Gender Roles

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate April 2001

download word file, 3 pages 3.0

There are many differences in personality traits among males and females. These traits are molded by biological influence as well as environmental and social influences. Stereotypical gender roles are introduced to children by their parents early in a child's life. Children learn to associate differences in gender based on toys they play with, the décor of their room, and the sports in which they participate.

Playing makes up a large portion of a child's day. Boys can be found playing with their action figures. These tough plastic figures take on roles as ultimate warriors that are on the prowl against dangerous alien menace oozing evil from every pore. They are armed with an arsenal of small-scale weapons that look as if they could blow up entire New York City. These action figures are tough and rugged, some looking as if they are part machine part beast. While playing with these toys, the child's imagination may take them on missions to mars to conquer the alien menace or send them to far away lands to help save a princess from riotous rascals.

At the same time, girls can be found taking on the roles of a mother, changing their lifelike baby dolls diaper, which may actually be soiled, or baking minuscule cakes with their heat lamp oven. The young divas can also be found primping their glamorous Barbies into delicate ballerinas or sparkling princesses. "Toys for girls encourage domesticity while boys receive not only more categories of toys but ones which are more complex, more expensive, and suggest activities that are not homebound" (Lindsey, 76-7).

The décor of a child's room can be very different among boys and girls. A boy's room tends to shine with brilliant blues and bold reds. The room can take on the appearance of...