Essay Example on Early Development of Gender Stereotypes: Effects on Life

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1756 Words
Date:  2023-08-08

1. Introduction

Culturally described anticipations concerning sexism, which begin developing at the early stages of growth and extend as one grows to affect many aspects of an individual's personal and social life. Gender stereotypes vary across different cultures in relation to time, dictates the different roles that each sex must fulfill. Some of the stereotypes are learned at very young ages, where they depict the basic knowledge of the things and activities related to every sex (Donalds 1). Children's gender-stereotyped conducts and anticipations develop faster while in their preschool period, elevating to a greater level in kindergarten. Primary and secondary education impacts sexism by enhancing the already existing gender stereotypes. School going children often choose subjects based on gender stereotypes. For example, stereotypically, subjects such as psychology and English are considered feminine subjects and therefore boys tend to avoid them in school. Likewise, girls believe that Economics and Physics are meant for boys, and do not choose them during subject selection. The subject choices adopted by students are said to be affected by teachers' will to propagate stereotypes. According to Donald (1), a report published in 2013 by IOP indicates that rarely did half of state coeducational schools witness a single female proceed to A-level physics. Contrastingly, the probability of females progressing from single-sex schools was 2.5 times higher. This difference in progression in single- and mixed-sex schools indicate an important variation in school ethos and how the teachers handled classes and anticipation. The 2013 IOP report depicts that teachers tend to teach in approaches that conform to gender stereotypes, thus impeding both sexes from realizing their full potential. Donald (2) confesses that he was once told by his teacher that "boys can't do English", which affects the possibility of boys prospering in English and is the reason why close to three-quarters of A-level English cohort were females in last three years. Genderizing subjects simultaneously affects the career on pursues at college and university level. Gender stereotyped behavior and anticipation does not significantly affect gay or lesbian youth in schools. Gay and lesbian youths were found to align with the gender stereotypes in schools. For instance, gay youths conformed to the stereotypical activities of men such as subject selection. To combat this gender-stereotyped behavior and expectations being reinforced by schools, teachers should be demanded to cease from promoting messages that indicate that particular subjects are for a certain gender. Each primary and secondary school should monitor how they portray different subjects so that they avoid genderizing them.

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2. Media and Gender

The theoretical applications of gender in media is well illustrated by Jean Kilbourne in Killing Us Softly III, where advertisement's depiction of women in America is the main theme. Jean found out throughout her research that women are objectified and play powerful, but unfulfilling roles in advertisements. The film Killing Us Softly III portrays women as objects and suitable subjects for men's brutality, whereby their bodies lose worthiness. It also portrays females, especially Blacks, as animals thereby making them to be seen as inferior beings. The advertisements tell women that what matters most is their appearance and that they should spend much of their energy and resources to obtain perfection. There is a picture of a girl gazing at her image in the mirror to see if she looks sexy. The advertisement affects the females' self-confidence and males' perception of how to treat women. Kilbourne points out that advertisements treat females as though they were objects like cans and scissors. The idea of objectifying women is violent and dehumanizes them. For instance, most often only a single part of the body is focused on such as eyes or ears. Males' bodies are rarely scrutinized. Very few women have the ideal body type seen in advertisements and that is all that people see. This has resulted in many women developing eating disorders while trying to trim their body shape. Advertisements silence women and cut them down to size. They are portrayed as pervasive and vulnerable in their body language. There is an image of a woman with a wrinkled face with the caption 'we never thought we would be old' (Daalmans et al. 3). This reveals a message of power that is most often in the advertisement. This has created an ideology in America that women should be innocent and virginal yet sexy experienced. Such trends have had serious consequences in the past, for instance, the sexualization of young women in advertisement happened in reality with Jon Bernet Ramsey killing. Sex and violence in advertisements also go together. Heterosexual sex is promoted, with little or no emphasis on relationships. Bondage in advertisements has introduced pornography into the mainstream. Advertisements also share the idea that females desire to be violated and that they are requesting to be raped. Pornography perpetuates gender differences and inequality by promoting dangerous gender roles and is harmful to the real women involved in pornography. Women are more objectified to be used as sex objects compared to males. According to research, pornography mostly focuses on men's pleasure and largely reveals female organs than those of male counterparts. In most pornography, women are portrayed as more violent than men even though they appear to respond positively. Men may also be portrayed as more powerful than females in some pornography. Televisions also play a vital role in promoting gender differences and inequality. In most television channels irrespective of the country it is in, females are underrepresented on male channels, whereas gender representation is almost similar in female channels. The representation of women with regard to age and occupation is much stereotypical in male's channels. The respect attached to either males and females and females in media also affects equality (Daalmans et al. 3). The age diversity portrayed in media attaches more respect to males since they are usually older than the female counterparts. The media might perpetuate gender differences and inequality in the future by continuing to absorb mature men and young ladies in the media houses and by giving females stereotypical roles.

