In this chapter we learn about Gender identity â€“ which is a personâ€™s deeply held internal perception of his or her gender.
Gender Socialization– Children learn at a young age that there are distinct expectations for boys and girls. Cross-cultural studies reveal that children are aware of gender roles by age two or three. At four or five, most children are firmly entrenched in culturally appropriate gender roles (Kane 1996).
Children acquire these roles through socialization, a process in which people learn to behave in a particular way as dictated by societal values, beliefs, and attitudes. For example, society often views riding a motorcycle as a masculine activity and, therefore, considers it to be part of the male gender role. Attitudes such as this are typically based on stereotypes, oversimplified notions about members of a group.
Gender socialization occurs throughfour major agents of socialization: family, education, peer groups, and mass media.
Pick one of these four major agents of gender socialization described in your book and explain how this agent of socialization has an impact on gender development and identity.