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Gender Role Stereotyping

Updated: Jan 11, 2019

From a very early age, many parents seem to be concerned about blue and pink. Whole nurseries and wardrobes are planned around the boy or girl issue.

Adults observe particular characteristics in young children and attribute them to the fact that a child is male or female. But, gender identification is not firmly established until children are older

The concern doesn’t stop there. Often parents are concerned about their young children’s sexual orientation. When they see boys playing with purses and girls playing with trucks, they worry about the future.


In the early years they will take on the many roles they see adults around them using without awareness of the typical or stereotypical gender of those roles. Before age 5, this is normal. Later, children will begin to decide on activities and experiences based on the gender of who plays the roles. For now, encourage your child to play however he or she wants to play.

Both girl and boy infants need a wide range of physical, intellectual, emotional, and social experiences. Of course we want girls to grow up to be competent physically, and we certainly want boys to grow up to be loving and affectionate. Tus, we must give both boys and girls chances to become the best individuals they can be. This will be accomplished through allowing many varied experiences, instead of limiting girls to playing house and boys to building with blocks.

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