Sociology – Gender Identity
‘‘The family is the agency that has the most influence on the children’s gender identity ’’. Evaluate the arguments for and against this claim.
Children spend a lot of time in their homes. They come home from school and spend time with their brothers, sisters, mum and dad. Parents play a big part in influencing a child’s gender identity both mother and father.
The family has big influence on children at certain ages, adolescence is the main time. At this age children are insecure and look for role models for examples their elder brother, sister or mother and father. Feeling insecure influences young children to go on a journey to become more independent from their families and so therefore they look for norms and values in these situations. From this children will then pick up subtle hints which have a great impact either positive or negative.
Families may teach gender roles through many ways two possible ways could be canalisation and manipulation. They may do this by giving their children gender appropriate toys (canalisation) such as a toy doll for a girl and toy cars for a boy. Canalisation influences a child because they will enjoy playing with their gender appropriate toys by giving a subtle message.
Families may also manipulate their children this can happen unintentionally but either the mother or father might assign a certain role to the children such as making their daughter wash the dishes and their son help with the D.I.Y. This give tiny prompts to be gender appropriate. Also if the mother or father criticizes someone for example a boy doing ballet their son will feel discouraged to do such things.
Most people look for role models; young children are more vulnerable to this. They will feel the need to look for someone to guide them .Because of this parents will encourage their children to do gender appropriate jobs (manipulation) for example the daughter to work with her mother in the kitchen and son to help his...