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Gender Role Stereotypes & Early Socialization

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Presentation on theme: "Gender Role Stereotypes & Early Socialization"— Presentation transcript:

1 Gender Role Stereotypes & Early Socialization
Chapter by Susan Greendorfer in Women In Sport, Greta Cohen, Ed. Notes from the Textbook

2 Title IX Most important single event in U.S. for women’s sport & social change More diverse educational and occupational opportunities Feminine images today not much different than those from past century Gender roles remain and control women’s participation in sport

3 Socialization and Gender Roles
Socialization: a social influence process mediated by individuals Depends upon conformity to an extraordinary degree Gender roles epitomize this social learning Differential treatment of boys and girls: needed to preserve society?

4 Socialization Into Gender Roles and Sport
Specific social learning mechanisms Differential treatment Stereotyping and Labeling These three mechanisms perpetuate the dominant ideological beliefs and social practices of a society Biological sex controls the activities and opportunities we experience

5 Socialization Practices Taken For Granted
We call the outcomes “normal” (“male behavior and interests differ from female behavior and interests.) Absent critical examination, we assume that superficial changes in behavior signal changes in society. Close examination reveals continued practices of gender discrimination

6 Child Rearing & Play Behavior
Parental influence paramount in early childhood socialization Children exposed to activities consonant with their gender Reward and punishment used to strengthen so-called sex appropriate interests and behavior No research evidence to show change

7 Times Have Changed? Research evidence says, no.
Stereotypic notions of masculinity and femininity continue to influence toy selection, play, physical activity, and sport behavior.

8 Ideology, Gender role Stereotyping & Play
Process for values inculcation are virtually invisible Outcomes are clear Most boys become involved in sport and most girls do not This outcome is not due to biological differences, but rather subtle social learning

9 Gender Ideology Learned from Birth
Pink and blue Toy selection We’ve been persuaded that differential treatment is not discrimination, so we don’t challenge the system. Why should a father show a son how to hold, throw, or catch a ball but not teach similar skills to his daughter?

10 Toys Influence Play Style
Boys are given trucks, guns, tractors, and manipulative toys and therefore develop a preference for these toys By the time children reach elementary school age they have determined for themselves that active sports are masculine and not feminine.

11 Gender Hierarchy Develops
A system that ranks meanings about power, worth, and value Children learn to perceive that masculine sports and games have a higher prestige value. What boys and girls learn from becoming physically active?

12 Sex Differences in Children’s Games
Boys more rigidly sex-typed than girls (Some girls play boys’ games) Theoretical Concepts may influence these outcomes: Hegemony – a lived system of meanings and values which when experienced as practices become reciprocally confirming and accepted as natural

13 Patriarchy & Ideology Patriarchy – the ideological belief in male superiority and privilege Ideology - the belief system that conveys meanings an ideas about social live and about how things should be

14 Assumptions Made Re: What children Learn From Play
Boys play is outdoors complex, large groups, and so boys learn: goal setting, interdependent roles; advanced techniques of performance; how to adjust rules of the game, settle disputes, and abide by compromise Girls – indoors, small group, repetitive, taking turns, less challenging

15 Socialization into Sport vs. Sport Socialization
Assumption by researchers that certain outcomes follow sport participation: pro-social behavior, cognitive, social and personal growth,cooperation, positive interpersonal relations, moral development, and good citizenship. Don’t know if/how/ why of life lessons

16 Questions We Ought To Ask
Do socialization outcomes actually occur? What outcomes actually occur? When, and under what circumstances? How are socialization outcomes related to the manner, nature, and type of influences that occurred during sport involvement?

17 Tentative Findings Family and peers clearly more influential than the school in childhood At adolescence family becomes less influential and same sex peers more influential More school opportunities for girls may provide a more conducive environment for girls competitive sport experience

18 Questions to Study Are parents aware of how their daily activities and practices undermine the principle of equal treatment? Have trends in parental behavior changed substantially or not? How do daughters who become involved in sport view their parents’ sport behavior?

19 Sex Differences in Sport Socialization
In the early years, more similar than differentiated Active parents have active children, with boys being more active Parents who enjoy physical activity encourage their children By Grade 1, children “know” their sport ability, enjoyment, and usefulness

20 Differences Continued
By Grade 1, children monitor parents’ cues for importance of doing well Children’s perceptions of competence related to parents perceptions Lower parental pressure r.elated to higher enjoyment

21 Differences, Continued
Parents encourage sons more than daughters & that affects child’s competence perception Adolescents spend little time in sports even though sport is one of the most positive activities they experience Adolescent activities continue to be highly gender stereotyped

22 Older women & Sport Socialization
Beliefs about potential risks of vigorous exercise may limit participation Research findings indicate that women are more durable than men from a physiological standpoint. One of the certain benefits of physical activity is health improvement

23 Old Age and The Aging Process
Women seem to internalize false notions Society reinforces those notions So, even in older years, women are subject to gender role stereotypes.

24 Conclusions The issue of female sport socialization has greater social and political implications than mere research findings of studies in micro-sociology or psychology. Female participation in sport is related to the core ideas society holds about gender, equality, hierarchy, and physicality.

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