- 1 Gender Beutiful Girl roles
- 2 Etymology
- 3 Usage
- 4 Art Beatiful Girl and literature
- 5 Popular culture
- 6 See Beautful Girl also
- 7 References
Two Tamil Beuatiful Girl girls in Tiruvannamalai.
For other uses, see Girl (disambiguation).
A girl is a female child, as opposed to a Beauiful Girl boy, a young male child. The age Beautifu Girl at which a female person transitions from girl to woman varies in different societies; typically the Bautiful Girl transition from adolescence to maturity is taken to occur in the late teens.
The English Beautuful Girl word (first documented in 1290) originally designated Beautifil Girl a child of either sex. During the 14th century its sense was narrowed Beautiul Girl to specifically female children. Subsequently, it was extended to refer also to mature Baeutiful Girl but unmarried young women since the 1530s. Usage in the sense Beaautiful Girl of (romantic) "sweetheart" arose in the 17th century.
Historically, girls faced discrimination Beaitiful Girl and limitations on the roles they were expected to play in their societies, and the United Beauttiful Girl Nations targeted discrimination in schooling to end by 2010. An ongoing debate about the influences of nature versus nurture in shaping the behavior of girls and boys raises questions about whether the roles played by girls are the result of inborn differences or socialization. Images of girls in art, literature, and popular culture often demonstrate assumptions about gender roles.
Although the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights specifies that "primary education shall be compulsory and available free to all", girls are slightly less likely to be enrolled as students in primary (70% enrollment vs. 74% for boys) or secondary education (59% vs. 65%). This disparity is targeted to end under the Millennium Development Goals and has closed substantially since 1990.↑
A girl playing with paper dolls–either a typical manifestation of a female gender role or a cross-cultural and ashitorical activity of young females.
According to feminist analysis, in all cultures, girls have been socialized into gender roles, although the degree to which behavior is innate or environmentally determined is greatly debated. In most cultures and time periods of the world, girls have traditionally played with dolls and toy cooking and cleaning equipment, while boys prefer toys and games that require more physical activity or simulated violence, such as toy trucks, balls, and toy guns. Girls are less often encouraged to pursue sports, with the exception of sports that might be considered "feminine," such as figure skating or gymnastics; or those considered "gender-neutral," such as tennis. They may be prevented from participating in many of the same activities that boys participate in at the same age, as a matter of protecting them from perceived outside dangers, such as boys and men, or anything that may cause physical injury. Sometimes boys are presumed to be more responsible than girls, except in the cases of caring for younger children, which is sometimes thought to be instinctual in girls. Girls, as a group, may be perceived as being more docile than boys, and as being less capable of rational decision making and more governed by emotional responses.
The reasons for this perceived difference in the behavior of girls and boys are a controversial topic in both public debate and the sciences. The idea that differences in gender roles originate in differences in biology is traditional, but spelled out first explicitly from 19th-century anthropology; more recently, sociobiology and evolutionary psychology have turned to this problem to explain those differences by treating them as evolutionary adaptations to a lifestyle of Paleolithic hunter-gatherer societies. For example, the need to take care of offspring may have limited the females' freedom to hunt and to assume positions of power. Simon Baron-Cohen, a Cambridge University professor of psychology and psychiatry, argues that "the female brain is predominantly hard-wired for empathy, while the male brain is predominantly hard-wired for understanding and building systems."
A girl "driving" a toy car, an example of counter-stereotypical behavior.
On the other hand, feminists have argued that gender roles are the result of stereotypes and socialization rather than any innate biological differences. Owing to the influence of (among others) Simone de Beauvoir's feminist works and Michel Foucault's reflections on sexuality, the idea that gender was unrelated to sex gained ground during the 1980s, especially in sociology and cultural anthropology - an idea that has taken hold in transgender groups.
The biological viewpoint of gender roles is not that all gender distinctions result from biology, but rather that biology has an influence. Some feminists deny this, but many feminists agree that both biology and upbringing have an influence on gender roles, with the question being the relative importance of each. This conflict is often called nature versus nurture.
