Gender Stereotype is the established view of images about each of the genders. Adolescents who grow up in traditional societies are unconsciously affected by these gender concepts. If their personal characters are different from these gender stereotypes, their self esteem will be relatively low.
Common Gender Stereotypes in The Society we are living today:
- Men work and earn money, women do housework and take care of children.
- Men aggressive, while women are passive.
- Men are better in Mathematics and Science, while women are better in Languages and in Humanities.
- Boys play cars, while girls play dolls.
- Boys like the colour blue, while girls like the colour pink.
All of the above are some common gender views in the society. But these concepts are incorrect.
Factors Affecting Our Understanding of Gender Roles
- Social Factor — Mass Media
Children’s knowledge and the experience of the world is indirectly learnt from the mass media. If mass medias are giving gender images to the audience, it is likely that the audience will believe in such concepts about gender role.
Eg. In Disney movies, princesses are usually passive and tend to not show their physical strength, while princes did not show fear.
2. Cultural Factor — Chinese Traditional Culture
Men are expected to work and ear money while women are expected to stay home and take care of children. Some Chinese quotes say that men should not cry to show their weaknesses and that women having low level of wisdom is a virtue . These play a role in people’s ideas towards gender roles.
3. Family Factor
Parents are the role model for children to learn about gender roles. Children are also given toys or having activities arranged by their parents. Choices of parents and their understandings of gender roles would affect the next generation.
4. School Factor
Children learn in school and they absorb the things taught by their teachers. Contents taught by the teachers would affect children’s concepts on gender roles.