School a place where children go to learn, develop, mold, and grown into who they will become later on in life. A place that is both safe and scary for most children throughout their adolescents. As teacher and faculty try to steer their students towards bright futures and better choices, children just try to fit in. However, for some students the blissfulness of blending in will never come. They are faced with an internal struggle over their emotions and relatability, or lack thereof, to those of the same gender. These students have what is being called GID, gender identity disorder also known as gender nonconformance, gender confusion, gender fluid, gender versatile, or transgender. Sexual stereotyping begins at a very young age. Media and society begins pushing children into gender appropriate activities and roles despite any feelings of discomfort the child may have. The increasing number of children faced with gender associated issues that we see in the media, and the inadequacies of the public school system to help these students feel safe and cope with day to day life in such a public setting is alarming.
Humans are naturally social beings and we look for external sources that tell us how we should act in order to be accepted in society. These influences can come from ones community, church, parents, and school. Now, in this technology driven time, the media is playing more and more of an important role in a child perception of the outside world.
Children are spending an ever increasing amount of time in front of the television each day. The image it is presenting to its impressionable audience provides the foundation for what is and is not acceptable in today’s society. It also provides them a distorted snapshot of what a ‘normal’ life should entail as it outlines what is socially expected of them as a man or women (Beasley).
While some progress has been made over the years to accommodate the changing times; multiculturalism (various ethnicities seen on TV and magazines), bi-racial family representations (Cheerios bi-racial family), and body image appreciation (Plus size models shown on TV and magazines). The truth is those changes came after, or followed by, a huge outcry from society and large lawsuits. Most movies, TV shows, and advertisements refuse to change completely from the stereotyped roles for males and females. Men are still put into a domineering and superior role while women are passive and submissive. Men are seen in more commercials for rugged outdoor activities while women are in commercials for soap and laundry detergent. Even children’s commercials are not exempt from sexual stereotyping. Boys tend to be active and combat related; nurf guns, remote controlled vehicles, spy gear. While girl’s commercials are domestic in nature; easy bake oven, beauty products, baby dolls, and kitchen or grocery supplies (Beasley).
However, all toy companies are not created equal. In December 2012 the Hasbro...