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The family is considered significant in the growth and development of an individual person. It has the basic role in the shaping of the boys’ and girls’ identity, gender roles and the perception of themselves and the society. One of the areas that the different genders get to understand is their sexuality. Unlike other attributes that one obtains from without, it is developed from within and has the most influence on a person as it affects one’s whole life (Schaefer & Lamm, 123-54).
The role of creating and shaping one’s perspective of him/herself is with the parents who are considered the first teachers that a person ha. They not only make one to be able to under learn basic skills of life, they also socialize the child into the roles, norms and values that the society upholds and what is expected of them. The way they treat the male and female children and help them to know their differences greatly influences their perception and how they will play the roles that they are made aware of. The normal family tends to honor the male children for their accomplishments as opposed to feminine beauty that girls are praised for (Brady, 380).
The children therefore internalize these roles and observe them as the parents model them in the way they live. They see the success that the father has achieved in defining what masculinity entails masculinity as the mother takes part in physical activities like games and this shapes their thinking of the same even though they may seem misplaced by the society. They can also be negatively affected by the poor modeling by parents who engage in abuse, violence in the family and may manifest these when they become adults as they have regarded this as normal (Kail, & Cavanaugh, 223- 56).
The children are aware of their identity by the age of three and at this stage, they are more influenced by the play sessions with peers where they clearly see the differences between the genders and lifestyles associated with them. Extreme cases have seen the children’s choices shaped by the television. These are reinforced by the hindrances that parents have placed on the play forms like tree climbing may be forbidden for girls ton prevent their hurt although in terms of choice of colors they could still share preferences (Hayden, 15).
Outsides the family, exists the other powerful influence of children’s growth: the peers. With the assumption that the children have been socialized using similar societal roles, the peer group gives the children the challenge regarding the se expectations that categorizes a child as conforming or deviant of the same depending on the choice of the child. These resulted in taunting or teasing which was geared to giving in or exclusion from play groups. These reactions found their basis on the roles and regulations that are already internalized by the children (Schaefer & Lamm, 123-54).