The Responsibilities of Parents in Enforcing Gender Roles in Children

Gender roles are the characteristics that are given to a certain sex. For example, girls play with dolls and boys play with fire trucks would be a gender role because it implies that a certain gender likes and does certain things. When a child is younger they are taught these stereotypes however “descriptions referring to appearances or possessions become less common as children grow older” this refers to Selman’s theory which states that “children’s reasoning moves through each stage in a sequence as they grow older”. This may be because the child is starting to see the world through their own eyes and not following what they’re parents say. Gender stereotypes are taught by the parents of the child however recent times have shown that more and more parents are raising their children without them. For example, I recently saw a story online in which a young boy wanted to wear a pair of pink ballet shoes to school, instead of his parents telling him that he can’t because he’s a boy, he was allowed to wear them because it was what made him happy. Another example of this is how some parents are raising their child without a gender.

They believe that if they simply give their child toys that are accepted as both boy and girl accessories that their child will choose for themselves what they believe they are. While this may reduce the effects of gender stereotyping and lead to a more accepting community, in extreme cases like the one just mention the child could become confused and his parents may lead him into getting teased and bullied for something that he has grown up with. The so-called concept of gender has been very controversial over the last few years with people believing that there are more than two of them. I believe that these statements are doing more harm than good by going to an extreme and forcing people to not take you seriously. By statements that say there are “72 Genders” which was actually a statement made by a young popular YouTube star, you are bending the lines of what is acceptable, being transgender or cisgender and making certain people feel like they have to label themselves in order for them to feel like they belong. Overall it is the parents job to create a safe space for their child, I am not saying that they have to enforce gender roles but when they are a child they should know who they are and then be able to make a decision if that is what they want or not.

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