Research in Action

Gender Roles
Diana Clark
PSY 101
April 2, 2012
Lisa Tobler

Gender Roles
The toy store I recently visited was Toys R Us, and it was interesting on how the stereotypical gender roles were right in front of my eyes because children only learn from what they are taught as infants. Toy stores are dividing, games, movies, and toys into two categories, boys, and girls. Through the dividing of toys by gender, boys learn “warrior-like” behavior, and the girls are taught to nurture. The toys that represent popularity in the toy store were “Spiderman” action figures, “The Care Bears,” “Legos,” and the “View master.” Girl’s toys stress physical beauty and appearance but boy’s toys focus on respect for boys physical abilities” (Campenni, 122). Toys are teaching and reinforcing differences socially through gender roles.
Understanding what type of influence toys portray on our youngsters start with gender socialization. “Gender refers to the socio-cultural dimensions of being female or male” (Maccoby, 6). According to Soroka, “Human beings are not born with any pre-existing knowledge of, or orientation to, their world. What we come to feel about life and about ourselves, we learn through socialization, the social mechanisms through which gender development occurs.” In the hospital, when babies are born gender socialization is an encounter for the first time when the nurse places a “blue” or “pink” cap on his or her head. According to Bryjal, “By the time children are 3 to 4 years old, they have already formed an image of themselves as boy or girl” (Bryjal, 214). Bryjal and Soroka also claim, “Preparation for a future adult role often entails learning about activities that are appropriate for members of one’s sex. Learning to be an adult, thus, translates into learning to be a proper adult man or adult women” (Soroka, 215). Society sets the mold of a “proper” adult, through stereotypical, and gender views.
I found that “Sesame Street,” and “Fisher Price,” manufacture...