Zoom Divide of the Sexes: Gender Roles in Childhood DVD

Divide of the Sexes: Gender Roles in Childhood DVD

SKU: 192508DVD

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Why do boys underachieve? How does celebrity culture influence the self-esteem of young girls? In an atmosphere dominated by sex and consumerism, are children growing up too quickly? This program addresses those issues, reporting on a group of 25 eight-year-olds as they adjust to gender roles and expectations. Nathan’s parents have gone all out to make sure he grows up without stereotypes—but real life isn’t that simple. Rhianna’s mother is the breadwinner and child care provider in the family, while her father spends most of his time drinking. Meanwhile, tomboy Megan has taken an interest in the opposite sex, Helena has embraced her femininity, and Tyrese is displaying male aggression. A BBC/Open University Coproduction. Original broadcast title: Divide of the Sexes. Part of the series Child of Our Time 2008. (60 minutes)

Length: 60 minutes


Copyright date: ©2008

 Closed Captioned

Consumerism and Gender Marketing (03:00)

Tests with children indicate that consumer culture thrives when it reinforces stereotypes. Children in one family observe their mother working outside the home while the father does most of the child rearing.

Parenting Styles (03:37)

Parents treat their boy and girl exactly the same: same chores, same attention, same games, and more. Though the parents live separately under the same roof, the children understand and are comfortable with both parents.

Families: Who Is in Charge? (03:50)

In one family, Rhianna’s mother is the breadwinner and childcare provider, while her father spends most of his time drinking. The child grows up in an essentially female household in which gender roles are unequal.

Young Girls: Body Consciousness (04:12)

At age 7, Rhianna is worried about her body shape. Why? The celebrity culture is built around "thinner is better." Less than perfect bodies are ridiculed in the media. In a test, most young girls want to be underweight.

Challenges for Young Boys (04:49)

Near the age of 7, boys and girls showed marked differences in concern over body image. What do young boys worry about? Boys are more likely to be involved in violence, and in school they lag behind girls in almost every subject.

Values: Gender Differences (02:30)

Research tests show that 7-year-old boys value wealth over cleverness; girls choose cleverness over wealth. Girls choose "kind" and "healthy" as their top two value choices.

Parental Influence on Children (04:05)

Seven-year-old Helena, is the sole survivor of triplets. She embraces her femininity, and her mother is a model of the ambitious businesswoman. Her father anticipates Helena will be the first woman on Mars.

Parental Assumptions About Gender (04:16)

Parents in general acknowledge that the journey towards gender equality has been somewhat slow. When a mother's job is downsized, her child takes on the money worries of the parents. Music videos often force young girls to grow up too fast.

Celebrity Culture and Children's Fashion Choices (02:54)

Fashions available to seven-year-old girls are wide-ranging. Girls often choose clothing of celebrities or toys such as Bratz dolls. In general, they head for adult looks. Boys head straight for the gangster look.

What Do Children Know About Sex? (04:27)

Seven-year-old Megan is a tomboy in a family where mother and father carry out very traditional roles. Megan, another friend, and her new "boyfriend" have a sleepover at Megan's house.

Children: Death of a Loved One (04:31)

Children copy their parents' behavior. Are they growing up faster than their parents did? A seven-year-old boy who lives without stereotypes at home develops his sensitive side.

Communication Difficulties in Children (03:02)

A young boy with dyslexia finds it difficult to assert himself through words.

Are Boys Less Talkative Than Girls? (04:08)

In communications tests, boy-girl pairs, and same-sex pairs are encouraged to interact verbally. In both situations, the boys barely spoke. Girls use words for gossip and making friends. Boys use language for more practical things.

Flexible Gender Roles (02:24)

Today, gender roles are changing. Children have choices about their activities and their futures. Helena, the sole survivor of triplets, celebrates all their lives on her eighth birthday.

Children Overcome Stereotypes (05:07)

Seven-year-old Megan loses her first boyfriend. Her mother sees unlimited opportunities for her daughter. Tyrese's father is determined to keep his son from living the stereotype of an underachieving black boy.

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Divide of the Sexes: Gender Roles in Childhood DVD



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