1.) Chapter 5 is titled “Socialization and Gender Roles.” The chapter discusses gender myths, similarities and differences between males and females, the nature versus nurture debate, and the major subject is Gender Roles. Gender Roles are discussed at length in the chapter, including: differences in gender roles, learning from them, traditional views, gender roles in adulthood, variations in gender roles, and five theoretical perspectives. These perspectives are: (1) Sociobiology – the study of how biology affects social behavior; (2) Social Learning Theory – people learn attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors through social interaction; (3) Cognitive Development Theory – argues that children acquire female or male values on their own by thinking, reasoning, and interpreting information in their environment; (4) Symbolic Interaction Theories – gender roles are socially constructed categories that emerge in social situations; and (5) Feminist Theories – gender is a socially constructed role that is taught carefully and repeatedly.
2.) Under the section “Why Do Gender Roles Differ,” I found the idea of Sociobiology interesting. Sociobiologists argue that men are generally more aggressive than women because they need to prevail over their rivals in orders to ensure the propagation of their genes. This idea made a lot of sense to me when you consider the animal world, where the dominant male mates with the females, but I never thought of it in terms of humans. I also found the Social Learning Theory to be interesting. The definition for this theory is in part one but it is a result of reinforcement, imitation, and modeling. Again, when this idea made sense to me in regards to the animal world because pets, such as dogs, need to be with and play with other dogs because they will learn things from other dogs that they cannot learn with humans. Then when I thought about it in terms of humans, it clicked, so to speak. When we’re young, we learn what to do, what to say, how to behave, and such from interacting with other kids, whether it be in school or on the playground. We also learn these things from interacting with adults, for example, children interacting with teachers in school teaches them proper behavior. The book also mentions that in 2009, Disney released The Princess and the Frog, which features Disney’s first black princess. However, it says that critics asked why the hero is a white prince. I’m somewhat confused by this because from watching the movie, I didn’t think the prince was white at all, he seemed foreign to me because of his tan skin, dark hair and accent.
3.) I’m curious as to other people’s opinions on the Nature vs. Nurture debate. We all know that some of these gender “myths” can be true in some families or that they can be actual myths in other families. I would like to know how you guys feel gender roles have changed today (have they changed a lot, or have they barely changed) and how they might possibly change in the future. For example, I believe that gender roles have changed significantly. You can see it in families that have Dads that perform domestic responsibilities, or the fact that there is a women’s tackle football league – given, I think they were little, tight uniforms but still, it’s a step. You can even see it in politics, we now have women who are interested in running for President, whereas 30 or 40 years ago, I doubt a woman believed she’d be able to do so.