Battle of the Sexes for Respect

Malessia Lakeraj

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Malessia Lakeraj

Battle of the Sexes for Respect

It is 2018, and gender roles are still not neutral, meaning that boys and girls are still not equal.

Girls have to have a certain length of hair. Boys have to play sports. Girls have to be respectful and “ladylike”. Boys have to get a job. Girls have to clean, and the priority list goes on and on. Why are these standards set for children and why do parents believe it is okay to have different expectations of their sons and/or daughters?

Parents want all of their children to be happy and have a successful life. However, it has been proven that parents have different expectations of their children based on sex.

According to psychologist Crissy Duff, children learn and get treated based off of what is present to them by their parents.

“The moment that kids are born, they are bombarded with gender-related messages. Toys, clothes and observations around the house — dad takes out the garbage, mom loads the dishwasher — all feed into what they think is expected of them.” Duff said.

Treating boys and girls differently all come from stereotypes. History teacher, Odaliz Vazquez, believes that stereotypes are formed by society.

“I think that [stereotypes] have to do with the economy. [It is said] that women are more emotional and that our hormones somehow affect our leadership skills, which is totally untrue,” said Vazquez.

Although the expectations of children differ according to gender, Vazquez says that she doesn’t live up to these standards.

“I have two boys, one is 15, the other 16. They both do chores, take out the garbage and do laundry.” Said Vazquez. “I don’t see it as them being boys. I see it as them getting married someday and being able to help their wives — it’s all apart of teamwork.”

     On the contrary, others believe different. Gender roles have yet to be neutral, and parents do not do the favor in accepting them.

     Laurie Futterman, a staff member of Miami Herald, explains how society already has a perspective on how the certain genders act through a study she conducted.

“I knew that girls tend to be verbal, complex and emotional, while boys are more reserved, clear-cut and physical.”

     Although research has shown that there are more women in engineering and more men in the caring profession now than in the past, there is still a huge imbalance of gender mixes that still lingers.

      In addition, Kate Hilpern of the Independent states that 88% of moms admitted to treating their sons and daughters differently. On top of that, mothers are twice as likely to be more critical of their daughters than their sons.

      It can be agreed by many that parents treat their sons and daughters differently, which has been shaped by the eyes of society of what to expect. Gender roles have been assigned for hundreds of years now, and although society has made progress in removing them, they are still present and will continue to be for as long as the general public keeps setting certain standards for boys and girls.

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