Genderic Stereotypes

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Observational Study: Clothes and Genderic Stereotypes
Introduction
“Pink is for girls; blue is for boys.” This sentence is not just a proverb. It is a cultural phenomenon that has been creating genderic stereotypes since the 1940’s (Maglaty, 2011). Clothing options that are available for children not only affect their style, but also the way they express their identity. My research question stems from my interest in the effect of culture and, by extension, clothing options, in the expression of identities especially among children. In this research study, I explore the cues that children’s clothing convey about the perceived identity and expected personality of boys and girls. To answer my research question, I decided to observe children’s
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The colors of the clothing were divided into two parts: (1) cold colors and (2) dark colors. The cold colors consisted of blue, grey, green, and white, while the darker colors consisted of mainly black, brown, and dark blue. These colors convey the message that unlike girls (in red and pink) who should be passionate and loving, boys (in blue and black) are not supposed to be in touch with their emotions; instead, they are supposed to be impersonal and neutral. The shapes accompanying the clothes were either sport-related a football, a baseball, or the logos of local sport teams (the Red Sox, the Celtics, and the Patriots). Other shapes included motor vehicles like cars, bikes, and trucks. All these options could be seen as a cue for how boys are expected to be: athletic, strong, and…show more content…
Moreover, a new theme emerged while observing the newborn boys’ section as multiple flirtatious phrases were seen in all three stores; phrases like “the man of your dreams,” “ladies’ man,” and “heartbreaker.” All these phrases
Conclusion
The clothing options I observed at Carter’s, Gymboree, and T. J. MAXX were all clearly reinforcing the same old gender norms in which girls are expected to be happy, cheerful, polite, and calm, while boys are expected to be assertive, loud, and wild. It is important to acknowledge the role that these clothing options play in instilling these gender norms into children in our society. Knowing this, people might pressure clothing companies to create more gender-neutral clothing or options that are more appropriate for this new, knowledgeable generation.
One of the limitation of this study is the fact that all three stores were observed in the same location/city. However, by observing different types of stores (children-specific and department stores), the study still presents insightful data into the general themes of children

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