Role of a girl child in the society
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According to feminist analysis, in all cultures, girls have been socialized into gender roles, although the degree to which behavior is innate or environmentally determined is greatly debated. In most cultures and time periods of the world, girls have traditionally played with dolls and toy cooking and cleaning equipment, while boys prefer toys and games that require more physical activity or simulated violence, such as toy trucks, balls, and toy guns. Girls are less often encouraged to pursue sports, with the exception of sports that might be considered “feminine,” such as figure skating or gymnastics; or those considered “gender-neutral,” such as tennis. They may be prevented from participating in many of the same activities that boys participate in at the same age, as a matter of protecting them from perceived outside dangers, such as boys and men, or anything that may cause physical injury. Sometimes boys are presumed to be more responsible than girls, except in the cases of caring for younger children, which is sometimes thought to be instinctual in girls. Girls, as a group, may be perceived as being more docile than boys, and as being less capable of rational decision making and more governed by emotional responses.
The reasons for this perceived difference in the behavior of girls and boys are a controversial topic in both public debate and the sciences. The idea that differences in gender roles originate in differences in biology is traditional, but spelled out first explicitly from 19th-century anthropology; more recently, sociobiology and evolutionary psychology have turned to this problem to explain those differences by treating them as evolutionary adaptations to a lifestyle of Paleolithic hunter-gatherer societies. For example, the need to take care of offspring may have limited the females’ freedom to hunt and to assume positions of power. Simon Baron-Cohen, a Cambridge University professor of psychology and psychiatry, argues that “the female brain is predominantly hard-wired for empathy, while the male brain is predominantly hard-wired for understanding and building systems.” A girl “driving” a toy car, an example of counter-stereotypical behavior. On the other hand, feminists have argued that gender roles are the result of stereotypes and socialization rather than any innate biological differences.
Owing to the influence of (among others) Simone de Beauvoir’s feminist works and Michel Foucault’s reflections on sexuality, the idea that gender was unrelated to sex gained ground during the 1980s, especially in sociology and cultural anthropology – an idea that has taken hold in transgender groups. The biological viewpoint of gender roles is not that all gender distinctions result from biology, but rather that biology has an influence. Some feminists deny this, but many feminists agree that both biology and upbringing have an influence on gender roles, with the question being the relative importance of each. This conflict is often called nature versus nurture. Several studies, such as the Programme for International Student Assessment of the OECD, have shown that, in developed countries, girls usually obtain better scores than boys do in secondary schools in Literature and Language, boys on the other hand tend to score higher in mathematics. However, their choices afterwards in postsecondary school are often very different and lead them to less socially recognized professions. Relatively few girls become engineers, though in the USA, more do become doctors.