top-rated free essay

Gender Stereotyping

By sammya44 Sep 17, 2013 1087 Words
Gender is a significant factor in shaping our identies. From birth, children are classified into two categories; male and female. Although research has made it very clear that gender is socially constructed, Gender has been so thoroughly embedded in our institutions, our actions, our beliefs and our desires, that it appears to us to be completely natural. In many cultural contexts, gender can determine, our rights and duties, our social, economic and political roles, what attitudes and behaviors are expected from us and how we are viewed. Contemporary society looks to education as one of the leading agents in preparing and developing young children and adolescence. Schools are key institutions for the construction of gender, creating a prime site for socialization and interaction (MCEECDYA, 1996). Although educational systems do not teach these gender differences to students but rather they reinforce them. These differences can be seen through the different treatment and outcomes between boys and girls at school. Although schools have begun to enforce gender equity, imbalance of genders is still evident.

School curriculum, Textbooks and class readings, Teacher to pupil and pupil to pupil relations, School administration, discipline actions, sport, knowledge, play and assessment are all areas which still display strong gender imbalances. These phenomena are involved in the complex dynamic of gender and schooling, developing a range of interpretations of masculinity and femininity in which is viewed by society (MCEECDYA, 1996).

From birth, parents and carers treat children in accordance to their biological gender, like parents, teachers treat children according to gendered assumptions of what is appropriate (Gilbert & Pam). The way children and adolescence are treated, disciplined and educated in relation to gender, demonstraight schools support, reinforcement and reliance upon stereotypical discourses of male and female sexuality. Teachers can socialize girls towards a more feminine perception, as they are praised for being neat, quiet, and calm whereas boys are stimulated to think independently, be active and speak up. Girls who perform well within the classroom are more likely to be seen by teachers as persistent and working hard, where boys’ high achievement is often described in terms of their natural wit and brilliance (Chapman, 2012). Within the classroom disciplinary actions are vastly based on the child’s biological gender. Certain behaviors are often tolerated for boys then for girls, because teachers regard this as some intrinsic masculinity (Tait, 2013). This demonstraights the imbalance of gender and the way in which the oppression of females is apparent within schools today. Gender biased curriculum and classroom texts can inevitably lead to an inequitable education outcome for male and female students. Both traditional and contemporary books, stories and films, which are aimed at children, often show orthodox views on gender. The field study investigation (below), which was based on analyzing lead characters from well-known children’s films, agrees with the idea that children’s films, which are often watched in class, encourage and support gender inequality. Main characters like the Disney princesses are created to become role models and ideal figures for young girls, yet they are confining the characteristics to gender typical. These characters and films are the embodiment of hegemonic masculinity and typical femininity. These films, which are often apart of school curriculum, become the foundation of gender inequality within primary schools. Unlike primary, secondary school offers diverse subjects in which children are able to select, in correlation to their own preferences. Subjects throughout secondary school; such as ‘economics and arts’ to ‘physics and manufacturing’ are instinctively recognized for there demarcation of gender enrolments. [Graph 2] represents subject enrolments by sex in 2000 and show relatively predictable figures. Males often dominate subjects such as physics, computer studies and technology, which are considered ‘hard’. Subjects such as humanities, economics and biology, which are often tied to feminine traits, are very dominated by females. As a result of this, by the time students arrive to grade12, these messages are meticulously embedded in students minds, constituting a very clear example of the social reproduction of gender and consequently generating different outcomes that males and females will receive from schooling. Patterns of Gender inequalities within education are not only evident across students and school curriculum but also in staff employment. In 2010, there was an imbalance of 4.1 female primary teachers in Australia to every male. [Graph 1] demonstrates the number of full-time equivalent teaching staff by sex and school level in 2010 (ABS, 2011). The graph indicates the dramatic change in staff gender as a child moves from primary school to secondary, showing that woman are primarily responsible for the education of small children, where as men become more predominant as the students get older. This view coincides with the common belief that woman are more suited to teach small children than men. With teachers acting as role models, none of this goes unnoticed by students, consequently this is allowing children to grow up in an environment surrounded by gender stereotypes (Eckert & McConnell- Ginet, unknown). Children are continuously being exposed to gender stereotypes, which teaches and encourages them the ways to behave in regards to their biological sex. Although these notions are embedded in children’s minds from birth, educational institutions further encourage them. There are many motives which creates this however their use of bias teaching and discipline procedures, there curriculum and class materials (texts, books and films), and there imbalance of staff gender are issues which have a great impact on students within the classroom. These narrow versions of masculinity and obsolete views on woman’s roles are causing significant issues, not only within schools, but also within the workforce, and our everyday life. It is very evident that schools are attempting to be gender natural in all areas, however gender has been so thoroughly insinuated in our lives that it appears to us to be completely natural.

