Essay Sample about Gender Stereotyping in Young Children and Its Impact on Development

Published: 2022-09-29
Essay Sample about Gender Stereotyping in Young Children and Its Impact on Development
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Gender Child development Stereotypes
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 1031 words
9 min read

Adolescence stage in each person life is critical due to significant changes in the physical, social and psychosocial behavior of a person hence exposing the child to adult life risks and opportunities. According to research conducted by Kristen Mmari on the importance of challenging the stereotype of children, she found out that there was a quick internalization of assumption perception of a girl child to be vulnerable and boy child to be independent. The society we live in has defined what is appropriate and required for a boy as well as for a girl by gender stereotyping. Example boys tend to play wrestling games and with trucks, whereas the girls play dress up games. Gender roles are influenced by the language used in media and character portrayed in the movies and advertisements and standard we set

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Children are confined into roles defined by their genders and expectation is set hence the boy child is placed to roam and explore whereas a girl is considered vulnerable and put under protection. From the first day children are stereotyped to fit their gender role, such as the boy is dressed in blue and girl in pink to be identified as no parent would be like their boy be mistaken for a girl or vice versa. In a Harvard, study parents were given children dresses in pink and were perceived to female and those dressed blue were stereotyped as female and termed as handsome and Pruett (Bigler 20). Remember growing up boys were termed as providers and strong and girls were regarded as caregivers and when one was hurt a common phrase was used "men don't cry." It was stereotyping that influenced how we perceived the world and whom we grew to be in the future.

Children learn from their parents and during the vicarious social learning, and they pick what the parents evaluate regarding gender. We are made to believe that movie characters especially the heroes and heroine movies make our children more concerned about other people's welfare as well as help others. Children are very receptive to such influence and can be positive or be negative, characters in the TV can be masculine or feminine, and in most hero movies the heroes are male while princess has long hair. Children are made to believe that the traits are what is expected of them by society. The storyline of all heroic movies the strong superhero is seen to be aggressive and unreceptive while the princess is understood to be appalling and timid thus princess become submissive and weak (McBride2 2).

Media play a vital role in society and advertisements have been often used gender to market children products such as toys. A famous commercial of Tonka trunks we see no little girls in them but for cooking adverts such as the Easy-bake oven, there is no boy in it. It demonstrates what the society thinks of the gender roles. Also the behavior most media adverts used stereotypes the expected child behavior. The girls are described as shy or silly, and the boy child is presented to be active and domineering. Most parents would not want to risk their boys to feminine and their daughters to be tom-boy, and this is the reason we hardly see boys bought dolls to play with or girls playing with dump trucks (Mulvey 120).

Movies affect child gender stereotype, films such as the Disney princess movie have an immense effect on the child perception of expected gender role. The reason behind the gender stereotyping is the messages embedded within the film and children being quick learners they are inclined to imitate the gendered stereotype expectation and use them in their lives. All movies depict both stereotypical and non-stereotypical gender roles, and the movie characters play a significant role in child development. Regardless of the non-stereotypical characters portrayed in most of the children movies, in the long run, they incorporate the stereotypical behaviors that can be seen in the central figure. Ultimately these films have a considerable impact on the child gender development hence creating a wrong impression of gender role formation (McBride1 2).

Child to grow to full potential must be encouraged to experiment and choose what best form them. The gender is natural and the roles cannot be defined by gender as we are in a developed era, most ladies are engineers and drivers which was mainly set to men's position. In my own experience, I believe the sky is a limit to what each child can achieve if gender stereotyping is abolished. At the age of sixteen, I used to ride horses, and there was this one horse who was very wild, and in most cases, it would throw the rider off. It was hard for anybody to ride him apart from a boy called Khalid, who claimed he was the only person strong enough to handle this horse. When I began riding this horse became perfectly responsive and would be very tame with me hence proving him wrong. It indicates gender stereotyping is a cocoon that limits our success and what we can achieve.

In conclusion, change in the social and public opinion is reflected on the behaviors and gender stereotype of the society. Even though gender cannot be classified as a learned behavior, the implication set by the organization controls what appropriate for both the male and female. To avoid such stereotypes, the parents, have the responsibility to teach their children such as encouraging their children to experience more about gender roles, access to non-gender biased toys and provide positive role models or heroes that don't embody traditional gender roles.

Works Cited

Bigler, Rebecca S., and Meagan M. Patterson. "Social stereotyping and prejudice in children: Insights from novel group studies." Group processes in children and adolescents (2017): 184-202

Mulvey, Kelly Lynn, Bridget Miller, and Victoria Rizzardi. "Gender and engineering aptitude: Is the color of science, technology, engineering, and math materials related to children's performance?" Journal of experimental child psychology 160 (2017): 119-126

McBride, Jon. "Disney Princesses: Not Brave Enough". BYU News, 2018, Accessed 8 Nov 2018.

McBride, Jon. "Study Finds Superhero Culture Magnifies Aggressive, Not Defending Behaviors". BYU News, 2018, Accessed 8 Nov 2018.

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