Every child is born to a particular society which has its set of values, norms and belief system. The first stage of socialization of the child is the family to which he/she is born. As the child grows, he/she is introduced to the way life is lived and the role he or she is to play in the family and the society. When a child is born, the first question that anybody asks is ‘is it a boy or a girl? ”. This is the beginning of gender socialization.
From that point, the clothes the child wears, the kind of treatment that is given to the child and the things that are expected of the child becomes distinguished. UNICEF defined gender socialization as “a process of learning cultural roles according to one’s sex, and provides examples of ways in which these are incorporated through parental and societal expectations from boys and girls” ( VAWnet, 2004). Taking a queue from my life experience and from my knowledge of socialization, I will say that the traits I see myself exhibiting are rubbed off on me as a result of my family socialization.
At a very tender age, I grew to recognize my role in the family and how to relate with the elderly. My father taught me how to be a man and how to live the life of integrity and boldness, which he considered a necessity of any man. Furthermore, I grew up with an idea that some jobs were for ladies while some were for men. I was taught that men are strong and do not cave in to their emotions. I was taught how to be a fearless, courageous and decent young man and how it is my responsibility to look out for my family.
Although I do not stay with my father and mother again, I still see some attributes of my father in me and sometimes when I do something, I smile and attribute that thing to what I learnt when I was growing up. Summarily, I believe no matter how hard we try not to draw a line between both sexes, the fact is we all have our roles in the society. Reference: http://new. vawnet. org/category/index_pages. php? category_id=813 “Gender Socialization” (2004). Retrieved on November 21, 2008.
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