Reference List:

ABS. (2011, February 21). Retrieved April 17, 2013, from Australian Bureau of Statistics:

Chapman, A. (2012). Retrieved April 17, 2013, from Ed Change:

Eckert, P., & McConnell- Ginet, S. (unknown). Language and Gender. Cambridge.

Gilbert, R., & Pam, G. Masculinity Goes To School. St leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin.

MCEECDYA. (1996, August). Framework for Action on Gender Equity in Schooling . Retrieved from

Sadker, M., & David, S. (1994). Failing at fairness: how our schools cheat girls. Toronto: Simon & Schuster Inc.

Tait, G. (2013). Making Sense of Mass Education. New York, USA: Cambridge University Press.

Cite This Document

Related Documents

  • Gender Socialization

    ...Gender Socialization Cynthia Brown Columbia College Gender 3 Gender is defined in terms of masculinity and femininity; how one behaves based on what sex they are: male or female. Soci...

    Read More
  • Gender Socialization

    ...Aaron Patrick Soc. 120 Prof. Bishop Oct. 28, 2012 Gender Socialization Socialization can be defined as the lifelong process through which individuals learn attitudes, values and behaviors appropriate for members of a particular culture. This paper is directly focused on how children of a very young age learn about gender through toys and c...

    Read More
  • Gender Inequality Still Exists

    ...Gender Inequality still exists "Is there any difference between the education acquired by men and women in college?" My answer to that question would be that although the "brick wall" ( Forum 1) in education has been broken, we still have another, invisible barrier called the "glass ceiling." ( Forum 1) Most people would say that education h...

    Read More
  • Gender

    ... Fall SOC 1001- Intro to Sociology Section 18 TA: Monica Saralampi Do you “Do” gender too? “Gender”, as thought of by many people as simply being either “male” or “female”, refers to the social statuses and cultural attributes associated with being male or female (Soc 1001 Lecture 24, Social Construction of Sexuality) and not s...

    Read More
  • Is Gender Performative?

    ...Is gender performative? “One of the interpretations that has been made of Gender Trouble is that there is no sex, there is only gender, and gender is performative.” (Judith Butler interview 1993) When approaching and investigating the discourse of gender roles, gender performance and gender trouble one will find that there have been diff...

    Read More
  • Gender Stereotyping

    ...Gender Stereotyping in Children Alisha Gordon Blue Ridge Community College Gender Stereotyping in Children Delaying exposure to gender stereotyping in young children helps avoid disapproving gender views that limit children’s behavior and learning abilities, which plays a vital role in their social and cognitive development. I....

    Read More
  • Advertising- Stereotyping

    ...Stereotyping in Advertising | Assessment 1- individual essay | | | Table of Contents Introduction 2 Gender role stereotyping in advertising 2 Examples of stereotyping in gender 3 Future development of stereotyping in advertising: 5 Reference list: 6 Introduction This essay will discuss the use of stereotyping in adver...

    Read More
  • Gender Inequality

    ...Gender Inequality The issue of gender inequality is one which has been publicly reverberating through society for decades. The problem of inequality in employment being one of the most pressing issues today. In order to examine this situation one must try to get to the root of the problem and must understand the sociological factors that cau...

    Read More

Discover the Best Free Essays on StudyMode

Conquer writer's block once and for all.

High Quality Essays

Our library contains thousands of carefully selected free research papers and essays.

Popular Topics

No matter the topic you're researching, chances are we have it covered.