It is adults, of course, who play a critical role in guiding children into these gender roles deemed appropriate in society. Parents are normally the first and most crucial agents of socialization. But other adults, older siblings, the mass media, and the religious and educational institutions also exert an important influence on gender-role socialization. (Haslanger,2005)
Television has often been criticized for its stereotyping of women, but it is far from being alone in doing so. The process of identification is more complex. (Fraser,1995) How does a boy come to develops one that is feminine In part, they do so by identifying with females and males in their families and neighbourhoods and in the media. If a young girl regularly sees female characters on television working as defense attorneys and judges, she may believe that she herself can become a lawyer. And it will not hurt if women that she knows are lawyers. By contrast, if this young girl sees women portrayed in the media only as models, nurses and secretaries, her identification and self-image will be quite different. Females have been most severely restricted by traditional gender-roles.
There are obvious biological differences between the sexes. Most important, women have the capacity to bear children whereas men do not. These biological differences contribute to the development of gender identity, the self-concept of a person as being male of female. (Fraser,1995)
All of us can describe the traditional gender-role patterns which have been influential in the socialization of children and the United States. Male babies get blue blankets while females get pink one. Boys are expected to play with trucks, blocks and toy soldiers; girls are given dolls and kitchen goods. Boys must be masculine - active, aggressive, tough, daring and dominant - whereas girls must be feminine - soft, emotional, sweet and submissive.
Affirmative Action Battles in the States
National rethinking of affirmative action was inspired by a citizen's initiative placed on the ballot in California by popular petition and approved by 54 percent of the state's voters in 1996. The California Civil Rights Initiative added the following phrase to the state's constitution. (Haslanger,2005)
"Neither the state of California nor any of its political subdivision or agents shall use race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin as a criterion for either discriminating against, or granting preferential treatment to, any individual or group in the operation of the State's system of public employment, public education or public contracting."
They key words are "or granting preferential treatment to" Opponents argued that a constitutional ban on preferential treatment of minorities and women eliminates affirmative action programs in government, prevents governments from acting to correct historic racial or gender imbalances, and denies minorities and women the opportunity to seek legal protections in education and employment. Opponents challenged the California Civil Rights Initiative in federal courts, arguing that by preventing minorities and women from seeking preferential treatment under the law, the initiative violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth