Literature Review on Gender Construction in Early Years

Document Type:Research Paper

Subject Area:Education

Document 1

In this regard, it is an essential part of an individual’s identity within society. One's birth first evidences the manifestation of gender in human life and it continuously influences people’s lives in their daily ventures; be it culturally, socially, politically, or economically. In fact, Udry (2000) explains how, through the biological interactional models, the control and motivation of social behaviors find their legitimacy in culture and religion. In previous decades parents are said to have held beliefs that behavioral differences across sex are biological. Simply put, gender is the masculinity or femininity of a person. Comprehension of gender categories is what motivates behaviors of their socialization (Martin & Ruble, 2013). Therefore, questions relating to gender identity start emerging at in the mind of a child at a very tender age.

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As early as three to four months, children start distinguishing between male and female faces. Moreover, at the age of six months, they can distinguish voices and faces based on sex, acclimate to sex, and make an association between a face and a voice (Martine & Ruble, 2013). Analogous to the finding, gender stereotyping in human life is not just learned but is also acquired in infancy. As a society, we weave notions of gender based on the language we select and the opinions that are expressed on topics that are deemed either inherently masculine or feminine. Additionally, language and psychology play a pivotal role in issue touching on gender (Perry, 1992). A language that stereotypically fit women to carer roles like teaching, nursing and caring for the family even proposal gender discrimination further.

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On the contrary, the control of families, of societies financial muscles is a duty reserved for men based on the belief that they are the only ones who possess the ability to manage and make a proper decision on the use of family resources. Gender mainstreaming is even evident in social interactions. Gender-based norms determine how a girls choice of activities at school. National Science Foundation (2017)’s finding indicate the girl's age 6 believed that boys of the same class were “really, really smart” which meant that they are brilliant. However, girls and boys of 5 years associated brilliance with their gender. These findings also showed that was a disparity in the underrepresentation in fields like science which are said to have brilliant people.

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The differences between genders are further amplified by how men and women are socialized. It is not true that women are less brilliant as compare to me. However, the fear of stigmatization forces many women to give up their ambitions. Patriarchy establishment has made it difficult for women to venture into some field of academic learning (Department of Education, Employment and Workforce Relations, 2009). Scientific research and engineering course have for long been dominated by men. As a result of no pursing lucrative professions, most women end up getting auxiliary jobs like administrative assistant, messenger, and nursing (Bian, Leslie, & Cimpian, 2014). The fact that factors like ethnicity, place of residence and race come into play when addressing the issue of color preference implies that a child’s social structure or environment determines their inclination towards certain gender-related habits.

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Conway, Evans, Evans, and Suttle (2016) found that stereotypical gender-based color preferences do not correlate with color choices but relate to precision tinted lens assessment. Cunningham and Macrae (2011) in their experimental study show that stereotypical evaluation of people is a social problem which requires the use of social interventions. In the six experiments that they conducted, they found that: consumer choice of children good is dominated by stereotyped gender colors; and color based stereotypes guide children towards specific behaviors. These findings indicate that by associating certain colors with a certain gender, children start behaving in a manner that they think conforms to the group of people who frequently use that color. On the other handle, boys who play with car toys establish their role as powerhouses.

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