Pollitt Gender Roles

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Gender Roles- Are They Inborn? The essay “Why Boys Don’t Play with Dolls”, by Katha Pollitt, argues how boys take the role of being strong and masculine, while girls embody politeness and ladylikeness. Pollitt asserts that males and females’ mentality and actions are a result of social conditioning. She takes dismissive attitude towards any kind of study or theory which proves that there are innate differences between boys and girls, and also claims that these studies are an excuse which parents can use to justify their attitudes with their children. Pollitt has a point when she says that the different personalities opposite sexes have are based on cultural influences, but I think that innate biological mechanisms…show more content…
A child's earliest exposure to what it means to be male or female comes from parents. From the time children are babies, parents treat their sons and daughters differently. Parents’ dress their children gender specific colors, give them gender differentiated toys, and expect different behaviors from boys and girls. Parents inspire their children to participate in sex-typed activities. Such activities include doll playing and engaging in housekeeping activities for girls, and playing with trucks and engaging in sports activities for boys. Pollitt states that kids want certain toys or ideas which come from watching commercials all day specifically offered to a specific gender. For example, if a child is watching a cartoon with fighting in it, most probably the character will be a male. This commercial reinforces the fact that violent figures are for boys, and becoming a strong man is a dream for young boys. We can sum up now by saying that even if we try to make a stereotype free environment for young boys and girls, the fact is that it is hard not to encourage a certain stereotype, whether it is because of televisions or ourselves. As Pollitt states, “We don’t have a choice, really, about whether we should give our children messages about what it means to be male and female, they are bombarded with them from morning till
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