Gender Equality

Living Edition
| Editors: Walter Leal Filho, Anabela Marisa Azul, Luciana Brandli, Pinar Gökcin Özuyar, Tony Wall

Gender Socialization

  • Elham HoominfarEmail author
Living reference work entry



Gender socialization is a “process by which individuals develop, refine and learn to ‘do’ gender through internalizing gender norms and roles as they interact with key agents of socialization, such as their family, social networks and other social institutions” (p. 6) (John et al. 2017).


The importance of understanding gender socialization is in addressing gender inequality and gender discrimination which have harmful consequences for people in the society. Understanding the formation of this discrimination promotes the Sustainable Development Goals in reducing gender inequality and increasing more opportunities for women. It is a great achievement for society to move toward a sustainable and comprehensive development and reduce any kind of inequality. Gender equality would be supported by recognizing the agents and factors that have formed unfair gender social norms and also improving awareness of the social fact that gender roles and...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Abbott P, Wallace C, Tyler M (2005) An introduction to sociology: feminist perspectives. Routledge, LondonGoogle Scholar
  2. Arnett JJ (2014) Socialization in emerging adulthood: from the family to the wider world, from socialization to self-socialization. In: Grusec JE, Hastings PD (eds) Handbook of socialization. Theory and research, 2nd edn. Guilford Publications, New York, pp 85–109. Retrieved from https://ebookcentral.proquest.comGoogle Scholar
  3. Bandura A (2002) Social cognitive theory of mass communication. In: Bryant J, Zillmann D (eds) Media effects: advances in theory and research, 2nd edn. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Mahwah, pp 121–154Google Scholar
  4. Bandura A, Bussey K (2004) On broadening the cognitive, motivational, and sociostructurally scope of theorizing about gender development and functioning: comment on Martin, Ruble, and Szkrybalo (2002). Psychol Bull 130:691–701CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bem SL (1981) Gender Schema theory: a cognitive account of sex typing. Psychol Rev 88(4):354–364CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bem SL (1993) The lenses of gender: transforming the debate on sexual inequality. Yale University Press, New HavenGoogle Scholar
  7. Blakemore JEO, Hill CA (2008) The child gender socialization scale: a measure to compare traditional and feminist parents. Sex Roles 58(3–4):192–207. Scholar
  8. Brewer L (2001) Gender socialization and the cultural construction of elder caregivers. J Aging Stud 15(3):217–235. Scholar
  9. Bukowski W, Castellanos M, Vitaro F, Brendgen M (2016/2014) Socialization and experiences with peers. In: Grusec JE, Hastings PD (eds) Handbook of socialization. Theory and research, 2nd edn. Guilford Publications, pp 228–251. Retrieved from
  10. Chen J, Liu H, Xie Z (2010) Effects of rural–urban return migration on women’s family planning and reproductive health attitudes and behavior in rural China. Stud Fam Plan 41(1):31–44CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Colaner CW, Rittenour CE (2015) “Feminism begins at home”: the influence of mother gender socialization on daughter career and motherhood aspirations as channeled through daughter feminist identification. Commun Q 63(1):81–98. Scholar
  12. Collins RL (2011) Content analysis of gender roles in media: where are we now and where should we go? Sex Roles 64(3):290–298. Scholar
  13. Crespi I (2004) Socialization and gender roles within the family: a study on adolescents and their parents in Great Britain. MCFA Annals. Retrieved from;
  14. Cvencek D, Meltzoff AN, Greenwald AG (2011) Math-gender stereotypes in elementary school children. Child Dev 82(3):766–779. Scholar
  15. Dietz T (1998) An examination of violence and gender role portrayals in video games: implications for gender socialization and aggressive behavior. Sex Roles 38(5):425–442. Scholar