Several studies, such as the Programme for International Student Assessment of the OECD, have shown that, in developed countries, girls usually obtain better scores than boys do in secondary schools in Literature and Language, boys on the other hand tend to score higher in mathematics. However, their choices afterwards in postsecondary school are often very different and lead them to less socially recognized professions. Relatively few girls become engineers, though in the USA, more do become doctors.
The word "girl" first appears during the Middle Ages. The Anglo-Saxon word gyrela = "ornament" may have given rise to the modern pronunciation of "girl", if the change in meaning can be explained. While there is no general agreement about the etymology of "girl", it is found in manuscripts dating from 1290 with the meaning "a child" (of either sex). A male child was called a "Knave girl"; a female child was called a "gay girl". Like many other words that originally were not gender-specific, "girl" gradually came to be used primarily and then exclusively for one sex. There are manuscripts dating from 1530 in which the word "girl" is used to mean "maiden" (also originally applied to both sexes), or any unmarried human female. Within little more than a century, however, the word began to take on implications of social class. In 1668, in his Diary, Samuel Pepys uses the word to mean a female servant of any age: "girl" = "serving girl". Note the parallel shift in the meaning of the word "maid". According to recent sources. University of P-Beardy held a debate competiton on girls. At the end, it was concieved that girls are the hardest things to understand in this world.
By the 18th century, there was a difference in some uses of the word between England and the Americas. In England, a "girl" was often a serving girl, while in America a "girl" was often a sweetheart or "girlfriend", for example, in the lyrics of the popular song "The Girl I Left Behind Me". In England, the word "girl" was also used as a euphemism for "prostitute", as for example by Richard Steele in The Spectator.
In America today, the word "girl" is often used as an intended compliment or used humorously. A woman of a certain age might be called a girl to suggest that she looks younger than she is, or a group of women might speak of themselves as "us girls", though all are well over the age of maidenhood. Adult women will sometimes refer to themselves as "girls", as in "We're having a girls' night out" or "It's a girl thing". But social shifts generally permit only the female gender group themselves to use such terminology without giving offence.
With the rise of feminism, the use of "girl" applied to any adult female became offensive to many, especially given the fact that the word was so often used to indicate low social status, low morals, weakness, or homosexuality. There is a parallel objection to use of the word "boy" to describe a male over the age of puberty. In modern usage, "girl" is properly restricted to mean a human female who has not reached adulthood, and some would restrict the usage to prepubescent girls. The terms "young woman" and "underage female" are sometimes used in the period between childhood and full adulthood.
Using the word "girl" to refer to a male is usually meant to be insulting, such as "You throw like a girl". The more insulting "girly-boy", which originated in 1589 as "girle-boy", is used to indicate a weak or "sissy" male. Calling a male a girl often serves as a provocation to fight (see fighting words). While outsiders might use "girl" or "girly" as a pejorative to refer to a gay male, within the gay community it is used as a term of endearment.
The word girl has many synonyms, including "belle", "chick", "doll", "gal", "lass" or "lassie", "maiden", and "miss". The slang word "gal", as in "Buffalo gals won't you come out tonight", is a variant pronunciation of girl.
Art and literature
Portrayals of girls may reflect their standing in the artists' culture, and a brief overview of different views of girls in different art periods gives a sense of girls' roles in societies around the world and at different points in time.
The White Girl
, Whistler (1862)
Portrait of a Young Girl
, de Flandes
Egyptian murals included sympathetic portraits of young girls of royal descent.
Ancient Greek classical art and literature paid scant attention to female children, though there are many poems about boys. Only Sappho's poetry includes love poems addressed to girls.
In European art, some early paintings to feature girls are Juan de Flandes' Portrait of a Young Girl, circa 1500–1510 (shown at left); Frans Hals' Die Amme mit dem Kind in 1620; Diego Velázquez' Las Meninas in 1656; Jan Steen's The Feast of St. Nicolas, circa 1660; and Johannes Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring and Girl Reading a Letter at an Open Window. Later paintings of girls include Albert Anker's portrait of a Girl with a Domino Tower and Camille Pissarro's 1883 Portrait of a Felix Daughter.
