It has been found that fathers are firmer in their expectations for gender conformity than are mothers, and their expectations are stronger for sons than they are for daughters (Kimmel 2000).This is true in many types of activities, including preference of toys, play styles, discipline, chores, and personal achievements.
Sons are also often free from performing domestic duties such as cleaning or cooking and other household tasks that are considered feminine.
Daughters are limited by their expectation to be passive and nurturing, generally obedient, and to assume many of the domestic responsibilities.
Girls were encouraged to take home economics or humanities courses and boys to take math and science courses.
Studies suggest that gender socialization still occurs in schools today, perhaps in less obvious forms (Lips 2004).
Just as a playwright expects actors to adhere to a prescribed script, society expects women and men to behave according to the expectations of their respective gender role.
Scripts are generally learned through a process known as socialization, which teaches people to behave according to social norms.
As a result, boys tend to be particularly attuned to their father’s disapproval when engaging in an activity that might be considered feminine, like dancing or singing (Coltraine and Adams 2008).
It should be noted that parental socialization and normative expectations vary along lines of social class, race, and ethnicity.
The phrase “boys will be boys” is often used to justify behavior such as pushing, shoving, or other forms of aggression from young boys.
The phrase implies that such behavior is unchangeable and something that is part of a boy’s nature.
For instance, boys are allowed more autonomy and independence at an earlier age than daughters.