As I think back on my children and when they were born it is very clear to me that we start off very early in a child’s life establishing gender roles. I was so excited to learn that I was pregnant for the first time, and then when I found out that my first child was a boy the establishing of gender roles started even before he was born. From shopping to what they wore and the types of toys and parties we had all screamed out gender. The same held true when I finally had a girl after having two boys first.
Shopping for my boys was a lot of blue, which seem to symbolize a boy, but we also chose neutral colors, such as green and yellow. Of course we looked for things that had basketballs or footballs on them, things that said to the public and others “hey, I am a boy”. When my daughter came along I wanted nothing but pink or lavender or pretty little lacy things. I wanted there to be no mistake of my baby being a girl. With boys you dress them and go, but with my daughter you add in the lace and the ribbons and the frilly little socks. I believe in the toys we bought them yelled out gender roles as well. With boys it was things like footballs, or bright colored toys or even toys that made more noise. With my daughter it was more along the lines of soft pretty colors and toys that played a softer and gentler music.
When my babies came home for the hospital and friends and relatives came to visit you could see the difference in how they handled them. With my boys people were louder, and called them names like little man or future football player, and just seem to not be so careful when holding them or talking to them. My daughter on the other hand seemed to be held very carefully and some would caress her cheek and kiss her gently speaking to her in a very sweet and soft tone. People for generations have seen boys as tough and girls as fragile and even though with some boys and girls this isn’t always true, it shows from... [continues]
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(2008, 11). Social and Gender Roles. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 11, 2008, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Social-Gender-Roles-177547.html
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"Social and Gender Roles." StudyMode.com. 11, 2008. Accessed 11, 2008. http://www.studymode.com/essays/Social-Gender-Roles-177547.html.