How the Family Influences Gender Gender is socially constructed – whether you are masculine or feminine. Whereas sex is biologically constructed- whether you are male or female. We’re going to investigate how family influences the gender on their children.
Primary socialisation • When a new born child enters the world, it’s first interaction with the world is Primary Socialisation. • Family is the main socialising agent for Primary Socialisation.
Mother and Father • If we were to look at this from a sociologist’s point of view, we need to study a nuclear family which contains a father, mother, one son and one daughter. • Both parents have a mutual influence on their children but the mother would have more influence on the daughter and verse versa for the father and the son, due to them being of the same sex, they relate better to each other.
Items given by the family • The type of gifts given to the children is very important to distinguish gender. The classic example of toys given to influence gender are Action Man and Barbie. Action man symbolises a big, strong muscular man and encourages boys to act manly, whereas the Barbie symbolises a delicate, sweet girl which encourages girls to act girly.
Colour • Certain colours have a major influence in determining gender of boys and girls at a young age. For example the colour of a room or the colour of clothes. These colours are blue and pink, which are chosen by the family specifically for babies. So the colour one wears is very important according to the family. But nowadays a lot of boys are wearing pink, so the stereotypical view of the colour pink is being broken.
Stereotypical views • During 1950’s and 60’s, women were viewed to only be a house wife and not have a working career. Whereas it was quite the opposite for men. So this traditional value was passed on to generation to generation by the mother teaching the house wife values to the daughter. But now with huge civil movements for women’s rights, that view of women has been broken and now that girls are not taught just to be a house wife by their mother but to have a working career.
Evaluation • Family has a huge influence on a child’s gender and behaviour but it is not a fixed influence because once a child, matures later on and progresses in society and in life, secondary socialisation help to determine an individual within society.