  16. Duflo E (2012) Women empowerment and economic development. J Econ Lit 50(4):1051–1079CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Dunn J (2014) Siblings. In: Grusec JE, Hastings PD (eds) Handbook of socialization. Theory and research, 2nd edn. Guilford Publications, New York, pp 182–202. Retrieved from https://ebookcentral.proquest.comGoogle Scholar
  18. Eijk GV (2017) Between risk and resistance: gender socialization, equality, and ambiguous norms in fear of crime and safekeeping. Fem Criminol 12(2):103–124. Scholar
  19. Elkin F, Handel G (1989) The child b society: the process of socialization, 5th edn. Random House, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  20. Emolu E (2014) Play, toys and gender socialization. J Plus Educ XI(2):22–30Google Scholar
  21. Fee E, Krieger N (1994) Man-made medicine and women’s health: the biopolitics of sex/gender and race/ethnicity. In: Fee E, Krieger N (eds) Women’s health, politics, and power. Baywood Publishing, Amityville, pp 11–29Google Scholar
  22. Frawley TJ (2008) Gender schema and prejudicial recall: how children misremember, fabricate, and distort gendered picture book information. J Res Child Educ 22(3):291–303. Retrieved from ProQuest databaseCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Grusec JE, Davidov M (2014) Analyzing socialization from a domain specific perspective. In: Grusec JE, Hastings PD (eds) Handbook of socialization. Theory and research, 2nd edn. Guilford Publications, New York, pp 158–182. Retrieved from https://ebookcentral.proquest.comGoogle Scholar
  24. Grusec JE, Hastings PD (2014) Handbook of socialization. Theory and research, 2nd edn. New York, NY, US: Guilford Press. Retrieved from
  25. Halim ML, Ruble DN, Tamis-LeMonda CS, Zosuls KM, Lurye LE, Greulich FK (2014) Pink frilly dresses and the avoidance of all things “girly”: children’s appearance rigidity and cognitive theories of gender development. Dev Psychol 50(4):1091–1101CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Hancock AM (2007) Intersectionality as a normative and empirical paradigm. Polit Gend 3(02):248–254Google Scholar
  27. Heilman ME (2001) Description and prescription: how gender stereotypes prevent women’s ascent up the organizational ladder. J Soc Issues 57(4):657–674. Scholar
  28. Hines M (1982) Prenatal gonadal hormones and sex differences in human behavior. Psychological Bulletin 92(1):56–80CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. John AN, Stoebenau K, Ritter S, Edmeades J, Balvin N (2017) Gender socialization during adolescence in low- and middle-income countries: conceptualization, influences and outcomes. UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti.
  30. Kabeer N (2015) Women workers and the politics of claims-making in a globalizing economy. Working paper 2015–13. United Nations Research Institute for Social DevelopmentGoogle Scholar
  31. Kereszty O (2009) Gender in textbooks. Practice and Theory in Systems of Education 4(2):1–7Google Scholar
  32. Lawson KM, Crouter AC, McHale SM (2015) Links between family gender socialization experiences in childhood and gendered occupational attainment in young adulthood. J Vocat Behav 90:26–35. Scholar
  33. Leaper C, Farkas T (2014) The socialization of gender during childhood and adolescence. In: Grusec JE, Hastings PD (eds) Handbook of socialization. Theory and research, 2nd edn. Guilford Publications, New York, pp 541–566. Retrieved from https://ebookcentral.proquest.comGoogle Scholar
  34. Leaper C, Friedman C (2007) The socialization of gender. In: Grusec J, Hastings P (eds) Handbook of socialization: theory and research. Guilford Press, New York, pp 561–587. Retrieved from Scholar
  35. Leuptow LB, Garovich L, Leuptow MB (1995) The persistence of gender stereotypes in the face of changing sex roles: evidence contrary to the sociocultural model. Ethol Sociobiol 16:509–530CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Maharjan A, Bauer S, Knerr B (2012) Do rural women who stay behind benefit from male out-migration? A case study in the hills of Nepal. Gend Technol Dev 16(1):95–123CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. McLeod S (2018) Simply psychology. Published online:
