certain how much of gender expression is nature and how much is nurture. We cannot study people completely removed from their socialization although we can track and analyze what the messaging is and notice how it begins to noticeably affect children at different times of their lives.

Children spend their entire existence being told how to appropriately express their gender. Sometimes this begins even before they are actually born. The gender reveal party is a kind of baby celebration that first started in 2008 when blogger Jenna Karvunidis wrote about a party where her child’s sex was revealed. The idea caught on like wildfire and gender reveal parties are now ubiquitous, announcing to family and friends whether It’s a Boy or It’s a Girl!

From there, gender indoctrination continues, even when parents work hard not to have that be the case. Children are constantly bombarded with gender-based expectations from society and from the media, and they are reinforced by both peers and adults alike. Sometimes that reinforcement is coercive and comes in the form of teasing or bullying for failing to comply with norms. Boys are more likely to be subjected to this kind of censure, sometimes…

--

--

Elle Beau ❇︎
Inside of Elle Beau

Social scientist dispelling cultural myths with research-driven stories. "Thinking is difficult, that’s why most people judge." ~ Carl Jung