Symbolic interactionism dating

Children learn at a young age that there are distinct expectations for boys and girls.

Cross-cultural studies reveal that children are aware of gender roles by age two or three.

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Exposure also occurs through secondary agents such as religion and the workplace.

Repeated exposure to these agents over time leads men and women into a false sense that they are acting naturally rather than following a socially constructed role. There is considerable evidence that parents socialize sons and daughters differently.

Generally speaking, girls are given more latitude to step outside of their prescribed gender role (Coltrane and Adams 2004; Kimmel 2000; Raffaelli and Ontai 2004).

However, differential socialization typically results in greater privileges afforded to sons.

Girls were encouraged to take home economics or humanities courses and boys to take math and science courses.