Gender Socialization as a Female

Topics: Social class, Sociology, Middle class Pages: 4 (1464 words) Published: March 26, 2006
Gender Socialization
We are currently living in a society where women are making new gains in the business world and are obtaining more jobs that at one time were considered "male" jobs. But, it is still no secret that women and men are not treated as equals. From the beginning of your life you are either treated as a male, or a female. Not in terms of sex, but in terms of gender. Stephen Sweet (2001) describes sex as being genetically determined, while gender is a social term that encompasses the expectations of men and women that are not sex-linked. From birth boys and girls are treated differently. The lives of boys and girls growing up are socially constructed throughout their childhood, mine was no different. The two agents that most affected my socialization are my parents and my peers. These groups showed me how to conform to the expectations that society was going to put on me because I was a girl. I believe that these three agents are very common among all people, but where they differ is in the context of the class society that we live in. These agents affect us all, they just may teach us different lessons. My middle class upbringing is very different from that of a boy growing up in the South Bronx, but the agents that affect us the most are the same.

My mother and father were the first people I had major interactions with when I was young. Therefore, they were the first and most dominant influence on my socialization into the world as a female. Many of the lessons I have learned from my parents still stick with me today. They are the ones that at a young age taught me the appropriate way to dress. Being a girl, I was expected to look nice, keep my hair combed, my shirts buttoned, and my collar flat. I was expected to wear a dress to church on Sunday and to always look nice for school. This lesson has stuck with me all nineteen years of my life so far. I believe in presenting myself in a manner that shows that I care about how I look and that...

References: Canada, G. 1995. Fist Stick Knife Gun: A Personal History of Violence in America.
Boston: Beacon Press.
Sweet, S. 2001. College and Society: An Introduction to the Sociological Imagination.
Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
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