During childhood, the child’s gender identity starts to take shape. Gender identity is largely determined by social and environmental factors.
The overt and hidden messaging that children receive is extended in childhood when they begin to engage society’s messages about how females and males should act, and begin to show an understanding of gender roles. For example; boys are told directly that they should not take part in ballet; or derogatory remarks are made about men who do ballet, eg “Men who wear tights are moffies”. The message boys receive is that “ballet is for sissies and girls”.