Are Gender Roles Forced Upon Us? Remember the 50s in America, how men were the predominant head of the household and women were expected to cook, watch their kids, and clean? This is an excellent example of gender roles, and how they control some aspects of life. Gender roles according to multiple sources are, the way people behave, what they do and say, to express being a female or male. (“Gender Identity”, Blackstone, "Gender Spectrum"). They are forced upon an individual from the day that person is born even in the most trivial of terms of putting boys in blue clothes and girls in pink. Throughout that person’s life from then on, they will face everyday cultural expectations to act according to their sex. Gender roles can often be confusing and hurtful, many stores are moving away from assigning products to a specific gender, but not only can gender roles affect behavior, it plays a huge role in transgenderism. Many people confuse the definition of gender and sex. “Gender, on the other hand, refers to the meanings, values, and characteristics that people ascribe to different sexes. Sex is a biological concept, determined on the basis of individual 's primary sex characteristics.” (Blackstone) Society gives social cues on the appropriate behavior for each sex. For example, women are to exert more feminine traits such as dependent, emotional, passive, innocent, nurturing, and/ or self-critical. On the other hand, men are to behave more masculine such as
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Both Deborah Blum’s The Gender Blur: Where Does Biology End and Society Take Over? and Aaron Devor’s “Gender Role Behaviors and Attitudes” challenges the concept of how gender behavior is socially constructed. Blum resides on the idea that gender behavior is developed mainly through adolescence and societal expectations of a gender. Based on reference from personal experiences to back her argument up, Blum explains that each individual develops their expected traits as they grow up, while she also claims that genes and testosterones also play a role into establishing the differentiation of gender behavior. Whereas, Devor focuses mainly on the idea that gender behavior is portrayed mainly among two different categories: masculinity and
The gender of a person is the masculine or feminine attributes of that individual with respect to the psychological and biological role in society. (Magar, 2009) A gender role can be defined as the way that a person lives in society with respect to its lifestyle. It can be argued that over time the major differences between men and women’s gender roles have faded. In the past traditional roles have been based in their society by their biological orientation. (Magar, 2009) Gender roles can also be described as the behavior and attitudes that are expected of men and women in a society. (Faqs.org, 2011) Although different cultures impose different expectations, many cultures have the same basic gender roles.
In American culture in the 1950s, men were the predominant head of the household and women were expected to cook, care for their kids, and clean. This is an excellent example of gender roles, and how they control certain aspects of life. Gender roles are, according to multiple sources, the way people behave, what they do or say to express being a female or male. (“Gender Identity”; Blackstone; "Understanding Gender") They are forced upon an individual from the day they are born even in the most trivial of terms of putting baby boys in blue clothes and baby girls in pink. Throughout that person’s life from then on, they will face cultural expectations every day to act according to their sex. Gender roles can often be confusing and hurtful,many stores are moving away from assigning products to a specific gender, but not only can gender roles affect a person’s behavior, it can play a huge role in transgenderism.
First of all I am going to begin with defining sex and gender. Sex in a sociological perspective is defined as the biological and physiological differences between men and women which are contrasted in terms of reproductive function(Abercrombie et al 2000 :313). On the other hand gender is sociologically conceived as the social roles allocated to men and women in society that is to say gender is learned not innate. However previously it was believed that sex determined gender thus the differences between men and
Gender and gender roles are a somewhat complicated idea to understand. Contrary to popular belief, gender and sex are two different things in that “gender is not inherently nor solely connected to one’s physical anatomy” (“Understanding Gender”). When parents automatically assign their child a gender based on their sex organs, it leaves very little room for change later in the child’s life, because children born with female sex organs are not necessarily girls, just as children born with male sex organs are not necessarily boys. Rather, gender is based on mindset, personal identity, outward presentations, and behavior of the individual. Binary genders, or the broadly
Gender roles affect the way we view males and females in society. According to Public and Private Families an Introduction by Andrew J Cherlin, “sex” is described as the biological characteristics the distinguish the difference between man and woman such as their reproductive organs and hormones. “Gender” is described as the social and cultural characteristics that describe the difference between men and women. Gender roles in the United States have changed more for women than for men due to the asymmetry of gender change which is the bigger change in woman’s lives than males.
