Sociology Index

GENDER SOCIALIZATION

Gender socialization begins at birth, intensifies during adolescence and contributes to gender inequalities, and other significant outcomes of well-being during adolescence and later in life. Studies on gender socialization show that parents treat babies differently based upon the sex of the baby. Everyone experiences some degree of gender socialization and the power differentials often created through this process. Research on gender socialization of adolescents in the home environment focuses upon six common family activities: allowances, parental gift giving, use of the family car, curfew, and chores done in and outside the home. Abuse is also a factor in gender socialization. Gender socialization is the process through which children learn about the social expectations, attitudes and behaviours associated with one’s gender. There is limited research on adolescent gender socialization within the family.

Culture is an important mediator in gender socialization. White, Donat, and Bondurant (2001), note that in order to prevent violence, we must destroy the inequalities in relationships and stop reinforcing gender stereotypical behavior. Notions of gender difference are being challenged increasingly by research on the Social Construction of Gender. While everyone experiences some degree of gender socialization, it is suggested that culture is an important mediator for such experiences.

As children attain a sense of their own gender identity, they pay heightened attention to information related to gender, and especially to same-gender models. This gender awareness, in combination with an early exposure to gender from multiple sources of socialization such as parents, siblings and peers, has immediate consequences on children’s attitudes and behaviors toward members of their own and other-gender group.

Gender Socialization in Philippine Child-Friendly Schools.
The study examined gender socialization of boys and girls in grades 1, 5, and 6 in selected Philippine public schools under the United Nations Children’s Fund strategy to set up a child-friendly school system. The study aimed to see whether and how gender advocacy and concerns are integrated into schools supported by the UNICEF Country Program for Children V. CPC V’s programs, among other things, incorporates topics such as gender socialization.

Discussion paper by the UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti and the International Centre for Research on Women. The paper provides a holistic picture of how gender socialization happens and agents, that is, family members, peers, community leaders and cultural and social norms. You may not be familiar with the concept of “gender socialization”, but it is most likely that you have been influenced by it and in turn passed on your own beliefs about what constitutes gender-appropriate attitudes and behavior to others.

Bridging the Gap Between Gender Socialization and Gendered Political Behavior: Political Socializaiton in a Cultural Context. Ahmed, Zahra. Abstract: Culture is an important mediator regarding the roles and activities that women deem appropriate for themselves. Studies of Latino and African American women suggest that their specific cultural contexts may serve to provide them with increased opportunities for political participation and the potential for increased political power.

Gender Socialization of Adolescents in the Home: Research and Discussion, John F. Peters.
Until the early seventies, the family was generally viewed as supporting institutional functions in which females were socialized to be dependent, fragile, unaggressive, sensitive, nurturant, and hesitant to take risks. Males were seen as being socialized in the home to be strong, confident, independent, and daring. Socialization in gender-role behavior is conspicuously absent.