Gender and the Early Years

Topics: Disney Princess, Gender role, Gender Pages: 4 (1475 words) Published: June 1, 2013
Gaby Blasko
April 22, 2013
WGS 212/Kane
Option 1
MLA Citation System

From the minute babies are pushed out of a mother’s womb, or even an embryo in the third trimester, gender is a predominate factor in the way they are treated. Whether it’s with gifts (pink for a baby girl and blue for a baby boy,) or hypothesis about what this baby will grow up to be, oh this little one will be a nurse (referring to the delicate, nurturing three-day old female,) emphasis is greatly placed on the gender or sex of the child, creating cultural/gender norms and limitations. Gender rigidity is primarily produced in a child’s first years through advertising in toys or clothing, and forms limitations for gender roles later in life, such as jobs or behavioral mannerisms.

In an excerpt from Peggy Orenstein’s Cinderella Ate My Daughter, Orenstein sheds light on a major product from the multi-billion dollar company of Walt Disney that is cashing in on gender roles: the Disney Princesses and their doll merchandise. “There are more than twenty-six thousand Disney Princess items on the market, a number which, particularly when you exclude cigarettes, liquor, cars, and antidepressants, is staggering. “Princess” has not only become the fastest-growing brand the company has ever created, it is the largest franchise on the planet for ages two to six” (Orenstein, 14). Ages two to six are years where advertisements, and “everyone’s doing it” are crucial influences for behavioral patterns. The Princess doll merchandise and is everywhere, and very popular. Today, not buying a female child her rightful amount of Princess gear is almost insuring her unpopularity among peers and social Siberia. Although the Princess storylines appear to be aimed at teaching good morals and happy-ever-after, there is an underlying gender rigidity theme scholar and/or parents like Orenstein have begun to pick up on. To be a Princess is to be dependent on a male figure, the “Prince Charming,” as a “saving...

Cited: MLA form using
* Orenstein, Peggy. "What 's Wrong With Cinderella?" Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the New Girlie-girl Culture. 1st ed. New York, NY: HarperCollins, 2011. 11-52. Print.
* Stroeher, Susan Kochenberger. "Sixteen Kindergartners ' Gender-Related Views of Careers." The Elementary School Journal 95.1 (1994): 95-103. Print.
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Early Years Literacy Essay
  • Early Years Foundation Stage and Children Essay
  • Early years Research Paper
  • Essay on gender
  • Gender Essay
  • Essay about Gender Roles and Early Childhood
  • Transition in Early Years Essay
  • Understanding the Early Years Framework Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free