3. Gender and Intimacy

I agree with the findings about gender differences between males and females. Since creation, God created men and later a woman from a man's rib. Although the Bible does not clearly state the differences between men and women, the decisions were left on people. Females are portrayed as more intimate than men, insecure, caring, submissive, and connecting. Males, on the other hand, are initiators, explorative, opportunistic, and competitive. According to McLeod (1), biological constructionist theory indicates that there exists no difference between gender and sex. That gender is dictated by hormones and chromosomes. Hormones occur in both sexes but the amount and effects differ. Testosterone causes aggression and competitiveness in males. Chromosomes also affect how people behave. For instance, Turner's Syndrome results in individuals with low visual memory while Klinefelter's syndrome makes males appear calm and shy. The social constructionist theory indicates that behavior is affected by its societal beliefs and history. From history, women are portrayed as submissive, caring, and intimate, whereas men are exploitative, opportunists, and competitive (Freud 38). The psychological constructionist theory emphasizes on extrinsic and intrinsic approaches to creating meaning. The theory combines both cognitive behavior therapy that affects thinking and emotions and psychoanalysis. An example of the psychological constructionist theory is coping with depression (Firestone 3).

4. Gender and Economy

The challenge of gender discrimination about pay is caused by job segregation with more men being in high paying jobs than women, vertical segregation with few females in high paying jobs, and legislations that do not protect gender equity. The gender pay gap has widened in the recent past with 78% of UK companies favoring men (Lehmiller 4). The gender pay gap affects all ethnicities, but the Blacks tend to be paid lower than the whites. The white females have a higher possibility of being promoted as compared to Blacks. Even with similar educational achievements, males tend to occupy high ranks than women. The gender gap is not significantly affected by gender identity since it only affects the fact that one is male or female (Petter 3). The social constructionist theory supports the idea of men being favored since from history men were meant to provide and women just play the role of financial props. The biological constructionist theory tends to imply that sex affects gender and that males occupy high offices because of their creativity and authoritativeness (McLeod 2). The psychological constructionist theory is what people have learned how to adopt. Men have learned to be opportunists and will strategically and aggressively seek promotion in their work. Policies have been put in place to reduce this pay gap such as enacting laws that mandate employers to pay women equally to men for the same amount of work performed. It can also be reduced by encouraging females to attain the same education as males and increase diversification at all levels of employment.

5. Gender with regard to Crime.

Sexual assaults can be propagated by alcohol and drug use, many sexual partners, and partying. Sexual abuse in colleges is different from other social settings since it occurs frequently and is perpetrated by alcohol and drug use and freshness to the environment. According to biological theorist, there is no gene for rape, and the predisposition to rape is a result of evolution. Some theorists argue that predisposition to rape is never an adaptation but a side effect of reproductive adaptation (The Advocates of Humanity 2). Pornography increases the chances of rape since it arouses some people who would want to quench their thirst and try out the new styles.

Works Cited

Daalmans, S., Mariska K., and Anne, S. "Gender representation on gender-targeted television channels: A comparison of female-and male-targeted TV channels in the Netherlands." Sex roles 77.5-6 (2017): 366-378.

Donald, A. Reinforcing gender stereotypes: how our schools narrow children’s choices. (2013, Dec 03).

Firestone, M. Constructivism in Psychology: Definition, Theories & Approaches. (2020).

Freud, S. The social construction of gender. J Adult Dev 1, 37–45 (1994).

Lehmiller, J.J. How Much Gender Inequality Is There in Internet Pornography? (2017, Aug 3).

McLeod, S. Biological Theories of Gender. (2014).


The Advocates for Human Rights. Biological theories of sexual assaults. (2018).

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Essay Example on Early Development of Gender Stereotypes: Effects on Life. (2023, Aug 08). Retrieved from

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