Socialization essay

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How a person behaves or thinks is a product of the socialization process. At birth, a child has no specified roles or behaviors, but as she/he grows up, the society molds him/her to what she is supposed to be. Therefore, the proper or improper roles are learned by the child through the first agent of socialization which is the family.

The family exposes a child to the gender roles. Through observation of roles played by the parents, children learn about gender identity, gender roles/ attitudes that are associated with each gender, like girls learn from mothers and boys from fathers. Also, after birth, an infant is dressed in clothes suitable for a certain sex (boy or girl) which gives the child a sense of identity.

School is also another agent of socialization. It is due to it usually reinforces the roles children learn at home. For instance, separate sitting arrangement of the opposite sex in school usually helps a child learn about the different genders/roles. Also, during sporting activities, boys and girls participate under different categories, and this usually reinforces gender roles and identity. Comments made by teachers and parents like “sit like a girl” or “do not behave like a boy” reinforces gender identity and roles as well. However, the reinforcement of gender roles usually become stereotypes as a child becomes aware of the gender roles about each particular gender. 

Finally, the media and religion are also agents of socializations. For instance, religion defines the roles played by each gender, especially the role of men and women in marriage. However, the media has become an influential agent of socializing adolescents about sex and marriage like some might develop positive or negative attitude towards marriage. Also, through watching movies or TV programs, adolescents learn about sex/relationships, and some might desire relationships with the opposite sex so as to “experiment” what they have watched. For instance, I always ask: How does sex happen? How is the experience? How does it feel to have a boyfriend/ girlfriend? Do boys desire being in relationships with girls? How would my life be if I was a boy?

In conclusion, agents of socialization like family, school, religion, and media socialize women on gender identity, attitude, and gender roles.

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