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Gender and Social Norms Essay

In today’s society social norms have huge effects on parental decisions. Some would say that shaping a child’s life around these norms might be what is needed in order for one to have a successful life. Majority of individuals tend to migrate towards others who are like them. With this being said, if you aren’t raised how the average person is, you will not have a group to migrate to and will never develop relationships that can benefit your future. My survey consisted of three questions, which were answered anonymously by ten different individuals. The first two questions were to find out what my participant’s sexes were and what their current marital status was. My final question was, “Do you feel boys from the ages four to seven should be provided with Barbie Toys if asked for them?” The statistics I received were quite diverse.

Being accepted in today’s society is the key factor when developing early relationships, which will impact your future. As it is one has to face plenty of other obstacles such as being discriminated against due to their individual sex, race, culture or religion. If you aren’t raised around the norms society has developed then that is one more obstacle you must face when going through life. Sociological imagination is stated to be forces of society that control our personal experiences. I believe that this hits the direct point I am making when I say that there are forces outside of what one’s parents believe in that influence the way someone is raised. Parents want their children to have the average childhood and be accepted by everyone. The only way one can accomplish this is to base the decisions made for their child around the social norms.

For boys, they should only play with action figures and should participate in athletics. Females should only play with Barbies and should be put in classes such as ballet. It is out of what society accepts if one’s child does participate in anything that the opposite sex should be doing. This may lead to harassment of many sorts and keep one from advancing and becoming successful. On the other hand, if someone partakes in something their gender is known for, this may lead to extra opportunities. I am stating that if someone of a specific sex has been raised the way the rest of that society has been, it will broaden their chances to migrate towards others due to a higher chance of commonalities.

I found out that sex did not play much of a part when determining what people thought about my topic. Majority of the males did answer no when asked if boys should be allowed to play with Barbies. Females also leaned towards that end. Seventy-one percent of them said they would not allow a boy to play with a Barbie if they asked for it. While tallying the statistics I noticed that every person who was currently in a relationship said they would not allow it. I feel they answered it no because they may have already spoken with their significant others about possibly having children, and they wouldn’t want their child to be an outcast. I would bet that they have not spoken about this specific topic in general; therefore they would keep aware from such topics to avoid any disagreements with their partner.

They may believe in two different sides, but choose to stick to what society accepts. I also saw that the few who answered yes were either single or divorced. I think these individuals are at a point where they know they are free to have their own beliefs and will exercise them because there is no one they have to persuade, other than themselves. A single parent may stick to what they believe in when raising their child, or they may resort to what society accepts. The only person I received a survey from who was married chose not to buy such toys for young boys.

She actually chose to express why she felt this way. She said that her and her husband are expecting a child shortly and have been open with one another about these sorts of scenarios. She stated that they refuse to force their child (ren) to live in this “invisible acceptance bubble” that society has come to. They feel everyone should be raised differently so the world will be as diverse as possible. She expressed that she does not want to be a part of raising someone who is exactly like the next child. She described it as society losing its color. Everything will soon be black in white if we keep allowing these invisible rules to take over what should be our decisions.

Society has developed norms that many people feel forced to go buy in order to achieve acceptance. Although they may not agree with what the majority does, they refuse to be a part of an outcast group. I understand why people would take part in such actions. I believe it is because they are afraid to be different and not accepted by most, which can lead to lack of relationships, needed to be considered “normal.” The survey I conducted showed what ten random people thought when asked if they would allow and/or supply a boy from the ages four to seven with a Barbie if asked. Majority responded no, which I feel was because it has been declared “wrong” in our society.

Survey

You are being asked to complete this survey on family issues for a paper I am writing for my FCS 340 class. All answers will remain confidential and anonymous.


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