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Barbie the Ideal Role Model In Gender Development

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Barbie the Ideal Role Model In Gender Development. We must first note that gender is not the same as sex. When we state the word sex we mean in biological terms a person's maleness or femaleness. In stating the term gender, the general definition is the role or identity, in which we decide to adhere to. Gender role includes the attitudes or behaviours that are considered appropriate for males and female in a particular culture. The way in which psychologist's attempt to explain how we development a particular gender depends upon who is defining it. Freud believed that gender development could be attributed to conflict between the child's desires and an actual event. Whereas, cognitive psychologist, explain gender development as a concept that children's understanding of the world depends upon their ability to understand information, to be able to make logical inferences, and to draw conclusions, these skills develop throughout childhood. One of the main psychologist of the cognitive developmental theory is Piaget, his theories, although critically acclaimed to be limited, are still viewed, as being quite important today. There are many different theories concerned with, explaining gender development however, the one that will be examined in this essay is the Social Learning Theory. According to social learning theory, behaviour is acquired in two ways; through reinforcement and modelling. ...read more.


In addition, she is tall with legs up to her armpits, a large size pair of pert boobs. A wash board stomach and virtually no hips, her hair is blonde, long and flowing. With all these attributes, it is hard to comprehend why she has only one boyfriend, that is Ken, who again is tall rich good looking, the list goes on. As a short black female with more poundage than she needs, and more split hairs than she has hair. Who lives with her mum and drives an old but none the less a sports car, one can understand why it was hard for me and several other women to identify with Barbie. The fact that Barbie is a doll relevant to her power, for dolls are not just play things. They are anthropomorphic sculptures that have often served as ritual objects. Before Barbie, dolls were baby like, to be fed and molly coddled, designed to teach girls about mothering and nurturing their babies, in order to prepare them for the real world. (Albert, M, Magro pg365) Mattel the manufacturer of the toy named Barbie responded to the public outcry and modified her in 1992 to Teen Talk Barbie. This icon could now talk, all she had to say though was 'Lets go to then prom' 'I love to shop' and 'Math class is tough' the Feminists were outraged. ...read more.


What needs to be considered is the body shape of Barbie. The six year girl that plays with Barbie learns all the attributes above but throughout the progression of her life towards adolescence, a reputedly difficult time in a child's life, the child sees that Barbie has the body that she will never acquire without an eating disorder. Barbie accessories have encouraged girls to be obsessive about weight. In 1965, Mattel tried really hard with babysitter Barbie in which she has three books with her one of, which is called How to Lose, Weight and contains advice like 'don't eat this'. Its no wonder Barbie is perceived as presenting an obsessional body image, converting Barbie's statistics in to real life measurements they would be 39- 21- 33. If they were real she would not be able to menstruate and she would have difficulty giving birth. (Ann Ruth Turkel pg171) As an experienced weight watcher and a grown woman, I know these statistics are an impossible target to reach. Examining all the journals that have been written about this doll, it is hard to find one that portrays Barbie in a positive light. Nevertheless, not to be too hard on Barbie, after all she is only a doll. Barbie is the first tangible evidence of perfect female sexuality. We need to consider why do parents give gender-typed toys to their children. ...read more.

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