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Gender socialization b.ed notes| Agents of Gender Socialization

Gender School And Society b.ed notes 

Meaning of Gender socialization

  • Gender socialization is a process by which individuals are taught how to behave socially in accordance with their gender which was assigned at birth.

  • It is the process through which children learn about the social expectations, attitudes and behaviours typically associated with boys and girls.

  • Through gender socialisation, we learn the right behavior for us to follow in accordance with our sex.
  • Gender socialization is the process by which we learn our culture's gender-related rules, norms, and expectations.

  • Through gender socialization, children begin to develop their own beliefs about gender and ultimately form their own gender identity.

  • The process of gender socialization begins early in life. Children develop an understanding of gender categories at a young age.

  • An example of gender socialization is that girls are expected to be quiet and poise; whereas, the boys are expected to be strong. A boy child said, “Don’t cry like a girl.” The boys are given cars to play, while the girls are given dolls or kitchen sets to play.

  • These are some of the special norms that are prevalent around the globe, which is known as “gender socialisation.”




Family is considered as the primary and most important agent of socialisation. It has a direct influence on the child's gender identity.

Families contribute to the process of gender socialisation in the following ways:

  • Setting norms for the child that are gender specific.
  • Assigning gender specific task at home.
  • Imitating and Modeling of behavior.
  • Reinforcing behavior through rewards and punishments.

School & Peers

After family, school also plays a vital role in gender socialisation. At school children interact with teachers, school mates and engage with both curricular and co-curricular activities.

Teachers and peers directly influence gender differentiation by providing boys and girls with different learning opportunities and feedback.

Teachers and peers are also sources of learning about gender.


Teachers present curricular materials that contain gender stereotypic behavior, and peers exhibit gender stereotypic attitudes and behavior.


Mass Media refers to all means of communication that can reach out to the masses. These includes:

> Print Media: Magazines and Newspapers

>Electronic Media: Films, Advertisements and Television

>Social Media: Twitter, Whats app, Facebook, Instagram

Media plays a major role in the process of gender socialisation because it bombards individuals with ideas and images of what men and women are supposed to be.


Religion, Caste & Culture

Religion and caste is an important aspect of most people. A person's thoughts, views and actions are often shaped by the religion that he/she follows.

The influence of culture on different aspects of a person's life is very strong. Every culture has different guidelines about what is appropriate for males and females, and family members may socialise in gendered ways.

The environment of a person strongly influences one's gender socialisation especially with reference to the kind of gender based responsibilities one has to undertake in one's present and projected life.


Teachers and school administrators model gender roles and sometimes demonstrate gender stereotypes by responding to male and female students in different ways.

For example, separating students by gender for activities or disciplining students differently depending on their gender may reinforce children’s developing beliefs and assumptions.