Socialization and Gender Roles

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Socialization and Gender Roles
From the moment we come into the world, gender is identified and we start to become socialized. When we are born, there are specific roles that are attached to what sex we are. As an infant these roles may not be enforced right away, but sooner or later we are expected to act a certain way, because of our sex.

The moment a new life is formed in the womb we began the socialization process. One of the four agents of socialization is the family. When we prepare this new life’s room, we are placing expectations of gender on our child. This is why we see most baby girls’ nurseries pink or purple, and boys’ nurseries blue or red. Couples often chose neutral colors when they do not know the sex of the baby, such as yellow or green. Society has even placed certain colors with specific genders.

Another way we place gender roles on our new babies is when they are born in the hospital. Right away the colors are presented again. They place a pink outfit on baby girls and a blue one on the baby boys. Also, in some cases there are procedures, such as circumcision for boys that are done because society has told us that this is the normal way for a male’s body to look.

Relatives can also place expectations on our children. From the moment they are brought home infants are treated a certain way based on their sex. Girls are held tightly and handled with extra care, because society has taught us that our daughters are supposed to be protected by us. We speak to them in a soft tone of voice that is nurturing. On the other hand, our boys from day one are taught to be tough. We talk in a deeper tone of voice with them so they can know what it sounds like to be manly. When we carry them we bounce them around and are rough with them so they can be tough.

Gender is even placed on the items that our children play with. This does not start out right away. When they are infants most of the toys are gender neutral, which means it is okay for...
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