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Research Paper - Laurent King FYS 100 Ms. SY 15 November...

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Laurent King 15 November 2007 FYS 100 Ms. SY Children and Gender Role Identity and Stereotype Development “Family is the first school for young children, and parents are powerful models.” This statement is clearly illustrated in the process of gender role stereotyping and how children acquire and establish them. The process of gender role acquisition is a very complex one that evolves and cumulates in each stage of a child’s development. For many years, the culturally ideal nuclear family has displayed certain gender specific roles to children, causing them to form gender role behaviours and expectations to children. Developing gender roles is a way that children are socialised into the ideal cultural norms of a society, and the family has a large role to play in conveying gendered behaviours to their children. The family both shapes and moulds the lives of its children to ensure that they develop certain behaviours and beliefs, based on their childhood upbringing. Gender role stereotypes become integrated into children’s personalities through what they learn from their respective families. However, there is a general consensus of gendered expectations and norms shared by society. Parents are the socialising agents
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Laurent King 15 November 2007 FYS 100 Ms. SY responsible for teaching gender roles to children so that they can develop certain sex role stereotypes Parents tend to have both a direct and indirect influence on the lives of their children. In most cases, parents are generally are found to begin exhibiting gender stereotyping behaviour from as early as the day the child is born, through differential socialisation. . In a study conducted by Karraker, Vogel, & Lake, 1995, “parents described their newborns differently based on their sex and gender, despite the fact that they were similar in size, weight, and activity level. Girls were described as relatively weak, fine-featured, delicate, and feminine while boys were described as relatively strong, large-featured, hardy, and masculine.” (Paludi 2) By doing this, parents unconsciously place their children into boxes of socially constructed gendered identities. It is also found that parents attend to and interact with infants of the same sex more than with infants of the opposite sex. According to a study by Parke, 1979 Mothers spend more time with infant girls, and fathers with infant boys. The fact that the parent is displaying so much interest in the child, results in the child having a strong attraction and bond to that specific parent. (Paludi 2) As a result,
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Laurent King 15 November 2007 FYS 100 Ms. SY this causes the child to seek that parent out more often as a role model and as a companion. Thus, it is no surprise that the infant will develop gendered roles that are similar to the ones being displayed by the parent they are spending the most time with. Another way that parents influence children to adopt certain gendered
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Research Paper - Laurent King FYS 100 Ms. SY 15 November...

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