Nowadays, gender issue is the main topic for discussion. Due to my course, I have to analyse this problem through differences in raising children of opposite sex in one family. I am the only child in my family, so I will analyze my best friend’s family and how his parents were raising him and his sister. I will analyze both differences and similarities in their upbringing.
First of all, it is worth mentioning that the gender issue is known almost to everybody in current time; in our century this term is used almost everywhere, especially by people, who want to show some sexual inequality. The general concept of gender was studied from ancient times by Plato and Aristotle, followed by Thomas More, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Immanuel Kant, Arthur Schopenhauer, and many others. Of course, those studies were far away from today’s meaning of this word. Nevertheless, the great brains of the world were interested in such delicate point as sex differences in society and how this influenced mankind during many centuries. The main point of gender studies is the following: biological, psychological, however, sociocultural appraisal and interpretation are more important than social differences between men and women.
Now I proceed to my best friend Tom, whose family I took as an example for my essay. I know him since the age of 5, so I can make fair conclusions. Tom and Ann’s (that is the name of his sister) parents are very modern, out-going and kind-hearted people. Tom is three years older than his sister.
Above all, I want to describe those similarities, which I observed in their upbringing. Tom’s parents have never discriminated their children from the point of mental abilities. It is common knowledge that lot of parents believe that boys should be smart and girls must be beautiful, however, this family supports opposing views. Tom and Ann were given the same books in their childhood, they read the same fairy-tales and stories of course later they began to choose the books they liked by themselves. It is very interesting that now, when they are 20 and 17, both are with a wonderful imagination and have some writing skills. Moreover, in this family there were no stereotypical boy and girl’s toys and clothes. I remember Ann adored playing football as a child, and Tom liked to help his mother in the kitchen.
These features in raising Tom and Ann were similar, although boys and girls have a bit different goals in life. Consequently, when kids came into juvenile period the rules changed a bit. McKie (2010) argued that boys develop improved spatial skills not because of an innate superiority but because they are expected and are encouraged to be strong at sport, which requires expertise at catching and throwing. Similarly, it is anticipated that girls will be more emotional and talkative, and so their verbal skills are emphasized by teachers and parents. Probably that was crucial reasons for the future raising their children.
It was supposed that Ann had to get better grades at school, and Tom had to be good at some kinds of sport. While Tom had more freedom from the point of view on usual teenager’s life, Ann had to be at home in a strictly set time or together with her brother when she was out in the evening. I cannot say that Tom and Ann totally disagreed with those changes, they just accepted them. However, lately they made decisions by themselves, namely Tom resolved that he likes sport, but mainly watch it on the TV or on the stadium, prefers reading philosophical books and writes short fantasy stories. On the contrary, Ann is a very sportive girl, she prefers dancing and team games instead of cramming.
According to McKie, children do not inherit intellectual differences, they learn them. Hence, children take a lot from their parents, and maybe it is true that they must be raised differently. Though, it does not mean that children will grow up according to parent’s imaginary plan; parents can give them a lot of possible ways for the future, but which way will be dominant nobody can predict.