Growing Up Girls
Influences of Education on gender roles
*what we are talking about here is the processes of socialization, whereby we learn
how to function as members of our social groups.
*Socialization is a lifelong process. It can be direct and intentional or indirect and
subconscious. It can be blatant or subtle.
• Girls have the more ability to develop androgynous traits than boys
• Boys are not permitted to behave like girls but girls are easily accepted
• Gender stereotype flexibility – starts to understand that boys has to behave
this way and vice versa with girls but understanding that everyone is
*Socialization occurs everywhere, in that there are many agencies of socialization
Agencies of Gender Identity Socialization
*Parents (and other significant adult role models)
*Teachers model gendered behaviours and encourage gender appropriate expectations
in their young students.
*Peer Group teaches children to negotiate relationships and to identify with gendered
• In 1840s Canada, schooling assumed new importance in socializing the entire
*school is an impersonal agency of socialization. Children learn to understand
themselves as one among many.
*formal education in Canada began in the mid 1800s because of Industrialization and
labour rules regarding children.
*North American schools have always tended to reflect the values and goals and ideologies of the white heterosexual middle class.
*most Canadian children will spend 13000 hours in the public education system in
addition to supervised and formal childcare
*the formal education system replaces several roles that used to belong to the family:
acquiring social and work skills to become productive members of society,
transmission of cultural values, role modelling, etc.
*education is not gender neutral, since the society is not gender neutral!
*Curriculum: courses of study, materials of study, etc
*the hidden curriculum: consciously and unconsciously modelled, rewarded, and
*The curriculum is remarkably consistent
*the hidden curriculum is about social control, and is based on the idea that the school
is a social institution which is to produce properly socialized adults. Much of the
hidden curriculum is gendered.
*The hidden curriculum begins early, in preschools, day cares, and even after hours
*teachers encourage gender appropriate behaviours even when they think they’re
gender neutral. They are more likely, for example, to:
*overlook mild aggression or boisterous play among boys
*Require girls to resolve conflicts through listening, empathy & negotiation
*intervene in and direct girl’s free time
*Give girls directions that are explicit and controlling (sit here, talk quietly) where