Parental Influence On Gender Role Development

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In a society rife with gender stereotypes and biases, children regularly learn to adopt gender roles which are not always fair to both sexes. As children move through childhood and into adolescence, they are exposed to many factors which influence their attitudes and behaviours regarding gender roles. These attitudes and behaviours are generally learned first in the home and are then reinforced by the child‘s peers, school experience, and television viewing. However, the strongest influence on gender role development seems to occur within the family setting, with parents passing on, both overtly and covertly, their own beliefs about gender. This overview of the impact of parental influence on gender role development leads to the suggestion…show more content…
The information that surrounds the child and which is internalized comes to the child within the family arena through parent- child interactions, role modelling, reinforcement for desired behaviours, and parental approval or disapproval (Santrock, 1994). As children move into the larger world of friends and school, many of their ideas and beliefs are reinforced by those around them. A further reinforcement of acceptable and appropriate behaviour is shown to children through the media, in particular, television. Through all these socialization agents, children learn gender stereotyped behaviour. As children develop, these stereotypes become firmly entrenched beliefs and thus, are a part of the child's self-concept. Figure 1 illustrates some of the factors involved in parental influence on a child's self…show more content…
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