Hollomon 1Skylar HollomonProfessor ChapmanSociology 100January 17, 2018Stereotyping Gender norms are social expectations for males and females. These norms define what behaviors each gender are expected to take. However, because each person has individual thoughts and feelings, the stereotypes are simplistic and general. Through the years, these expectations have changed significantly and they continue to evolve with society.
In this new time of gender fluidity, people are challenging gender norms and redefining how people view the world.There are many gender inequalities between women and men in terms of the division of power and resources in society because of gender stereotypes. The stereotypes surrounding female and male activities is still affecting individuals today. Because many women are in certain stereotypical jobs or positions, and have family responsibilities, while men are in other stereotypical jobs with responsibilities, inequalities still exist between women and men in most spheres of life. The impact of gender is also affected by intersecting factors such as ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, and disabilities, which can cause more Hollomon 2problems later in life. Parents are the first ones to show children gender stereotypes and norms so it is important to change the way parents think. Gender stereotyping begins at birth. For example, as soon as people know a baby will be a girl, they begin decorating a pink nursery filled with butterflies and cute animals.
People assume the girl will be “girly” and want to wear frilly dresses and play with tea sets and dolls. From birth, girls are taught to wear dresses, take care of children, and stay in the house; these are the the most common stereotypes put on young women. It is also common for women to be told that they should not play sports or have technical jobs.
Women are also known to be flirts and are supposed to be submissive. Only recently have parents and adults have been acceptable of having women in positions of power. According to Eagly, “Americans tend to think of men as ‘agentic,’ people who are assertive and take charge” and they think of “women as ‘communal,’ individuals who are nice, friendly, and caring” (1). Being in a position of power is difficult for a woman because they need to show assertiveness while also not being seen as too tough. However, there is evidence that the United States and other countries are changing perceptions about these problems.
It has been shown that people are more open to having a female boss while women are more open to being bosses.Similarly, boys are taught to be rugged and are told to work hard in order to provide for their families. From birth, boys have blue rooms with fierce animals or dinosaurs. Their toys are almost always video games and action figures; these toys teach boys that they need to be tough and protect others. Children are taught that men work and provide for their Hollomon 3families while women stay at home and care for the children. Not all men play video games or enjoy watching sports. Not all men are good at math or work in scientific fields. And, many men enjoy cooking, sewing, and taking care of their children.
Another common stereotype is that boys have fun while women do all of the work. It is not surprising to learn that many parents do not teach their sons how to wash dishes or do laundry. Instead, sons are taught to take out the trash, mow the lawn, and look at cars. On the other hand, daughters are taught how to clean the house, sew, knit, and fold clothes.
Many parents unconsciously teach their children that men are supposed to do the dirty work and women are supposed to do the housework. But what happens when people do not fit under these stereotypes? Gender stereotypes put pressure on males and females to act a certain way so they fit into society. Some people are also uncomfortable with the gender role society places on them because of their sex. For instance, many people believe transgender and cis people are reinforcing the traditional gender stereotypes that our culture is attempting to break away from.
Because there are men and women that do not fit in with gender norms, they conform to the opposite gender stereotypes. In this new era of being true to yourself and not caring what anyone thinks, gender stereotypes are still very prominent. Because it is now okay for people to express their sexual orientation, it is also appropriate to challenge gender norms. Therefore, instead of enforcing gender stereotypes, more people should fight stereotypes and consider them irrelevant.
Hollomon 4That is what makes them stereotypes; the fact that these things are considered, “the norm” and expected of every male or female. Each person is an individual and it is perfectly normal for a woman to run her own business while a man stays home with the kids. On the other hand it is also perfectly acceptable for a man to be a nurse or hate sports, or enjoy cooking. Men and women are individuals; they are more than just male or female.
Our gender is only part of who we are; it does not define us as people. Hollomon 5Works CitedBrewer, Holly. “List of Gender Stereotypes.” HealthGuidance.org”Challenging Gender Stereotypes.
” Challenging Gender Stereotypes | European Standard on Gender Mainstreaming in the ESFDavis, Deborah L. “Are Transgender Women Just Reinforcing Sexist Stereotypes?”Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, 15 Sept. 2015Eagly, Alice. “Why Do so Few Women Hold Positions of Power?” Northwestern UniversityKnorr, Caroline. “Gender Stereotypes Are Messing with Your Kid.” Common Sense Media: Ratings, Reviews, and Advice, Common Sense Media, 19 June 2017