Culture and Gender Roles
Culture Determines Gender Roles
Culture definitely aids in the determination of gender roles. Socialization in all cultures is directly linked to the final product of a human being. Culture dictates, at a very young age, how boys and girls are supposed to act, feel and respond to certain situations.
Boys and girls are separated by gender at birth. Boys are wrapped in blue blankets and girls in pink. Before a child is born, everyone close to the family wants to know what the child will be, so they will know what to purchase. This is very common practice throughout our society. Boys are taught to play with trucks, trains, male action figures, swords and guns. These items aid in defining masculinity. Girls, on the other hand, are taught to play with dolls, toy stoves or easy bake ovens, and other toys to aide them in identifying with nurturing. These factors lead to identifying gender roles by our society. Anything that deviates from this is considered somewhat abnormal. For instance, if a small male child wants to play with dolls, most fathers will immediately intervene and provide them with a more masculine toy. At the very least, he will show disapproval. Girls, on the other hand, may be labeled as a tom boy if they show interest in his truck.
These actions move through adolescence and well into adulthood. Our society is changing true enough. However, these actions are very much in line with the traditional American family.
Certain items labeled as household chores are also fitted into this formula. Boys mow grass, take out the trash and do most of what is determined to be mens work. Girls are expected to wash dishes, mop floors, wash laundry and other feminine chores. Our society has seen numerous changes in these roles, yet our culture has dictated these changes and made them acceptable.
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