- Sheldon’s social ineptitude in The Big Bang Theory often led him to make sexist remarks, particularly towards his female friends and acquaintances.
- In contrast, Young Sheldon approaches female characters as equals, treating female teachers and friends the same way he treats male ones.
- Sheldon’s sexist attitude in The Big Bang Theory might have been influenced by his friends, who also displayed derogatory behavior towards women, although Sheldon’s directness made him the most offensive.
Sheldon’s family differences in Young Sheldon have long been pinpointed as plot holes, but one specific Sheldon characteristic painting him in a bad light in The Big Bang Theory might be attributed to the company he keeps in the parent series. Throughout The Big Bang Theory’s twelve seasons, Sheldon’s social ineptitude showed his frankness often prevailing, without him realizing straight away that his comments could have embarrassed others or outright offended them. However, Sheldon’s female friends and acquaintances bore the brunt of his bluntness, as he regularly resorted to sexist stereotypes in his discussions with them or if he needed to figure out why they were expressing a certain emotion.
The main Young Sheldon character has shown a different approach toward female characters, though, whether they were family, friends, or educators. Indeed, while Sheldon’s direct approach when handling problems overwhelmed many, he didn’t behave differently when correcting female and male teachers, instead approaching them in the same know-it-all way whether they were men or women. While Sheldon’s longstanding friends in Young Sheldon were few, he bonded with two girls approaching them as equals, differently from how he would treat women in TBBT. Sheldon’s behavior toward women and girls until Young Sheldon season 6’s ending points to his sexist attitude being learned at some point.
Sheldon’s Sexist Attitude Must Have Come From His Friends In TBBT
Sheldon’s female friend for the longest time in Young Sheldon was Paige, but Young Sheldon season 1, episode 15, “Dolomite, Apple Slices, and a Mystery Woman” showed Sheldon willingly approaching a fellow highschooler just because he saw her picking up a geology book. Sheldon yearned for Libby’s friendship in the episode because he saw her as a like-minded peer interested in science, something very few did in Medford. Not only did he approach her as an equal, but it also hurt him deeply when she let it slip that she saw Sheldon as a child, proving his instinct was always to view potential peers similarly no matter their gender.
Mary and Connie influenced Sheldon in Young Sheldon, but he was almost solely surrounded by Sheldon’s friends in The Big Bang Theory. While Penny wasn’t immune to sexist assumptions when discussing her friends, Sheldon had spent the majority of his adult life with Leonard, Raj, and Howard, who were often derogatory to women, whether unwittingly because of their lack of social skills, or on purpose because they believed that behavior would have let women fall for them. Sheldon’s directness might have made him the most offensive when addressing female characters, but TBBT’s earliest seasons especially showed that Leonard, Howard, and Raj were as susceptible to gender stereotypes as Sheldon was.
How Sheldon’s Misogyny Changes During The Big Bang Theory
A major development of The Big Bang Theory was Sheldon increasingly becoming more considerate toward his friends and acquaintances, which also reflected in the way he behaved with women, whether friends or colleagues. While comparisons between women and eggs on a Texas summer day or platitudes about men being better than women and the “champagne of genders” were long gone in The Big Bang Theory season 12, Sheldon’s improvement still didn’t resemble his approach toward female characters in Young Sheldon. Indeed, Sheldon still resorted to sexist remarks when scorned in The Big Bang Theory, while he never even thought about such a kind of prejudice in Young Sheldon.
Amy and Sheldon’s breakup in The Big Bang Theory season 8 emphasized this characteristic of Sheldon, with him expressing his hurt and anger at Amy through various sexist remarks, including “You should think fast because men can sire offspring their entire lives, but those eggs you’re toting around have a sell-by date,” which prompted Amy to make their breakup official. However, their reconnection eventually proved that Sheldon truly learned to take into account Amy’s feelings. Still, even if Bernadette and Amy’s centrality in The Big Bang Theory went on to help make Sheldon less biased against women, his attitude never returned to being as balanced as in Young Sheldon.