Boys and Girls

I had been planning to write a post about the way gender stereotypes are imposed on children. See, I would argue that most (or even all) of the differences between the genders are simply the result of social conditioning. Girls are taught to be nurturing and cooperative, boys are taught to be assertive and independent. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy.

Until recently, boys played with erector sets and chemistry sets while girls played with baby dolls and play kitchens. The idea was to prepare the boy for the world of work and the girl for the world of the home. While the toys have changed, this gendered division of play continues. Babies even where different clothing with different colors and patterns (ballerinas for girls, dinosaurs for boys). You see what I mean? This training began early.

Given this social conditioning, is it any wonder that men have traditionally behaved differently from women? Is it any wonder that more nurses and teachers are women and more CEOs and engineers are men? But in the end, this is all a social construct. It’s all invented and made up.

Now, I said that I had been intending to write a post. I don’t think I’m actually going to, at least not right now. I sort of got scooped, you might say. Young Mom wrote an amazing post on her blog that said exactly what I wanted to say, only better. So all I’m going to do is point you there, to read her insightful words:

Boys and Girls aren’t different, they’re just individuals

Enjoy!

Edit: For an example of how socially constructed things like dress and hair styles are, see the following picture of Franklin D. Roosevelt from the late 1880s.

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About Libby Anne

Libby Anne grew up in a large evangelical homeschool family highly involved in the Christian Right. College turned her world upside down, and she is today an atheist, a feminist, and a progressive. She blogs about leaving religion, her experience with the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements, the detrimental effects of the "purity culture," the contradictions of conservative politics, and the importance of feminism.


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