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Kindergartens or 'gendergartens'?

ANI | Updated: Dec 23, 2018 16:07 IST

Washington D.C.[USA], Dec 23 (ANI): Have you ever wondered about the origin of gender inequality in children? It can simply come from a kindergarten school.
Researchers at the Higher school of economics showed that preschool education has its own hidden curriculum: kindergarten teachers transmit social norms to children, including conservative ideas of femininity and masculinity.
Researchers found that "doing gender" or forming an understanding of masculinity and femininity is hidden but clearly gender-oriented curriculum permeates every aspect of a preschool child's life: from games to show an interest in certain professions.
Girls in the process of socialisation are supposed to strive to be generally acceptable and to conform to the ideal. This implies attractiveness, courteousness, industriousness, and artistry. They should lean towards professions in which they care for people or animals and perform the princess, snowflake, or other glamorous roles in school plays. Parents generally favour such uniformity, even though it can interfere with girls' development as individuals.
Gender socialisation begins in childhood and in accordance with established social norms. For children, a close connection exists between sexual identification and external factors such as clothing, behavioural norms, etc. Almost entirely antithetical qualities are attributed to preschool boys and girls, with the former often seen as coarse and pugnacious and the latter as sweet and kind.
In clothing, the gender display begins with ascribing particular colours to boys vs. girls. Commonly accepted notions about what constitutes "appropriate" colours are transmitted to the children. Even newborns are "ascribed gender-oriented attributes," Even the form used to discharge baby girls from maternity hospitals is placed in a pink envelope. As preschoolers, girls are taught to wear pink things because society dictates that this colour is associated with the female image.
Also, our education system and the family transmit social attitudes, guidelines and roles to children in equal measure. According to sociologist and girlhood researcher Elena Iarskaia-Smirnova, starting from preschool age, teachers encourage boys to express themselves and be active, and girls to be attentive, studious, and neat in appearance. (ANI)

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