  38. Millett K (1971) Sexual politics. Granada Publishing Ltd, LondonGoogle Scholar
  39. Millett K (2005) Theory of sexual politics. In: Cudd AE, Andreasen RO (eds) Feminist theory: a philosophical anthology. Blackwell Publishing, Oxford, pp 37–59. ISBN 1-4051-1661-7Google Scholar
  40. Oakley A (1972) Sex, gender, and society. Maurice Temple Smith, LondonGoogle Scholar
  41. Paek H, Nelson MR, Vilela AM (2010) Examination of gender-role portrayals in television advertising across seven countries. Sex Roles. this issueCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Pomerleau A, Bolduc D, Malcuit G, Cossette L (1990) Pink or blue: environmental gender stereotypes in the first two years of life. Sex Roles 22:359–367CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Prentice DA, Carranza E (2002) What women and men should be, shouldn’t be, are allowed to be, and don’t have to be: the contents of prescriptive gender stereotypes. Psychol Women Q 26:269–281CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Prot S, Anderson CA, Gentile DA, Warburton W, Saleem M, Groves CL, Brown SC (2014) Media as agents of socialization. In: Grusec JE, Hastings PD (eds) Handbook of socialization. Theory and research, 2nd edn. Guilford Publications, New York, pp 276–230. Retrieved from https://ebookcentral.proquest.comGoogle Scholar
  45. Ridgeway CL, Correll SJ (2004) Unpacking the gender system, a theoretical perspective on gender beliefs and social relations. Gend Soc 18(4):510–531CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Risman B (2004) Gender as a social structure: theory wrestling with activism. Gend Soc 18(4):429–450CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Ryle R (2011) How do we learn gender? In: Questioning gender, p 119. SAGE PublicationsGoogle Scholar
  48. Smetana JG, Robinson J, Rote WM (2014) Socialization in adolescence. In: Grusec JE, Hastings PD (eds) Handbook of socialization. Theory and research, 2nd edn. Guilford Publications, New York, pp 6–85. Retrieved from https://ebookcentral.proquest.comGoogle Scholar
  49. Smith SL, Pieper KM, Granados A, Choueiti M (2010) Assessing gender-related portrayals in top-grossing G-rated films. Sex Roles 62:774–786. Scholar
  50. Stockard J (1999) Gender socialization. In: Chafetz JS (ed) Handbook of the sociology of gender. Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers, New York, pp 215–227Google Scholar
  51. Stone A (2007) An introduction to feminist philosophy. Polity Press, Cambridge, MAGoogle Scholar
  52. Taylor F (2003) Content analysis and gender stereotypes in children’s books. Teach Sociol 31(3):300–311. Retrieved from Scholar
  53. Turner JS (2010) Sex and the spectacle of music videos: an examination of the portrayal of race and sexuality in music videos. Sex Roles. this issueCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Wentzel KR (2014) Socialization in school settings. In: Grusec JE, Hastings PD (eds) Handbook of socialization. Theory and research, 2nd edn. Guilford Publications, New York, pp 251–276. Retrieved from https://ebookcentral.proquest.comGoogle Scholar
  55. Witt SD (2000) The influence of peers on children’s socialization to gender roles. Early Child Dev Care 162(1):1–7. Scholar
  56. Women and Hollywood (2017a) Women onscreen, top-grossing 100 films.
  57. Women and Hollywood (2017b) 2016–2017 SEASON, Women on TV.
  58. Wood W, Eagly AH (2002) A cross-cultural analysis of the behavior of women and men: implications for the origins of sex differences. Psychol Bull 128:699–727CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Yabiku ST, Agadjanian V, Sevoyan A (2010) Husbands’ labour migration and wives’ autonomy, Mozambique 2000–2006. Popul Stud 64(3):293–306CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Sociology, Social Work & AnthropologyUtah State UniversityLoganUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Melissa Haeffner
    • 1
  1. 1.Environmental Science and ManagementPortland State UniversityPortlandUSA