A Response to the Article on Society and Gender

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SOCIETY AND GENDER ARTICLE RESPONSE How did your upbringing shape your gender behavior? Do you agree or disagree with Blum that both biology and society are responsible for our gender behavior? I agree completely with Blum. Specifically, I appreciate the way that she describes gender-specific behaviors as "faint signals" that get "amplified" by the socialization process and to our being born with "predispositions" toward gender-specific behavioral norms. Both experimental animal studies and human observational studies seem to support the view that there inherent differences in behavior between the genders, some of which are apparently even apparent before birth, such as in the relative activity levels of male and female fetuses. Usually, societal influence and the entire socialization process at home and in the community outside the home strongly reinforce the same gender-specific norms that correspond to those differences that are attributable to biology. I know that as a child, I was always presented with gender-appropriate toys and that when my parents and teachers discussed topics such as what I wanted to be when I grew up, they always adhered closely to gender-specific norms in my society. Ordinarily, it is difficult to determine how much of our gender identities have to do with biology and how much they are a function of socialization, simply because the two variables are almost always at work simultaneously. Furthermore, it is likely that different
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