Gender Roles

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Mariah Sabo
Senior English
4-19-13

Has anyone ever noticed how boys and girls are treated differently in society? For example, if a little boy wanted a pink colored bike, he would be teased for having it. But on the other hand, a girl would be encouraged to choose a pink bike. We take it for granted that girls are the ones who are supposed to have the pink colored bike, because it “fits” their gender. Gender roles can be defined as the behaviors and attitudes expected of male and female members by their society. Society is already strict about gender roles which are learned from childhood experiences. From an early age, we’re used to seeing dolls used by only girls, and monster trucks and video games, played with only boys knowing that is how gender roles work in this generation. The two main factors used to influence children’s gender roles, are how the parents teach them what’s right and what’s wrong, and how the media markets to boys v. girls.

Through constant advertising, whether through T.V, radio, or magazines Americans begin to associate products by gender. Determining which brands begins with parents. For instance, a little girl is usually given dolls simply because she is a girl. Parents are an influence on the childrens’ gender roles because they buy their kids toys and decide what they should like to play with. For example, “parents may give their little girl a doll to sleep with, while the boy gets a teddy bear. A grandparent may give a grandson a toy truck but never consider giving the same to a granddaughter” (“Gender Roles”). The reason for this is because the parents are so used to seeing a doll being used by a girl, and a toy truck played with by a boy. They take for granted that this what boys v. girls want. Gender roles start perhaps harmlessly with toys, but progress into adulthood. For instance, society is so used to seeing women clean up their house in commercials, while men are the ones who work and help but food on the table....
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