Social pressures and what people think is the norm affects society in a whole. Cultures have their own beliefs on gender and social behavior among the male and females. Gender stereotypes are shared beliefs about certain character traits male and female should have. There are certain expectations in every culture as to how men and women should act. There are several factors that determine gender role development and identity. Most of them fit into two camps of thought – the biological origins (nature) and the environmental origins (nurture). The stereotyped attributes for males generally are action and accomplishment oriented. The stereotype for females is usually based on the quality of expressiveness emotions and relationships. (Module 4 page 3) The traditional roles that society upholds for gender types can cause some significant problems in the lives of men. The pressures put on them to succeed in the workplace, their dominance over women; the idea of hiding their emotions; which can cause aggressive behaviors due to suppressed anger and stress can cause depression, and stress disorders. Men confuse sex with intimacy and become confused as to how to communicate in relationships. The traditional roles can cause some significant problems in women’s lives. The marriage mandate, the idea that all women must be mothers, they must or must not work outside the home in order to be successful in life, are just a few. God created man and woman differently and many in society have not yet accepted this as truth. Although the development of children is influenced by the choice of toys parents buy for their children, they still are either boy or girl and nothing will change that. Even in play, children take on traditional roles as they act out their own personalities in creative play. There is nothing wrong with a little boy learning how to care for a baby through play. Little girls can use their imagination and race those cars on the track. The types of toys children play with affects both their cognitive and social skills. Toys viewed appropriate for girls are toys which are creative, nurturing, attractive, and manipulative. Some examples of these toys geared towards girls are:
- Doll houses
- Artistic toys, such as paints, markers, and coloring books.
- Easy bake oven
- Ice cream makers
- Princess toys
- Puzzles with pretty pink colors, such as princesses and fairy tales
- Toy kitchen
- Toy make-up and dress-up clothes
The toys for boys are identified as being more competitive in nature, aggressive, constructive, and hands on. Some of these toys were:
- Toy guns
- Construction trucks, cars etc.
- Star Wars toys
- Trains sets
- Building blocks
- Skate boards
- Remote control cars,
- Airplanes, boats.
Although these toys are stereotyped to genders, there have been some changes in the toys being offered to both boys and girls. The Lego Company has recently opened a line of Lego toys for girls. Pink and princess castles, animals such as pretty little dogs, cats etc. are also being offered. Previous investigations which have directly assessed the degree to which adults gender type children’s toys indicated that adults use traditional gender stereotyped standards when classifying children’s toys (Masters & Wilkinson, 1976; Miller, 1987; Fisher-Thompson, 1990) In the past thirty years, changes have taken place in the gender role stereotyping. Both men and women are trying to sort out their own views on gender roles. Although women are not expected to be homemakers and not have careers, the reality is that most women are the ones who stay home and take care of the children and household. Some men still feel intimidated by the women’s successes. Successful marriages are made up of men and women who work together to negotiate and share the tasks of each others role in the marriage. Men are cooking, cleaning, child rearing and others. Women are working to provide their families with the necessities, playing athletic games with their children and coaching teams.
References: Gender and Culture, retrieved on October 16, 2012 from: http://myeclassonline.com/re/DotNextLaunch.asp?courseid=7329165&userid=13250739&sessionid=9fe2f1d200&tabid=YKO2Dj2MG+ Gender Roles, retrieved on October 16, 2012 from; http://www.faqs.org/health/topics/8/Gender-roles.html#ixzz29Vf0Fzyh Health Topics retrieved on Oct, 16 2012 from: http://www.faqs.org/health/topics/8/Gender-roles.html