Socialization of Women Research Papers
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The socialization of women varies from one culture to the next. In America, socialization of women occurs from the earliest days of childhood, and is impacted by the media, family relationships, and the toys a child is given to play with. Stereotypes abound regarding what a girl should and should not be; they are encouraged to play with dolls and kitchen appliances while their brothers play sports and with toy guns. The caring, nurturing role of women is reinforced through these toys, further channeling them into a prescribed role later in their adult lives. From a very early age, girls are socialized into the mold that society has created for them, and it is usually frilly and pink in color.
This type of socialization occurs throughout a woman’s life, though it is more frequently reinforced by the media in adolescence and adulthood. Girls and women are bombarded with images that reflect how they “should” look; many take these unachievable images so seriously that they resort to eating disorders or risky cosmetic surgeries. Women are socialized to look a certain way:
- Women should be thin
- Long legs
- Perfect hair
- Flawless skin, usually white in color.
Women are socialized to act a certain way:
- Seen and not heard
- Concerned with others first
- Oblivious to the greater problems this world has to offer.
While dramatic steps have been taken to change this type of socialization in recent years, the trend still continues. While it is true that young girls are encouraged to play sports and taught that they can do anything they put their minds to, they are expected to be pretty while doing so. While it is true that women excel in nearly every profession and display dramatic levels of intelligences, there is still a glass ceiling that they are expected to never want to break through, let alone actually do so. In our culture, the socialization of women has followed much the same path for generations, and we are only seeing minor deviations today.