Monthly Archives: July 2012

Is a Gender-Neutral Environment for Our Girls the Answer?

To discuss if a gender-neutral environment is attainable and would such an environment be supportive of a child’s development, we have to look at what we know about gender research and our society.  Historically, fairy tales and nursery rhymes were orally passed down through generations and used to teach children how to behave; concurrently they seem to be stereotyping in the role of women and girls.  Women were viewed as damsels in distress who were saved by handsome princes.  Womens’ roles were cooks, homemakers, and mothers.  Men were courageous, hunters, and received an education.  The printing of the fairy tales and then the making of early movies reinforced these stereotypes.  Disney made “Snow White” in 1938 and that began the stereotyping role for girls through today’s ‘princess’ focus.