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Gender Socialization

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Abstract

Questions regarding gender roles, behavior, and expectations tend to be situated in the nurture versus nature debate. Scholarship is unsettled as to the ways in which genes, biology, and psychosocial experience interact to shape gender differences. However, most science scholarship focuses on the role of the social environment, with gender conceptualized as a social construct composed of roles, behaviors, and expectations rather than being biologically innate. This entry defines and explains socialization and gender socialization. It then examines the agents of socialization – family, education, peers, and media – as sites of gender socialization.

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Gender, Race, and Class in Media: A Critical Reader
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