Rethinking Gender and Emotion
I think the best thing I could give my son is a good impression of what women are and that he would respect women as being intelligent people; that we're not just housekeepers, we're not just mothers, we're not just wives. We are intelligent beings and we have so much to give to children and I'd like to see women out of the roles that children see them in. That my son sees that I'm capable of doing many things, just as he sees his father capable of doing many things. And I'd like to see that all mothers, all women would first be seen as people, individuals, and then as mothers and wives. I hope the next generation that has children will not only be mothers, but they'll be people to their children. Which would be the best gift they could give to their children.
—Elizabeth, age 38
I'd like to see the results of an experiment where boys and girls were not raised differently ... if you raised them exactly the same, how would they come out? Who knows?
—Mark, age 42
Cultural values shape and constrain the socialization of females' and males' emotional expressivity, ultimately affecting the quality of their functioning and interpersonal relationships. Gender differences in emotional expressivity are shaped by cultural agents, such as peers, parents, and the media, who respond to subtle differences in temperament between the two sexes very early in life (the precise causes of which have yet to be specified), as well as to social values and stereotypes about gender. Biological differences between the two sexes matter primarily insofar as they elicit different social responses, especially from parents and peers.
Perhaps the most significant cultural values to influence gender differ