Throughout society children are generalized into gender stereotypes, they learn to adopt gender roles, which are not always fair to both sexes. As a child grows up into who they are, they are exposed to different factors that influence their beliefs, attitudes and behaviors regarding gender roles. As a child you spend most of your time with your family so you adopt these attitudes and behaviors from them as you grow up. They are the main reason you become who and how you are regarding gender characteristics. As you mature, your peers and school experiences amongst other things help to further molding your gender role. When I was a young boy I learned what it was to be a boy or a girl in our society. Boys and girls are expected to like different specific things, do different things, and most of the time are against things that would put them on that little line of whether or not it is too feminine or masculine for them.
When I was born, within 24 hours my parents knew that they would raise me to be a man. This was shown in the way they had set up my room. The colors of the room were blue and red, a color that generally is regarded with males rather than females. The decorations of the room were sports and cars. The way my room was set up showed how I was socialized into my gender role. This was technically not fair because they engulfed me in this and didn’t give me a chance to formulate otherwise. This was to be my room with the things they expected me as a male to want and like. If they wanted me to become more feminine they could have surrounded me with colors that are generally “girly” such as pinks and light pastels. My decorations could have been floral without any cars or sport paraphernalia. When I have my children I will decorate the room a neutral color so the child has a freer chance to become open minded to what he/she likes once he/she grows older and understands more
The activities I did when I was younger were also a way into which I was socialized into my gender role. My parents bought me a baseball glove, which is typically a male sport. I always was encouraged to play catch with my father and take some batting practices. If I threw the ball underhand, I would hear the stereotypical comment, “don’t throw like a girl.” Being a female usually meant you would throw underhand or have less power than a male and throw it with weak velocity. This is generally not true also. If I had females come over to play with and they brought their barbies I was not encouraged to play with them. My parents bought me action figures such as GI JOE, a manlier figure than the famous plastic Barbie and Ken dolls.
Besides my parents socializing me into my gender role, society and television did just the same as well. Commercials were a big part of socialization or gender roles. Have you ever seen a female on a car commercial pumping gas or changing the oil? Once I became a teen and understood the difference of a female and male I tended to notice a lot more things that were socialized into the gender roles. A TV show usually consist of the females cooking the food while the men were out at work. This shows that cooking is seen as more of a female activity, which isn’t always true.
I conformed to the gender roles that I was exposed to because I fell in love with sports and became very athletic. Females can be very athletic also, but if one female tends to excel then she is usually called a “tom boy.” I tended to always be manlier and ride my bikes fast, do tricks on scooters, and not be scared to fall and get hurt. If I resisted the gender role my parents exposed me to, I could have possibly been more cautious and rather than enjoying riding fast or building ramps to jump off of, could have feared getting injured like most expect from a female. I integrated the gender rules and roles that I was taught as a child into my adult self by always going to the gym and lifting heavy weights. I always wanted to get bigger and bigger and was never fully satisfied with being small, or skinny like a female typically strive for. I am always physically active. I still decorate my room with sports pictures and masculine colors. You will never see my room purple even though my favorite color is purple. There are limits to what I can do with my favorite color since it is considered a female color. I will definitely wear purple clothing, but I would not paint my wall purple. You will never find me writing in a diary since that is considered to be a female gender characteristic. I would keep a book of writing and call it a journal, but definitely not a diary.
As you can see, we are shaped to our gender roles by our surroundings, and by our upbringing. Society today strongly shows what is expected of a male and female. Socialization of gender roles are not always fair for everyone. We should all have our free will of choice to be what we want to be and not worry of society making fun of us for our decisions.