Learning and Doing Gender
The way that our culture views gender differs from others. The process of socialization that we experience when we are young helps us determine our gender and sex system within the context of our society. Children are well aware of the gender behaviors and what is appropriate and what is not. The “pink and blue syndrome” is very apparent in every aspect of our society; it has become an unconscious pattern that we have followed. When schools are used a socialization tool, the behavior patterns of each gender are reinforced as children associate themselves with other peers and realize how they should act if they are a boy or a girl with encouragement from the staff inside the school. Along with school, sports always help classify gender appropriate actions and reinforce the gender identities of each sex. The domination of males can be expressed in sports. When viewing what the sport entails (endurance, strength, and aggression) we can directly correlate to gender behavior patterns.
As a child I was well aware of the gender patterns that I was expected to follow. I was a child that was very active in ballet, and have continued to be throughout the years. My mom greatly encouraged this participation along with the participation in pageantry. These extracurricular activities even more so enforced how a ‘little lady’ should act. Even though I was raised with strict gender behavior patterns, I was never discouraged from anything that would be defined as boyish behavior. I don’t believe that the learning of the definition of a certain gender is necessarily a negative aspect of socialization. As long as the one being educated is free to choose which pattern to follow, gender patterns are just another important aspect of our culture.
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