Gender Roles

Gender Roles
  • Description

This assignment requires that you individually interview four different individuals (two men and two women). Try to select people from different backgrounds, race and age so you get a varied sample.  Interview them separately. You will carefully record their responses and comment on their responses. Ask your participants these questions:

  1. Do you want to know the gender of your baby before it’s born? Why or why not?
  2. Would you allow your daughter to play with masculine dress up clothes,  Barbie dolls *and/or* toy cars? Why or why not?
  3. Would you allow your son to play with princess dress up clothes, Barbie dolls *and/or* toy cars? Why or why not?
  4. If you have a daughter, what career (if any) would you like to see her achieve? If you have a son, what career path (if any) would you want for him?
  5. Ask them if they think it is important to have toys that show both genders being successful in varied career interests? Why or why not? (This follows on the heels of the recent conversations in the news about having toys (Legos, specifically) that show girls in STEM occupations).
  6. What would you do if your child insisted that their assigned sex was inaccurate and declared that they felt they were or wanted to live as a person of the opposite sex? How would this make you feel about yourself, your parenting, and towards your child? Would you support this?  Discuss. Why or why not?


Once you have your interview responses note the following:

  • What was the most common response? Did the answers vary based on male and female subjects?
  • Did the answers vary based on the age/race/ses of the person being interviewed?
  • What were the rationales given for the answers?
  • Did the answers on career paths chosen for males and females relate to the parent’s willingness to let their child play with gender variant toys?
  • Has this experienced affected your view of gender stereotyping?
  • What answer(s) did you find the most interesting?
  • Reference comments from your text to support your point.


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