Term Paper: Sociology and Socialization: Gender Differences

Pages: 2 (616 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Sociology  ·  Buy This Paper

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[. . .] ' From an early age girls are socialized to be 'ladylike' and feminine, as evidenced by the number of frilly dresses and soft clothing available for girl babies.

Most babies would do nothing more than spit up on the frilly dresses offered at the baby store. Girls clothing is much more impractical than infant boy clothes, given that most baby's do nothing more than eat, sleep and poop in the first few months of life. However despite this even at a young age female members of society seem inundated with the message that they need to dress up, look great, and maintain an image that is both feminine and cute. Boy clothing is much more practical and oriented to the types of activity children should be engaging in, such as playing, sleeping and tumbling about.

Social inequities are apparent from this early age. There is a far greater selection of clothing for girl babies than boy babies, suggesting early on that girls be more concerned with their appearance than boys. Miniature versions of stockings are even available for girl babies to wear. While barrettes and hair clips are abundant for little girl babies, few if any accessories exist for little boy babies.

The idea that each gender is different and has certain characteristics or behaviors that must be maintained is a concept that is supported by the social institutions we grow up in. From day one boys and girls are treated differently. It is hard to say if things would be different if infants weren't socialized from such an early age to act a certain way, dress a certain way and even play a certain way.

Reference:

Shepard, J.M. (2001). Sociology, 9th ed. West Publishing Company.

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