Growing up as Boys and Girls

Gender Roles of Boys and Girls

You must have often come across some form of gender bias in your life. But did you know that this conventional gender stereotyping begins at a very young age in our society? It actually begins in our childhoods, and without us even realizing we fall prey to it. Let us take a look at how different societies look at gender roles.

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Gender Roles of Girls and Boys

If you take a look around you, you will see that society has assigned certain roles to each gender. These practices have been going on since pre-historic times, where men were the hunters, and women were gatherers and did the domestic work. Since then these gender roles have perpetuated down generations.

Even today these roles remain somewhat similar. Men are considered to be the earning members of society. And women contribute by doing the silent often unseen domestic work and are primary caregivers to the young. And this idea is implemented from a very early age in the child’s life. But do all societies treat children this way? Let us take a look at an example.

Growing Up in Samoa in the 1920s

According to studies the children in Samoa in the 1920s grew up in a unique manner. The children did not go to school, instead, they contributed to society from a very young age. As soon as they were able to walk, their parents would not look after them anymore. The older kids were entrusted to look after the babies.

Once a boy attained the age of 9, he was taught to fish and farm. Fishing was a very important activity for them and these kids would often go on long fishing expeditions. Girls continued to look after the children and the domestic work till their teenage years. But once the girls turned 14 or so, they were free to choose whatever they wished to pursue, fishing, working in plantations, weaving activities etc.

In fact, domestic chores like cooking were then looked after by the boys. They were responsible for the cooking houses primarily, and the girls would only help out. As you can see, these gender roles we live by are not necessarily the rule of the thumb. Many societies around the world have reversed roles, and are quite successful in their own right.

Fighting the Gender Discrimination

Gender roles

We are a modern society in India and we do not follow archaic rules. It is in our constitution that we do not discriminate our citizens n the basis of gender. And yet due to societal pressure and age-old rules of patriarchy, even educated citizens sometimes promote this gender bias. However, it is time to treat girls and boys equally in the society.

Let us discuss a few points that we can improve on to bring about more equality in our immediate surroundings, and in the society in general

  • Girls should be allowed to attend school. Also if a girl wishes to continue and pursue higher studies she must be allowed and encouraged to do so.
  • Boys are not the only ones who should be encouraged to take up sports. Girls should be encouraged as well, it is an important part of growing up to be a well-rounded individual
  • Mothers who stay at home and do housework should be appreciated more. They are the pillars of our society. And their contribution to the household and the society often goes unnoticed since their work is invisible to us. But this must change, we must learn to appreciate these selfless women
  • One very important thinking we need to change is that girls are a burden on a family. In fact, girls are not a burden but a blessing. Treat them equally, and give them the same opportunities you would give your son.

Solved Question for You

Q: In Indian society girls versus boys ratio is ________

  1. 940:1000
  2. 840:1000
  3. 950:1000
  4. None of the above

Ans: The correct option is “A”. Sex ratio is the number of women per 1000 men in the area. This ratio according to the 2011 census of India is 940 females to 1000 males. The state of Kerala has the highest ration among all Indian states.

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