Examining Gender Socialization Through Toys Essay

1653 words - 7 pages

Gender Socialization plays a big part in a child’s life in shaping their femininty and masculinity. Every child is brought with to have played with at least one toy to have called their own. Now, the purpose of the research that has been conducted is to take a further look into how toys that is sold through stores and played by children. This will then give hindsight as to how what is considered the gender norm has a part in gender role stereotyping and the affect these toys have on children view of gender characteristics.
The store that the research was conducted at was the Wal-Mart Supercenter located on 151 SW 184th Ave, Pembroke Pines, FL. Date visited was on Thursday, March 19, 2014. ...view middle of the document...

When children (boy in particular) are engaged and playing with these toys they are experiencing emotions of happiness, excitation, anger, shocked and fear. The attitudes that are associated with the toys are loving, sharing, malicious, hostility, cheerful, aggressiveness, intrigued, haughty, confident, earnest, superiority and quizitive. Behaviors that are learned while playing with these toys are consists of fighting, hitting, shooting, cooking, assault, attentive, creativity, openness, destruction, shoving and caring.
As far as the girls and the types of toys that were found on their aisles were mostly a combination of the following: eighty-two Baby Dolls, 278 “Barbie” Type Dolls, six-teen Weapons, twenty Cooking Accessories, 141 Clothing Accessories, 112 Royalty, twenty-one White Collar Work, 131 Building Blocks/ Legos, thirty-four Animals portrayed as “comforting, pretty, or loving.” There were a few Military toys standing at one, six Remote Control Vehicles or Racing Vehicles, seven Makeup, nine Superhero Dolls/ Muscular Action Figures, seven Blue Collar Work, two Cash Registers, and eight Hair Accessories.
When children (girls in particular) are engaged and playing with these toys they are experiencing emotions of happiness, excitation, enjoyment, anger, seriousness and shock. The attitudes that are associated with the toys are love, sharing, friendly, hostility, cheerful, confident, assuring, optimistic, playful, earnest, motherly, and violent and quizitive. Behaviors that are learned while playing with these toys are consists of fighting, hitting, shooting, motherly, thoughtful, self-absorbed, cooking, cleaning, baking, family-oriented, polite, sincere, excitable, bossy, funny, charming, pleasant, experimenting, care, assault, attentive, creativity, openness, destruction, shoving, using manners and imitating.
From the data results that were pulled from the research, there is a great barrier between what is taught to be the gender norms for boys and girls. Boys are expected to walk more dramatically, be louder, dirtier, and find the jobs that will give them more money such as construction worker, policemen, and firefighters. Girls are expected to be clean, cross their legs, and be passive. They must then learn to take care of babies, carework, shop, dress up, and become no more than perhaps a nurse. The toys immediately set the genders apart to what they must become socially.
These traits are later put into together and lead to sexism among the two. the behaviors that reflects upon the child is with the trucks, fast cars, Legos, and action figures it shows that boys are meant to play louder, rougher, and dirtier. They bring their trucks to the sand box and throw dirt around. Towers are created with the Legos as high as they can be made and then knocked over. With the kitchen sets, clothing, dolls, Barbies, and nurse sets it sets the girls to be proper and clean. Which then goes on to the children growing up knowing that in...

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