Differential Gender Socialization - The Differences in Social Expectations & Roles Associated to One’s Sex

Differential gender socialization i the differences in social expectations and roles associated to one’s sex

This idea has been seen in various cultures and in most cases, not all cultures have the same definition of differential gender socialization. However, for the most part in a broad sense, males and females have specific generalized roles where the men are seen as more dominant, and powerful unlike females who are seen as fragile, and more emotional. These characteristics are seen most commonly throughout cultures with some being more strict than others.

Many components such as education, work, family life, the media and culture influence why women are in a sense degraded than males as well as how mental health can be impacted from these factors. Firstly, a lot of issues arise in society due to the differences in roles of females and males. According to Santrock, J. (2016), these differences may originate from childhood, as seen in school where boys of a young age depict a more aggressive, impatient behavior and girls tend to have a more calm, and accommodating behavior.

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This leads to boys having a higher possibility of dealing with disciplinary consequences, but also causes the females to lose assertiveness as a trait (p.170).

As this goes on females may carry that characteristic with them throughout life. Hence, females become less ascendant to their male counterparts as they get older. Furthermore, as adults in family settings, women are portrayed to be more loving and motherly. They have the role to be the caretakers of the family and their children whereas the men have more of the “money-maker job” role.

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Males spend less time nurturing their children than the females because of this. Galambos et al. (2009) found that this also leads to women having a smaller income than men in the work field, having less labor hours, and overall a lower level in hierarchy of the workplace. Also, males in family settings spend time with their children Pandey, Ritu - Writing Assignment 3 by typically only doing leisure activities such as playing outside (p. 168).

On the other hand, women who are mothers care for their children by providing all their basic necessities to live and grow. These characteristics are shown in females throughout life because females who see their mother depicting the nurturing behavior will adapt to that as they get older. In addition to, females growing up in certain cultures usually have less freedom and are more controlled by their family whereas males have less authority over them. Sons are usually given more attention to because they are seen to be the future of the family unlike the daughters. Specifically, in the culture of India, individuals are notorious for being more strict towards their daughters, and permitting their sons to lead a more autonomous life. In many communities of India, women are even forbidden from working at all in society, and are primarily found at home doing house duties.

According to Ram, U., Strohschein, L., & Gaur, K. (2014), Indian females displayed higher levels of mental health issues as a result of having restrictions in being able to move freely, lacking access to resources such as not being able to fund for themselves, and overall not being able to make their own life choices (p.9). All these factors led to women having higher levels of mental health problems than compared to families who were not as strict towards the females in their homes. In general, this article did not claim that there were major differences between males and females in relation to mental health, but compared more of how if females were restricted that way then it would lead to greater problems with their psychological being than those who did not face these limitations. Also, as society makes it acceptable for women and men to have these generalized roles, the media tends to only enhance this unfair idea. Women are typically seen as submissive, and more focused on for their body image, whereas men are shown to be more represented of their Pandey, Ritu - Writing Assignment 4 masculinity, and dominance.

These characteristics are especially seen in tv shows, commercials, and music videos. Thus, the media does not help in lessening these stereotyped ideas of men and women. In conclusion, I do not agree with the differential gender socialization idea. I believe that stereotyping men and women will only cause limitations for both genders in society. Not all men are aggressive, and seek to show dominance over women. Also, women should not only stay at home and take care of their children. They work just as hard and if not, harder especially when given the opportunity to in places like the work field. Having these thoughts put into one’s mind can cause barriers and make one feel as though they have been placed in a box. Issues can arise in one’s mental health and even overall well being when they are constantly limited to their abilities. Something that can be done to reduce the effects of differential gender socialization is give women more opportunities outside their homes, and make it permissible for men to show their emotions more. Media plays a crucial role in influence so if movies, and tv shows portray that to be acceptable then both genders will feel more empowered to depict other aspects of them. Pandey, Ritu - Writing Assignment 5


Ram, U., Strohschein, L., & Gaur, K. (2014). Gender Socialization: Differences between Male and Female Youth in India and Associations with Mental Health.

International Journal of Population Research, 2014, 1-11. doi:10.1155/2014/35714

Santrock, J. W. (2016). (16th ed.). McGraw-Hill Education

Updated: Feb 23, 2024
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Differential Gender Socialization - The Differences in Social Expectations & Roles Associated to One’s Sex. (2024, Feb 23). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/differential-gender-socialization-the-differences-in-social-expectations-roles-associated-to-one-s-sex-essay

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