Outline social factors that may influence gender roles. (4 marks)

This question is asking you to briefly describe social factors that influence gender roles. I would approach this question by choosing just two of parents, peers, schools and media, and writing a short paragraph on each.

Parents reinforce behaviour that they deem gender-appropriate in their children. This is often done through differential reinforcement, whereby the children are rewarded for gender-appropriate behaviour and are not rewarded for any other behaviour. For example, parents will reward girls (e.g. by giving them attention) when they behave in a feminine way, but they will not be rewarded if they exhibit masculine behaviours; this reinforces feminine behaviour. Parents may also punish children for exhibiting behaviour that is not gender-appropriate, making them less likely to repeat this behaviour in the future.

The media is another source of social influence. It is important in communicating gender stereotypes. The media generally portrays males as independent, directive and pursuing engaging occupations and activities, while females are portrayed as dependent, unambitious and emotional. This exposes children to models of gender-appropriate behaviour. The media also provides information about likely outcomes of these behaviours, and an individual’s self-efficacy will increase if the outcomes are portrayed as positive.

No comments :

Post a Comment