Post 7, gender stereotypes in Family A

In class we discussed how gender stereotypes are mainly caused by how we raise our children.  This was also prevalent in the readings.  I completely agreed with this in class, but it wasn’t until I went to my dad’s sister’s house on Thanksgiving that I realized how close to home this really was.  I realized how stereotypically “male” my boy cousins were and how “feminine” my female cousin was.  I will mirror them in  family A to show you how these stereotypes may have come about.

Father A was raised on a farm and learned early from his father that men did the hard labor.  Women gathered eggs, cooked in the kitchen and cleaned the house.  Father A grew up to be a cowboy who had to be tough.  CowBOYS never cry. When he finally settled down, got married and decided to have children of his own, these traditional male/female stereotypes were already set in stone in his head.

Mom A was raised in a house with one sister and two brothers.  The brothers mowed the lawn, ate all the excess food, fished with their father.  The sisters helped their mom sew, clean, cook, and so on.

The children from Family A were raised to follow these same stereotypes: Brothers helping and idolizing their father, and Sister helping and idolizing her mother.  The same pattern was repeated here.  The boys were discouraged from showing emotions, encouraged to fight with one another, and encouraged to watch NASCAR and football.  The girl was taught to play with dolls, cries when she is upset, readily talks about her emotions, and when asked thinks that these are the things a girl should do.  She also thinks that if a boy were to show these traits there would be something wrong with him.

Andrea Hoffman

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~ by happysprinkles on November 29, 2009.

One Response to “Post 7, gender stereotypes in Family A”

  1. Very interesting – it will be very eyeopening to watch your cousins develop through adolescence!

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