Introduction to Sociology
Houston Community College
Ms. Nichole C. Boutte-Heiniluoma
Male Gender Roles
As soon as a person is born, society has taken care of designating what gender that baby is born into. From the blanket in which the newborn is wrapped in, be it blue for boys or pink for girls, for the longest time has had this responsibility. In school the child is being taught by teachers that boys play with boys and girls with girls and the boys play with cars and get dirty while the girls play with dolls and need to act like little ladies. From there it is the parents’ responsibility and they continue to instill in their children the duties or responsibilities that the gender that they were assigned ought to be. Girls are taught to cook and serve the males and the boys are taught to work and take care of the home, wife, and the family. While this is going on in the child’s life, the media like television, books, and other forms of information play a large part in continuing to emphasize the rules and duties of each gender. So constant reminding is at hand for what society has labeled each gender to be and act and that which through generations and familial traditions has been. But what happens when a young boy decides to bend the gender role line and begins to dress up in girl dresses and loves to wear jewelry? Society begins to dictate that that child is wrong because traditionally that is not what boys do. But what happens when adult men begin to do things that normally society says those things are done by females only? Recently the term “metrosexual” has come into play in society. Men who love to shop, hang out with girlfriends, have facials, dress sharply, and yet still are considered heterosexual males. I have picked two articles from the internet that talk about these two different types of behavior that currently boys and men are expressing. Even though society dictates what is right and wrong for gender roles, society has accepted the change in heterosexual males but is not tolerant for a young boy to dress up in girl clothing. Why is this?
“Gender roles are cultural and personal. They determine how males and females should think, speak, dress, and interact within the context of society. While various socializing agents like parents, teachers, peers, movies, television, music, books, and religion-teach and reinforce gender roles throughout the lifespan, parents probably exert the greatest influence, especially on their very young offspring.” “CliffNotes.com. Gender Roles. 25 March 2011.” As stated by CliffNotes.com, parents are the ones that will shape how the child will be in society. Twenty years ago when American society was very traditional parents were one-sighted even though they may have had offspring that they may have considered different, but because society stipulated a certain norm, those offspring were forced and raised according to tradition. Boys wore pants and t-shirts and tennis shoes and they played outside with other boys at cowboys and Indians. They got dirty because “they’re just being boys” was heard constantly growing up. That was twenty-some years ago, but now society has evolved and is changing. Take for instance the case of five-year old boy who loves to dress up in girl dresses. Has society evolved to the point that this is acceptable?
Dyson, a five-year old boy recently was showcased on national television because his mother has written a book about her son and his desire and gratification of wearing girl dresses and tutus. “My Princess Boy” is a book written by Cheryl Kilodavis about her 5-year old Dyson and the cruel reaction he faces when he wears sparkly frocks, twirly skirts and jewelry. “Princess Boy at Center of Biting Debate. Abcnews.go.com. 29 Oct. 2010.” Ms. Kilodavis began noticing Dyson’s desire to wear girls clothing and...