Gender Perceptions in Parental Care:


Ever wonder why some kids love sports while other children love Barbie dolls?   There are many boys who play with kitchen play sets but still love soccer and football.   Conversely, there are many girls who love to play with Barbie dolls and still love to play soccer and other sports.   What accounts for the blurring of those gender lines for some families but not others?   Is there a link between how a child is parented from infancy that determines how the child responds to engendered situations?
What makes a boy behave like a boy and grow into a man?   Is a boy born that way or are there environmental influences on a young child that shapes a boy into the image of what he thinks is a man?   If a boy is mainly influenced by a woman does he become effeminate?   How can certain careers be justified as manly careers that are mostly male dominated (such as chefs) when cooking is considered a woman’s place in the home?  
The Mother Goose nursery rhyme What Are Little Girls Made of indicates girls are made of “Sugar and spice and everything nice, that’s what little girls are made of.”   Girls that play with dolls but also play cops and robbers as young children that then grow up to be police officers are breaking social and gender stereotypes.   Typically, the men are supposed to be in the role of the protector.
As little as fifty years ago, these traditional lines were rarely, if ever challenged.   Today, women and men alike are crossing lines that were practically etched in stone a few generations ago.   My grandmother’s generation would not have even considered being the breadwinner of the family unless circumstances dictated no other solution.   Just as etched in stone was the perception that the man could not be the primary caretaker and raise the children.   Today, there are a growing number of men who have broken those stereotypes and are being the...