Posted by admin

Are girls and boys treated differently from birth?

Behna (Sisters) is a play set the day before a wedding in a Punjabi household and all of the action takes place in a kitchen. A key theme within the play is gender: what it means to be a female or male within the household.

What do you think? Are girls and boys treated differently from birth (by parents, family members, teachers, and the community)?

4 comments on “Are girls and boys treated differently from birth?”

  1. Bobby

    Why is it that almost all cards for new born babies are either pink for girls, or blue for boys? Is it really necessary to separate the sexes so early on? To avoid this, I search high and low for non-gender specific cards which tend to be white or other non-too specific (not pink or blue) colours and usually just say: “Baby” rather than “girl” or “boy”.

  2. Julia

    Boys and girls are certainly treated differently and Bobby has a good point about baby colours: though I’m often guilty of falling in line with that one! When boys and girls are not treated equally, it can lead to real problems such as young people growing up lacking in confidence or feeling bitter and aggrieved about their treatment. (In my experience, girls often suffer from being treated as inferior to their brothers – and then often their husbands also – particularly in Asian households. Here, the expectations for women can mean that they are expected to fulfull the modern role of full time worker whilst also fulfilling more traditional roles of wife, mother and obedient daughter-in-law.) However, it is important to remember that there is a difference between “the same” and “equal”. Often it is appropriate – and preferable – to treat the sexes differently but equally.

  3. Anne

    I think in general, yes they are treated differently, but they are different! What we have to remember is that evety child should be treated as an individual, whatever their gender.

  4. RH

    They are treated differently, and parents mould their children into gender specific roles in every culture. For instance, in the Indian culture, mothers constantly teach their girls to act ‘appropriately’, to do housework, cook. Boys are told ‘not to cry like girls’.

    However, I do think that biological differences cannot be avoided and plays a major role in gender differences. We can buy all the neutral things for babies, but at some point, woman and man will notice these biological differences and start to act according to their gender. They start to adapt to their environment and that can’t be avoided. A woman will become more caring when she gives birth, she will naturally become more gental and caring.

    Hope it makes sense!

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.