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Gender Socialization In American Educational Institutions

1212 words - 5 pages

Gender socialization in American educational institutions is what creates the gender norms that so many children grow up believing. As more women take on full-time jobs to support their families or bridge the gaps between their husband’s income and their standard of living, children are placed in daycares and enrolled in after-school activities with educational curriculums. Children grow up spending more time collectively with their teachers and those in positions of educational authority than with their own parents.
In the current educational systems, there is no regard for the internal feelings of a male or female on which gender they feel they should be or the personality that they ...view middle of the document...

The examples that are set for them by teachers and other authoritative figures are what they will cling to later in life. As children leave the home and graduate from school to live on their own, only is it them that they explore non-gender based roles and behaviors.
While there may be many negatives that the educational system enforces regarding gender roles, the one positive is that early education systems are open to both genders. In this modern day, both boys and girls are allowed to receive the same educations. Title IX or the Education Amendment Act, passed in 1972 prohibits sex discrimination in federally-funded institutions of education. The underlying gender biases are still present, but the opportunity is now there for women to play the same sports and learn the same subjects as boys.
Gender bias exists as the assumption and/or belief that people have based on differences that are not physical between males and females. Educators tend to coddle female students, especially during the pre-pubescent and pubescent years. Special treatment is given because of their ‘sensitive’ nature and need for special treatment because of their femininity more than any other characteristic.
The earliest forms of communication label the genders and produce feelings of a difference between the sexes. The title of mankind is given to humans and ‘guys’ is a typical word that is given to a group of people regardless of sex. Women take the married names of their husband. A teacher that was Miss White before the summer break comes back as Mrs. Black once she is married. A male teacher, however, retains his name regardless of his marital status. Women are given rings when they are engaged to show they are taken, yet a man does not wear a ring until the actual ceremony. As children get older they begin to see the segregation of gender roles in society.
As girls get older, their feelings are less likely to be understood by boys. Boys see what they want and fight for it. Girls tend to let the boys make their choices and take what is left or what they are allowed to have. Boys tend to speak up more than girls in the classroom and therefore get more attention, whether it is positive or negative. Girls learn that when they speak up they are criticized if they are off-base or when they take control they are bossy. Boys and men get terms such as assertive and powerful while girls and women are nags and overpowering.
When boys do not conform to the typical male attributes, terms like “Sally”, “lady” or “fairy”, all feminine terms, are used to describe them. Girls are not called any names that are...

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