Gender Socialization & Racial Socialization

Gender Socialization & Racial Socialization

Identity formed in socially accepted beliefs and stereotypes.

Gender socialization refers to the masculinity and femininity that characterizes gender identity which is formed in the socially accepted beliefs and stereotypes of the society we live in. The stereotypical definitions of masculine and feminine traits create the, “broad expectations for the personalities and behaviors of men and women that are termed gender roles” (Rathus 2005, pg.184). For example, most western nations classify masculinity with toughness, aggressiveness and competitiveness, whereas femininity as gentle, patient and compliant. Gender is biological sex, and gender role is how an individual is supposed to think, behave, and dress according to social stereotyping (Rathus, 2005). This gender socialization process occurs when children are taught to dress and act in accordance with a gender role and identity. For instance, girls are taught to play with dolls and given lessons on how to dress appropriately and wear makeup.

Closely related to gender development is ethnic identity development. Ethnic Identity develops as part of one’s overall self-concept (Phinney & Ong, 2007). The development of ethnic identity is a process by which identity is formed overtime as the result of the experiences and actions of the individual. In the same manner that girls learn to identify with being a girl they also learn to identify with being part of a particular ethnic group (Phinney & Ong, 2007). As a result, gender and ethnicity often overlap in one’s thinking and this overlap carries with it many cultural ramifications such as the norms and mores of the culture in question with regards to gender, i.e., a Hispanic woman follows a different set of cultural patterns with regard to being a woman than an African American woman (Phinney & Ong, 2007).


Phinney, J. S. & Ong, A.D. (2007). Conceptualization and measurement of ethnic identity: Current status and future directions. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 54, 271–281

Rathus, S. A., Nevid, J. S., & Fichner-Rathus, L. (2005). Human sexuality in a world of diversity (6). Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon.

Photo by Micheile Henderson on Unsplash


Triola Vincent. Mon, Feb 01, 2021. Gender Socialization & Racial Socialization Retrieved from

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