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Gender and Socialization Essay

The main purpose of this paper is to focus on gender socialization. Human beings that belong to different societies have varied perceptions, opinions, and manners toward socializing with the same or opposite sex. Categorized in the main gender types, male and female are known to react in different ways when given and exposed in the same situation. Regardless of cultural norms or mores of any society in particular, interaction with peers, family, classmates, and other people depend on the male’s and female’s orientation in gender socialization and gender roles.

Some concepts attempt to explain the gender issues faced by the two gender types. These attributions of concepts then play an important role in understanding the different societies’ construct of their existing mechanisms of gender roles and expectations including the societies’ gender markers as determinants of sex and gender (SparkNotes, 2008). Gender Socialization Gender and socialization are two different terms that have a relationship with each other.

Gender refers to the behavioral characteristics of an individual regarding an individual’s essence of womanhood or manhood, masculinity or femininity, while socialization refers to the social and interpersonal instincts of human in interacting, communicating, and dealing with others. A newborn infant for instance, may be oriented towards its gender by its first experience of socialization after being born.

The infant may be more exposed to male socialization rather than female socialization or vice versa which would later on affect the behavior of the infant while growing up. Another example is the way parents choose what the appropriate toy is to be played by their sons and daughters. Usually, parents buy their baby girl a mini-kitchen or ironing set to orient them (however, it is subconscious for the parents’ part) with the future maternal role.

For the baby boy’s part, they are usually given toy trucks or tools for various chores in the house for the same underlying purpose. Moreover, upon receiving the presents, the girls usually react more appreciative and smiling than the boys. The essence of gender socialization then, is for the infants to learn the behavior appropriate for their designated sexes (SparkNotes, 2008). Reaction

By the time an infant reaches ten months after the day of birth, gender socialization is already executed through the infant’s interaction with the environment, its family members, and caretakers. This is the time when the infant starts to identify him- or herself in either of the two sexes: male or female. Thus, this is also the time for newborn infants to associate the specific gender roles (the attributes and behavior that the culture constructively defines) that are appropriate for their sex and gender.

Later in the life of infants, the effects of the previous experience in gender orientation would reflect in their current behavior. Meanwhile, I should say from personal experience that I was mostly given a Barbie doll for Christmas or birthday present. In so doing, I grew up to become a very neat lady who has the taste for fashion and luxury Further, I attribute the idea that I have become a fashionable and finesse lady to my previous hobby of playing, dressing and undressing my Barbie doll (SparkNotes, 2008).

Conclusion Gender socialization teaches the infants that would grow as adults the appropriate roles defined by culture and behaviors that are expected of them by the society. Submission to the expectations of the culture and society is important, as every living individual has to interact with others in whatever society he or she belongs to in order to survive and attain a sense of belongingness.

Family, peer groups, school, mass media, and some texts play a part in honing this cultured set of beliefs regarding the appropriate roles and expected behaviors for men and women. Men who are accustomed to playing tough games in their childhood result to be future tough guys and women are the opposite. Reference SparkNotes. (2008). Gender socialization. In SparkNotes 101: Sociology. Retrieved December 9, 2008 from http://www. sparknotes. com/101/sociology/socialization/gender_socialization. html.

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