When it comes to gender, it is as easy to determine as quantum physics; all the pieces are there but it is impossible to put together. Without hard evidence, all people can do is to make assumptions. The two biggest arguments on how gender is determined right now is based upon social and biological construct. Arguing for the sociological aspect is Aaron Devor, writer of the article, “Gender roles behaviors and attitudes”. Dover believes that, “People use femininity and masculinity to claim and communicate their membership in their assigned, or chosen, sex or gender” (Devor 505). Devor considers that society has certain roles that are predetermined towards males, females and anyone in between. A man has to act a certain way to be masculine and a female a certain way to be considered feminine. On the not so opposite side of the spectrum is Deborah Blum, author of the work, “The gender blur: Where Does Biology End and Society Take Over?”. Blum doesn’t necessarily disagree with Devor, but asks the question, “Do the gender roles of our culture reflect an underlying biology, and, in turn, does the way we behave influence that biology” (Blum 512). Blum is arguing that maybe it was our genetic makeup that built the foundation on how a gender should act. Both authors present valid points for their arguments, but in the end, it is Blum who comes over on top with her usage of tone, evidence, and the use of a counterargument.
There are difference between sex and gender, and as time passes they become better known. Sex is known as male or female. Sex refers to the biology, the differences of chromosomes and hormones; internal and external sex organs of individuals. Gender is known by the terms “masculine” and “feminine”. Gender refers to the characteristics of a society or culture that are defined as either masculine or feminine. Gender roles refer to the characteristics and behaviors that different cultures attribute to the sexes. The evolution of gender norms happens by culture and region, and over time, there has been less of an emphasis on biology so much to explain differences between men and women, just know society shapes different outcomes and expectations
The gender describes how our understandings and perception of differences between masculinity (what society deems appropriate behaviour a “man” and femininity (what society deems appropriate behaviour for a “woman”) are influenced.
Sex and gender are often used interchangeably in American culture, yet they have distinctly different meanings. Sex is based on a person’s biological traits, such as chromosomes and genitals, while gender is used to outline what cultural roles a person will perform. American society uses a binary system of male or female for sex and gender. Both sex and gender are integral in shaping a person’s identity. The gender and sex binary system can be detrimental to individuals who do not conform to it.
For many years society has embraced the idea that the difference between men and women were biologically determined. Thou through traditions, media, and peers we act accordingly to how others view us. Each individual has pressure placed upon them based on their gender. Our sex is determined by genetics while our gender is programmed by social customs. Some theories interpret that a women is tender and a loving mother while on the other hand men are aggressive hunters and are the dominant one of the family. People who support this theory seems to believe that men and women are happier when fulfilling the roles nature determined for them. Women are to be nurturing and men are to be providers by nature. An individual gender role is molded
Many people don’t know the difference between gender and sex. Sex is anatomical and biological. Gender role can be defined as a person’s inner sense of how a male or female should feel and behave. Culture and society are two important factors in relation to this particular topic. This implies that various societies and cultures may produce children and later fully grown men and women who may have diverse perspectives of a man or a woman’s place or role in the world around them; this is often determined by their culture’s gender stereotypes. Gender roles are the products of interactions between individuals and their environments, and they give certain cues about the behavior that is acceptable based upon their sex. Members of the society must learn the appropriate way for them to behave and what is actually expected of them as well as others. These roles are also based on norms or standards created by society.
The concept of gender has a strong social impact on me. When I was born, I was immediately assigned to a biological sex as a female with two X chromosomes. I was then socially classified as a girl in the society with feminine gender roles. Gender is defined as a social principle which attribute to the roles and expectations of males and females through the years of different societies (Phillips, 2005). Gender can be considered as behavioural, cultural and psychological traits
Society has clearly defined boundaries between what is considered to be male or female. The development of an individual’s gender role is formed by interactions with those in close proximity. Society constantly tells us how we should look, act and live based on gender. Family, friends and the media have a tremendous impact on how these roles are formed and the expected behavior of each gender role.
In society, the biological difference between men and women is used as a justification for aligning them with different social roles which restrict and mold their attitudes and behavior. Merriam-Webster defines gender as the behavioral, cultural, or psychological traits typically associated with one sex. Narrow minded society of today is not satisfied with the natural difference of sex, but each insist on adding a cultural difference of gender to it. The unsophisticated, ideal physical facts always become associated with the complex psychological qualities (Holter). It is not enough for a male to be a man; he must also be masculine. A woman, in addition to being a female, must be feminine (Magner). In a more evolved and accepting society,