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Gender Socialization -- Research Starters Sociology

By: Kretchmar, Jennifer;

2009 / EBSCO


The following article summarizes the topic of gender socialization from both a theoretical and research perspective. A brief history of the study of gender is discussed, as are some of the challenges inherent in defining gender. After introducing the major theoretical perspectives of gender socialization - social learning theory, gender schema theory, and psychoanalytic theory - findings from research on parent, peer, and media socialization are discussed. Some of the limitations of current definitions of gender appropriate behavior - for both men and women - are suggested in conclusion. Gender scholars attempt to challenge our 'taken-for-granted' assumptions about men and women, point out the ways in which our behavior is culturally rather than biologically produced, and encourage us to imagine different ways of being male and female.