Thursday, November 17, 2005

Culture: gender roles (and the mystery of how they are transmitted)

Yesterday my youngest announced that she wants to be a doctor when she grows up. Before I could say anything (this a big step up from her aspirations to be a mother or a fairy) my eldest daughter said:
"No! You are not a boy! Boys can be doctors! You can be a nurse!"
I can't figure out where she gets these very strong beliefs, as in Ghana, I had a contract and my husband was at home... so we thought we were the perfect role models :). And I know the teachers at school are not telling her these things either, neither television. She has the same strong ideas on football, boys should play football and girls do ballet. So is it genetic after all?? 1-0 for nature versus nurture in the ongoing debate.

1 comment:

Beth Kanter said...

Encourage her! Tell your son he's wrong :-)

In my house, we have plastic cups in all different colors for the kids. There are pink, blue, green, and yellow and purple. I poured milk into the pink cup and gave it to my son. He complained that it was a "girl's color."

If you think about it, girls outfits are pink and pink and pink.

Gender roles transmitted all over the place.