Gender socialization occurs when young children learn to respond to their surroundings appropriately. A child’s understanding of gender is influenced by the socialization she has come through. Gender socialization usually takes place during childhood and young adulthood but can take place at an earlier age. The young person’s experiences and beliefs concerning gender will influence her behaviors and thoughts.
Gender Socialization Occur
Gender socialization is basically the process of training people how to act as either male or female. It is also called sex socialization, gender normative, or sexualized socialization. Gender socialization occurs during childhood and young adulthood but can take place at an earlier age. Sex and gender socialization often occur together.
Children are exposed to many situations that can lead them to gender socialization. These include playgrounds, sporting events, television, videos, and video games. Often parents set up gender socialization events for their children to attend. Parents encourage their young girls to play with boys or vice versa, for example.
Children are naturally influenced by their families. This means that if mom and dad played a particular role in determining the gender of their child, then their children are likely to follow their example. Mom and dad may play an important role in determining whether a girl or boy is desired. Boys may be encouraged to become engineers or mechanics, while girls are likely to become nurses or teachers. Both sets of examples will shape the gender of their child.
Effects On Children
Gender socialization can have a negative effect on some children. Because gender socialization typically occurs during childhood and young adulthood, children are not exposed to many positive or negative examples. Some children may be exposed to harsh words or actions directed at them because of their gender. While this is not the case for every child, it does happen.
Gender socialization can also have a beneficial effect. Many social studies have shown that gender socialization allows children to experiment with various gender roles. For example, some children experience a gender role that is considered “boyish” when they are very young, but they often grow out of this role as they enter adolescence. They may also grow into a “girl” once they start puberty. This allows them to explore different types of interests without feeling gender-specific.
Some children are also able to practice gender-related behaviors outside of their home environment. This can be especially beneficial as more of a family environment is present during early childhood. This can make a child feel more comfortable with his or her gender role. It can also help the child learn about the various definitions of gender. Many children learn about their own bodies during childhood. This is often one of the reasons why they do not choose a gender role that is “feared” by society.
Gender Socialization: A Serious Issue For Parents
Gender socialization can be difficult for parents to deal with. There are still strong pressures from society to conform to traditional gender roles. Unfortunately, many parents simply do not know how to handle gender issues. Fortunately, there are a variety of support groups available. These groups can help parents learn more about the dynamics of gender socialization and how to overcome the problems that are associated with it.
Many gender socialization professionals have developed tools that can help parents deal with gender issues. One of these tools is a gender identification game. This game teaches children how to identify which gender they are. This can be a valuable tool in helping to overcome gender socialization. With this game, children are taught how to accept the role that gender occupies in society.
Gender socialization can occur at an early age. In fact, many children begin to understand gender socialization when they are only four years old. Even some six-year-olds are capable of comprehending basic concepts about gender. At this age, parents should begin to teach children about gender selection or letting kids go through puberty without experiencing any socialization-related consequences.
Unfortunately, gender socialization does not end after the age of four or six. Some children continue to experience gender-related issues into their adolescent years. Gender socialization often occurs among families who have several divorced parents and children who do not have supportive families at home. Gender socialization can also occur among some older children who experience significant losses in their families during times of divorce and loss of parental guidance. While some parents choose to let their children experience gender socialization through independent play, most parents need to take steps to ensure that gender socialization occurs at a young age and that children develop appropriate gender-related skills as they grow older.