What Is Gender Stereotyping?
Gender stereotyping occurs when you make an assumption about someone’s behaviors, preferences, and goals in life based solely on their gender and associated cultural implications. These gender stereotypes oversimplify people.
They do not take someone’s individuality or unique character into account. Gender stereotyping hurts because it limits everyone to certain modes of behavior, and attaches negative undertones to those who doesn’t follow those behaviors.
Gender Stereotyping Damages Individuality
Gender stereotypes affect everyone, including children, by telling everyone that they should behave in a proper way which is defined by their gender. There are many cultural assumptions made about gender.
Saying that everyone should follow a set of behavioral requirements can repress the development of personalities.
Believing that boys should be wild and loud, or that girls should like to play dress up, can restrict a child’s exploration of the world. They may feel that they should only interact with their environment using the proscribed sets of behaviors.
==>Try to allow your child to express their individuality. If your son wants to have a tea party with pink cups, let him. If your little girl says she wants to be a mechanic, give her opportunities and encourage her dreams.
Gender Stereotyping Destroys Creativity
Cultural assumptions and gender stereotypes can result in parents making up silly rules for their children.
For example, they might take away dolls from their son when he tries to stage a fashion show. The creative impulses involved in this and other activities are wonderful and should be encouraged, not stifled.
Every child should pursue whatever interests they like, and explore the limits of their imagination in whatever way they choose. Don’t try to box in your child through unnecessary rules.
Gender Stereotyping Makes Fear a Ruler
Fear rules in homes where gender stereotyping is the norm. People do want their children to fit in, and that’s why they set rules that enforce gender stereotypes.
However, when these rules start to determine what is “normal,” parents fear the differences in their child because that child is now “abnormal.”
Gender Stereotyping Harms Unique Individuals
The sinister side of gender stereotyping comes to light when those who dare to step outside the rules of behavior are endangered by their peers.
Bullies will target children who fail to comply with gender roles, since those children are seen as different and potentially threatening.
Social rejection and sometimes even violence will occur when we tell our children that they must follow certain rules for no good reason other than cultural norms.
Gender Stereotyping Hurts Relationships
When gender stereotyping becomes part of parenting, family relationships are harmed. A father who mocks his son because he cried “like a girl,” or a mother who picks on a daughter for being a tomboy, will not have a positive relationship with their child.
No child wants their parents to make fun of them. When this happens, it causes irreparable damage to the relationships involved.
Gender stereotyping is not the right way to get a child to behave in an acceptable manner. Avoid getting caught in the gender stereotyping trap, and your children will be better for it.
Encourage all of the wonderful uniqueness in your child, regardless of how that is expressed. Differences between us are what make the world so amazing.