Gender stereotypes exist in kids as young as six.

What are gender stereotypes?

gender stereotypes | over 50s newsGender stereotypes are emerging in early childhood and influencing their interests, this is, of course, a heartbreaking discovery. Girls as young as six believe that brilliance is a male trait, not a women’s. Researchers say that taking on stereotypes at a young age could reduce the chances of women pursuing distinguished careers. Not only do we see that girls just starting out in school are absorbing some of society’s stereotypes, but these young girls are also choosing activities based on these stereotypes. Reports from the latest study said that further research needs to be carried out. Nevertheless, the present results suggest a sobering conclusion: many children assimilate the idea that brilliance is a male quality at a young age, this is extremely worrying as these stereotypes will leave a huge influence on these young children and will carry them through life.

Well a gender stereotype is pretty simple to explain, they are over generalisations about the characteristics of male and female. We all notice stereotypes to be be a main issue in our society today and stereotypes based on gender is a very popular one. As they can not only be negative but these half truths can also be positive. Although it might not seem so. Four prime examples of gender stereotypes that we see all around us on a daily basis:

Personality Traits: Men and even some woman say that women are supposed to be passive, shy and submissive. They all have to be clean and well organised. On the other hand we expect men to be aggressive, dominant, tough and have excellent self confidence. They are also meant to be lazy and messy.

Domestic Behaviours: A typical stereotype is that women are housewives, they are supposed to stay home to cook and clean. All because woman are apparently better stay home mothers than working mothers because women are better at raising children. To compare: Men are supposedly better at household repairs. They cannot cook, or care for their children and this sound absurd. Especially the part where men apparently always tell their wives what to do, Which is a very controlling statement.

Occupations: Jobs have always been a tricky subject when it comes to gender. As women are “housewives” they are supposed to have a cleaning job or a “clean” job such as teachers, nurses, secretaries and librarians. There is an endless list of jobs women “shouldn’t” or “can’t” do and to add to that women are supposed to make less money than men. In a mans case: If woman have “clean” jobs Men should have “dirty jobs” like mechanics, construction workers, plumbers and engineering. Men are supposed to be the boss and should make more money than women.

Physical Appearance: How we look shouldn’t matter right? Wrong! Generally speaking, the women are expected to be short and thin, with small and delicate waists, while men are supposed to be tall with broad shoulders. However, this particular category varies from culture to culture. In cultures where men are small in size, masculinity is determined by acting macho. Female gender stereotype occurs for women who act “macho” in some cultures. Women who smoke, drink, and swear often are considered “masculine”.

In this sad case we now know that children as young as six believe in gender stereotypes and it is heartbreaking to see!

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