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Anatomy and Destiny, Reaction Paper Example

Pages: 1

Words: 337

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The below essay is looking to examine the impact of social norms and gender roles in child development, based on a recent Ted Talks video and class readings.

In her speech, Alice Dreger (Dreger, 2010) talks about the society’s gender and anatomical norms that define not only grown-ups’ perception of identity, but can also influence children’s socialization pattern. Gender stereotypes along with the environment will influence the social and cognitive development of the young child.

In Chapter 5, the textbook (Schaffer, 2009) mentions the impact of the environment on intimate relationship development. According to the authors, (Schaffer, 2009, p. 141), children are “born with innate behavioral tendencies”, however, often show the signs of imprinting. The young child would follow a moving object. This also relates to the tendency of taking on behaviors that are reinforced by caregivers. When caregivers and care providers reward one type of behavior, or reinforce gender related roles, they simply differentiate between the sexes, and the child is automatically assigned a category of a male or female, trying to manifest the behaviors of each sex.

In Dreger’s (2010) speech, however, the categories and social norms related to sexes are questioned. Indeed, it is not clear how to define a male or female behavior, and the only thing that most parents and children rely on is social norms. These norms, however, are excluding non-standard body types or behaviors. Those who show physical signs of atypical sex are stigmatized, while men or women are prejudiced against when they do not behave according to their gender stereotypes. Women who show extreme commitment towards their career, for example, are considered unfeminine, while men who cry in public will not be seen as masculine enough.

It is, therefore, important that caregivers do not force children to look at gender roles as a rigid category, and try to understand that every person is different, and not only the typical girls or boys exist in the day care environment.

References

Dreger, A. (2010) Is anatomy destiny? TED Talks. Video.

Shaffer, D. (2008). Social and personality development. Cengage Learning.

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