In American art, paintings that feature girls include Mary Cassatt's 1884 Children on the Beach and Whistler's Harmony in Gray and Green: Miss Cicely Alexander and The White Girl (shown at right).
As in art, portrayals of girls in literature can reflect the social norms of the time at which they were written. Many novels begin with the childhood of their heroine. Examples include the titular protagonist of Jane Eyre, who suffers ill treatment; and Natasha in War and Peace, who is sentimentalized. Other novels include Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, which has a young girl as protagonist; and Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita, a controversial book about the relationship between a girl and a grown man. Memoirs of a Geisha was written by Caucasian American Arthur Golden. However, it has been deemed an accurate representation of geisha life in the early 20th century Japan. The book starts as the female main character and her sister are dropped into the pleasure district after being separated from their family.
Most early children's stories focused on boys, with the notable exception of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll, whose photographs of little girls are part of the history of photographic art.
European fairy tales include some memorable stories about girls, including Goldilocks and the Three Bears; Rapunzel; Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Match Girl, The Little Mermaid, and The Princess and the Pea; the Brothers Grimm's Little Red Riding Hood; and others.
Children's books about girls include Little House on the Prairie, Eloise, Pippi Longstocking, Dragonsong, and A Wrinkle in Time. Books which have both boy and girl protagonists tend to focus on the boys, but important girl characters appear in Knight's Castle, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Book of Three, and the Harry Potter series.
By contrast, the Oz series had mainly female protagonists. The few male human characters in the books tended to be significantly more cowardly and less intelligent than their female counterparts, and usually fell in submissive or villainous roles. This is probably due to the author, L. Frank Baum, being the son in law of Matilda Joslyn Gage who founded the Women's National Liberal Union.
There have been many American comic books and comic strips featuring a girl as the main character, such as Little Lulu, Little Orphan Annie, Girl Genius, and Amelia Rules. In superhero comic books, an early girl character was Etta Candy, one of Wonder Woman's sidekicks. In the Peanuts series (by Charles Schulz), girl characters include Peppermint Patty, Lucy van Pelt, and Sally Brown.
The most famous Flemish comic strip is Spike and Suzy (Suske and Wiske), about the adventures of a boy and a girl (each about 10 years old); it was translated from Flemish into French and English. Franco-Belgian comics with girls in a central role include Isabelle (by Will) and Sophie (by Jidéhem).
In Japanese animated cartoons and comic books, girls are often protagonists. Most of the animated films of Hayao Miyazaki feature a young girl as the hero, as in Majo no takkyūbin (Kiki's Delivery Service). There are many other stories with girls as protagonists in the Shōjo style of manga, which is targeted to girls as an audience. Examples include The Wallflower, Ceres, Celestial Legend, Tokyo Mew Mew and Full Moon o Sagashite. Other genres of Japanese cartoons often feature sexualized and objectified portrayals of girls.
Sexualization of young girls in art and entertainment is a common theme across all eras and mediums. However it is especially prominent, or at least more explicitly visible, in modern cinema and television. Some famous examples of this include Taxi Driver, The Blue Lagoon, Léon: The Professional, and Pretty Baby - films dealing with young girls in adult situations, typically under extraordinary circumstances. An older, and perhaps most notorious example is a book by Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita (1955) , that centers around a complex romantic relationship between a scholar and a young girl as they travel across the United States.
One of the most famous photographs of the Vietnam War shows a girl, Phan Thị Kim Phúc, whose clothes were burned off by napalm; she was taken to the hospital by the photographer and received medical care. She survived, married, and lives in Canada.
Look up girl in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
- Female infanticide
- Girl group
- Girl Guides
- Girl Heroes
- Girl Power
- Riot Grrrl
-  UNICEF, The State of the World's Children 2004 - Girls, Education and Development , 2004.
-  Harrison, Lisa and Amanda Lynch, Sex Roles: A Journal of Research - Social Role Theory and the Perceived Gender Role Orientation of Athletes, 2005.
Categories: Women | Childhood