Point 1) Social Learning and Modeling

When a couple agrees to have children at the right moment, they need to provide a model for children’s gendered identities because children look up to their parents and observe their styles of behavior.  A girl would model their favorite singer’s attire because she looks up to her, admires her, and most importantly observing her.  The same concept applies in family.  Children are known to model their parents behaviors because they admire them, they are “family”, and there is a big spot in their hearts for them.  The social learning aspect of the text refers to the sexual division of household labor inside a marriage, couple, or relationship.  What type of duties do the men perform and what type of duties do the women perform?  It differs in my opinion depending upon the relationship.  I believe within a good healthy family, the men “bring home the bacon”, and the women CAN BRING HOME THE BACON ALSO.  I will get to this point shortly but yes, studies may show that in some or maybe even most families that the men typically to do the paid labor and work long hours while the women stay at home and care for the children and do housework.  In this type of marital situation, women are not seen as doing work, even though they’re the ones who do the communicating within family members and provide support for their children.  “Therefore, some of the possible inequality is not even counted” (Shelton and John 1996).  Children observe this within the family.  Now, back to my point that women can bring home the bacon just as much as men.  I researched statistics, and it shows that a recent survey in 2008 displayed that 42 percent of men (down from 74 percent in 1977) said that it’s better for everyone if the man earns the money and the woman takes care of the home and children.  This shows that men are starting to realize that women can provide just as much as men can for their families.  How do children model the behavior of a single parent if one has died or if they’re divorced?

Point 2) Gender/Sex Interaction:  Parents’ Influence

A parental influence on children is very critical.  Most parents want the children to be brought up in a way to display their appropriate gender style.  “Mothers and fathers alike have been found to habitually reward daughters for demonstrating interpersonal skills and politeness, and to reward sons for demonstrating physical or verbal aggression” (Leaper, Anderson and Sanders, 1998).  This excerpt from the text is an unconscious belief.  Other studies, ones in which I agree with, tends to reveal that gender teaching can actually be quite conscious.  A study in Maine claimed that young girls were encouraged by their parents boys’ interests.  Their parents wanted them to be very active in athletics.  The father was the parent that was more proactive for his daughter to be active in athletics.  I can relate well to this because my sister is very athletic, and she was pushed just as hard as I was in the sports she played as a young girl.  Now at the age of 20, she is one of the most fittest girls I know.  For boys, parents want their sons to be dominant and masculine so they consciously selected activities that would provide them with these qualities.  For example, painting a boy’s room blue instead of pink or yellow is a direct sign of masculinity.  Parents, particularly mothers, are sometimes worried about their son playing with dolls because they could possibly be afraid of them becoming homosexual.  In some instances, being homosexual can lead to cruel events such as teasing and bullying.  If a child is not willing to comply with the gendered and sexually oriented ways the parents prefer, what must a mother or a father in that situation do and which one should take the initiative?

Point 3) Gender/Sex Interaction:  Children’s Influence

In this section, children can also play a role in developing their gender.  The text provides an example of gendered interaction on sons’ and mothers’ communication.  I enormously agree with the claim made in the text by Morman and Floyd.  To restate, “Sons studies were more likely to be withdrawn in conversations with their mothers than were daughters, were more likely to interrupt their mothers, and accepted fewer directives from their mothers (Morman and Floyd, 2006).  Out of my teenage years, I still do the same thing.  I will still interrupt my mom whether she’d be on the phone or have a friend over at the house.  I respected my father a great deal because, in my early teen years, he was a very successful businessman.

When children become accustomed to what they like and what they like to have as items, they choose gender-specific items once they have been socialized to desire them.  The trend will be on going until they start a family of their own.  However, the trend was started by the parents.  For example, I was given a basketball hoop in my bedroom for my 5th birthday.  After that, I was given a hockey net, tennis racket, baseball glove and the list goes on.  When I was old enough, I knew what I wanted to have as items for my own, and subsequently, I was able to purchase those items for myself.  What type of behavior will occur if a child grows up playing with the wrong gender type items?  Will their gender automatically be in question?