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1.0 INTRODUCTION This written assignment consists of one essay.

The essay highlights the issue of how stereotyping gender can occur and its effects to traditional gender roles of male and female that have been accepted by society. 2.0 DEFINITION OF THE ISSUE Gender stereotypes present a standardized concept of typical gender roles. To simplify the definition, it suggests what characteristics, power, division of labour and activity-domain that is appropriate for male and female. It can be negative when people apply gender assumptions to others because they are perpetuating gender stereotyping. 3.0 HOW STEREOTYPING GENDER CAN OCCUR AND ITS EFFECTS TO GENDER ROLES Mass media like advertisement and television programmes, and social influences such as family, school and reinforcement in term of rewards and punishments are some mediums that channeling the idea of stereotyping gender towards society. They react as powerful agents to shape people behaviour and attitudes.

3.1 Advertisement In many advertisements whether on television, newspaper or magazines, the advertiser will emphasize the role of male and female according to social expectations. For example, a mother is illustrated to be sitting near dinner table and serves meal for the family. Another example is, a mother will do the laundry happily and cheerfully. Moreover the tagline of one softener product,Softlan that is as soft as mothers touch assures that mothers or in the other word female must do the house chores because it is their nature. According to Erving Goffman (1979), in media advertisements women tend to be located below than the level of men. Indirectly, it transfers the message that female job is completing

house work and they are very happy with that situation. Besides, men are likely to be shown in outdoor and business activities. Moreover, the masculinity and femininity values have been spread to children as advertisement that aimed boys will insert dramatic and loud music with active toys in various scenes whereas a gentle background music and doll like toys are presented for girls. 3.2 Television programmes It is always shown on television programmes that men engage with active lifestyle such as sports like football, hiking, and skateboarding. Many programmes also will inject a sense of masculinity and femininity that should be practiced by men and women. For example men tend to be represented as more violent, more powerful and more dominant as they are represented as leader or tycoon especially in soap operas such as Bold and Beautiful and General Hospital. Geoffrey Canada(1998) states, "The image of male as strong is mixed with the image of male as violent . In fact, television images largely reflect patriarchal notion of gender which means they give power and importance mostly for men. Meanwhile, women are portrayed as gentle, uncompetitive and sensitive. However some women are illustrated as if they are bad by inserting the values of rebelliousness, independence and selfishness. In addition, it is widely spread that to be considered as real women, they need to put make-up and worrying about appearance as illustrated by television programmes especially reality show such as Americas Next Top Model and Kimora Lee: Life in The Fab Lane . 3.3 Social influences Social influences occur when people thoughts, feelings, behaviour and actions are affected by others. Similarly, it is like an agreement with others in a social setting. Sandra Lipsitz Bem(1981) states that gender schemas lead to the regulation of behaviors that conform to the cultural definition of what it means to be male or female. To postulate that, from infancy, we learn how cultures define the roles of men and women. People choose to adjust their behaviour to make

them line up with others. It is already exposed that how they should act is determined by socialization phases which are the phase when people live with family and the phase when mingling with teachers and friends during school time. Furthermore, reinforcement such as rewards and punishment also determined it, along with division of toys for boys and girls. 3.3.1 Family Gender roles are largely formed by the first teacher of most people, which are parents. Some parents strongly believe and hold traditional general gender assumption about masculinity and femininity. Parents determine the appropriate things that children should do. Similarly they gain their attitudes through their parents which are our grandparents and it is keep repeating from one generation to another. For example, since ages, parents tend to treat their son and daughter differently. Indeed, parents tend to cuddle baby girls more than they do to boys. Moreover, parents do not really encourage girls to try new things like rough sports activities because they are worried for the safety of girls rather than the safety of boys. However, parents are more likely to allow boys to try new sports activities although the boys have the tendency to fall and get injured too. There is a concrete belief for them that man dont cry which means boys should be trained to hide their emotion and feelings especially when they are sad. Therefore, if they refuse to agree with the belief, conflict will arise as people will assume boys are weak and label them as sissy. 3.3.2 School At school, people meet their friends mostly in the same age with them or as known as peers. Therefore, they develop attitudes that will make them gain respect from peers. It is because peer pressures always reinforce the traditional gender roles. Sometimes it is inevitable that peers react more positively with children who fit the traditional gender roles

rather than who are not. The peers tend to taunt and tease some people that do not have the quality of masculinity for male and femininity for female. Moreover, the peers also may excluded those who are considered as deviated from the traditional gender roles from their groups. Also, a typical boys' group is large and displays of strength and toughness frequently occur between them. In contrary with girls' groups that tend to be smaller and dependent where the emphasis is upon maintaining group cohesion. Teachers and school administrators have great influence as they pass along cultural information and expectations towards the children. In school, children are expected to study and be quiet. These expectations may have been part of the gender role that most people have been learning from the parents, especially if the child is a girl. However, the expectation is not very stressed towards boys. If boys make noise in class, they are easily can be forgiven because for most people, boys are encouraged to be loud and boisterous.

3.3.3 Rewards, punishments and toys. Praise and rewards given to people are based on their genderappropriate behavior. Also, the praise and rewards occupied to male and female are different. Different rewards have a motivational role and helping children to see that good behaviour is valued distinctively between male and female. Moreover, people seem to reinforce sex-typed activities in children by either rewarding their son with toys like remote control cars and their daughter with dolls. Furthermore, when children imitate samesex behaviors that fit the traditional gender roles, they are rewarded, but imitating the other sex may cause them to get punished. People may also respond negatively when the form of toys meet by their children does not meet sex-role expectations. For instance, as parents, they may reward a daughter's interest in cooking with encouragement while discouraging a

son who shows similar interest. In punishment matter, male always have been punished physically while female are more likely will be punished by verbal and gestures such as scolding and frowning. In traditional gender roles, male are considered to be strong than female, therefore they need to be treated roughly. 4.0 CONCLUSION Stereotyping the gender roles can cause inequality towards male and female as if they do not fit the traditional gender roles. It is because their opportunities to succeed in some activities that are not their gender-based activities will be blocked with the rules of traditional gender roles. Indirectly, the stereotyping of gender tends to make people lose self-potential and lose self-esteem.


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Journal Bem, S.L. (1981). Gender schema theory: a cognitive account of sex typing. Psychological Review, 88(4), 354-364. U033-295K/Kl/8804 O154$0O 75

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