“Okay Mrs. Leeper, Just One More Push…Give It All You’ve

5145 words - 21 pages

"Okay Mrs. Leeper, just one more push…Give it all you've got now…Alright, here it comes…It's a… It's a girl!! Oh, she's a beautiful baby girl!" Let's stop and think about what just happened. A brand new baby has just been brought into this world and already she has been labeled. That's right; she's been labeled as a 'girl'. If you are female, you're probably wondering, "What's so bad about being a girl?" Well, it's not that being female (or male) is bad. It's just that as a society, we tend to view boys and girls as having different expectations or gender labels. By this I mean that we give boys and girls different stereotypes and guidelines that they 'should' follow or fulfill according to which sex they are. For example, a very common stereotype is that males are thought to be the physically stronger sex, whereas women are considered to be weaker and more delicate. Did you know that gender stereotyping begins right from the moment a child is born? We either categorize babies as being 'pretty' if they are female or as handsome if they are male. Gender stereotyping is so common amongst us that we don't even realize that we are doing it. Even the clothes that babies are dressed in tend to send out stereotypical messages. Often the first impression is that the child wearing blue must be a little boy, while the child in pink would obviously be a little girl. I feel that by stereotyping males and females society is decreasing our opportunities to let us be who or what we would truly like to be. Obviously there are people that don't care what others think of them, but there are others, especially young people, who want nothing more than to fit into what society considers 'normal'. It is often said "Don't judge a book by its cover", and the same should go for people. It would be unfair to judge a human being by gender. Doing so places unfair limitations, unrealistic images and unnecessary pressure on people to fit into what society considers 'normal.' In this paper I will discuss how media and children's toys are used to reinforce gender stereotyping in North America today. The methods used in the fieldwork of this report are through researching various books and Internet sites. I constructed a survey consisting of one hundred high school students in the Catholic school. Surveys where handed out to ten females and ten males in each of the five grades. The survey outlined eleven questions pertaining to gender roles and what influence this subject has had on their lives. A few limitations I have come across while doing my research is the lack of knowledge I have on analyzing and interpreting facts. There is also a time limit in which this report must be completed. When reviewing my surveys it was brought to my attention that some surveys where not completed to the level of seriousness that I had expected. However, from the information that I have gathered I will attempt to prove that media, toys,...

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