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Hopes and Expectations for Sons and Daughters

Andre Spruell, Opinion Editor

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Having a family is a goal most people strive for, whether it be planned or unplanned. With that being said, does the gender of a child determine how their parents raise them?

According to Psychology Today, it is often difficult to do this type of research because parents tend to be reluctant to admit that they treat their sons and daughters differently, especially in an era of greater gender equality.

Nowadays, it is common for couples that are planning to have a family to have a gender reveal for a baby that is on its way. The way in which the gender is revealed takes many forms, with the end result being blue, which signifies a boy, or pink, which means the couple is expecting a girl.

Due to something like gender reveals, is it safe to assume that hopes, standards and expectations are already being placed on a child before they are even born?

Personally, I do not think it is a stretch that couples expecting a child are already placing expectations on their children once their gender is revealed because simply put, girls are treated differently from boys.

Something as simple as toys contribute to stereotypes among sons and daughters. For example, boys are discouraged from playing with dolls and makeup, while girls are discouraged to do physical activity and are discouraged to play with “boy” toys like G.I. Joe action figures.

Another factor as to why boys and girls are treated differently from each other is the fact that dads are males and that mothers are females.

According to Time Magazine, fathers tend to use more analytical language when speaking to their daughters than when talking to sons.

In other words, by using more analytical languages towards daughters, it indicates that fathers have more complex types of discussions with their sons as opposed to their daughters.

Fathers also talked about sadness more with girls than boys, and they were more likely to engage in rough physical play with their sons than with their daughters according to Time Magazine.

Boys engaging in physical play while girls are generally taught to avoid physically demanding activity is something that I believe has always been around in society. This develops the stereotype that since boys are genetically stronger, they are more capable of doing physical activity to the point that it seems girls cannot do the same, which is just not true.

This particular idea is evident on the adult level as well, especially back in the early 1900s when men typically went out to work physically demanding jobs, while women stayed at home to tend kids because they were seen as too delicate to work the same jobs as men.

According to Time.com, mothers may be more comfortable talking about their emotions than fathers, thus children might therefore think it is more appropriate for girls to talk about feelings.

Due to this, daughters were more likely than sons to speak about their emotions with their fathers when talking about past experiences. Since this is the case, another stereotype developed as that women are more emotional.

Since fathers and mothers are more emotionally available for their daughters than with their sons, girls tend to be more emotional because they are allowed to be more emotional. On the other hand, boys are generally not taught to be emotional because being emotional is something that is typically not seen as “manly.”

According to CBS News, there is a ton of research indicating that it is really good for children to talk about their emotions and so if we’re doing that less with out boys, that’s a good thing to realize.

Parents being emotionally available for their children no matter their gender is something I think is truly important.

Girls are more emotional, but they are allowed to be emotional, which I like. Girls comfortably having the ability to show their emotions in any situation allows them to express themselves more freely and makes them feel more comfortable in doing so.

Boys meanwhile are less emotional because they are taught to not be emotional. Teaching boys to be more emotional I believe is becoming more common today, and is something that is important to do because allowing boys to be more emotional allows them to express their feelings more which is important to their health, especially their mentally health.

Being a son to two parents who both have been extremely active in my life, there was a difference in how they raised me.

My mother has always been there for me emotionally and always made it a point that if there was something going on to let her know about. She made it an emphasis to be my emotional outlet.

Meanwhile, my father taught me toughness and whenever he taught me lessons growing up as a kid, he always hammered home, “I’m raising men, I’m not raising boys.”

Having both forms of teaching is extremely beneficial because showing emotion is something that everyone has to do in order to be healthy, but also having that hard nosed upbringing from a father serves as reminder that when the going gets tough, to keep pushing through to find a solution.

Through research, it can be inferred that teaching sons differently from daughters also creates different hopes and dreams. While these hopes and dreams may be similar, it can be inferred that the hopes and dreams towards daughter is more emotionally based than a boy’s hopes and dreams.

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Hopes and Expectations for Sons and Daughters