Do parents have different standards for their daughters than sons?


The anger I feel walking past baby sections in stores and seeing the misogyny and sexist messages being marketed to new parents boils me to my breaking point. 

The bias stigma surrounding daughters and sons comes from such a young age. For example, next time you take a look around at any baby section in a store read what the onesies have on them. Some of the most ridiculous phrases I have seen are placed on girls’ onesies like “I hate my thighs” or “I’m not allowed to date ever” While the boys’ onesies have “Future heartbreaker” or “Boys will be boys” are placed all over infant clothing. It’s absolutely disgusting. 

Whether parents realize it or not, the sexist narrative that’s placed on our two genders has been repeatedly pushed on us since we were born and that’s sadly the world we live in. 

Coming from a family of three girls and one boy, I have a pretty clear perspective on this problem and have faced it daily in my life. Although I adore my brother and my parents they do tend to give him special treatment. For example, he was allowed to have his significant others over and go into a room of privacy, while on the other hand, my sisters and I were rarely allowed to even have boys over, and if they did, we had to stay on our ground floor.

Whether parents realize it or not, the sexist narrative that’s placed on our two genders has been repeatedly pushed on us since we were born and that’s sadly the world we live in. 

However my personal experiences are one thing, let’s take a look at the facts. There have been multiple research studies showing that fathers invest a lot more time into their sons because they feel like they can share a common ground in masculinity. However, this parenting style doesn’t apply to mothers. Instead, share their time equally leaving many girls to feel left out or treated differently by their fathers which can cause more issues in the long run.

During my time writing this editorial, I took it upon myself to gather all the facts to prove that yes, daughters are treated differently than sons. My personal experience and science backed me up, but what about the ladies of FHC? Did they think similarly as well? To no surprise, every girl I asked throughout the school gave me the exact same reaction and answer. They all gave a definite yes and expressed the frustrations I share as well. 

Another article I found very interesting was posted in the New York Times asking the same question I had been pondering and the answer was also yes. For starters parents expect their sons to be smarter and the girls to be skinnier. It’s not that they don’t want the best for both of their children, it’s just the standards society that was pushed on our parents as well. They are doing the same for us whether they realize it or not. The old stigma is that girls need to be protected and take care of their vanity while men need to be successful and provide for us women. This standard has been held for centuries and I’m dumbfounded that these ideas are still being pushed on us in subtle ways. 

One alternative to help bring light to the issue is education. School can play a large role in breaking down gender barriers. They could help educate parents on their thinking basis and some of their behaviors that push those stereotypes onto us without even realizing it. 

I’m not saying all parents raise their children with gender-norm stereotypes, but it seems to be a common problem for the majority of people with science even backing the fact. It’s the 21st century, and I say our generation is the first to break these pressure-binding stereotypes and stigmas regarding your child’s gender. Instead of putting misogynist quotes on our babies’ clothing, we must work towards finding a solution to this never-ending problem.