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 women. Gender stereotypes are shared beliefs about certain character traits male and female should have. There are certain expectations in every culture about how men and women should act. There are several factors that figure gender role development and identity. Most of them fit into two camps of thought – the biological origins (nature) and the environmental origins (nurture). (Gender and Culture readings, pg 2)
The stereotyped attributes for men generally are action and accomplishment oriented. The stereotype for women is usually based on the quality of expressiveness emotions and relationships. (Gender and Cultural readings, 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 about 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 to be successful in life, are just a few. The development of children is influenced by the choice of toys parents buy for their children. The types of toys children play with affects both their cognitive and social skills. Toys that are viewed as more 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 fairytales
- 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 castes, 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 give their families with the necessities, playing athletic games with their children and coaching teams.
- Gender Differences in Emotional Health (everydayhealth.com)