‘‘Sex’ is a biological term; ‘gender’ a psychological and cultural one’ (Oakley 1972, p.158). To further expound on Oakley, ‘sex’ refers to the biological framework a person is born with while ‘gender’, an identity that we acquire as a result of social and cultural influence. Sex is naturally constant throughout an individual’s life whereas gender is a variable. Via gender socialisation, men and women constantly learn to adapt to society’s expectations associated with their biological form as society changes. This very concept clearly elucidates the dichotomy between sex and gender. Therefore, coming from such a perspective, it is true to say that we are born as human beings (males, females or intersex) who formulate socially accepted gender identities as a product of social and cultural implications (Abbott, Wallace & Tyler 2005). Conventionally, societies associate the male and female sexes with their definitions of masculinity and femininity respectively.
As individuals, we are all given assigned aspects that define us. Race, gender, and social class are just a few of the characteristics that make us who we are. We also choose to take on certain aspects that reflect our own interests such as careers, fashion, and fandom. When our chosen and assigned aspects come together, our own identity is formed. These parts eventually impact and affect each other with the idea of intersection. The interconnection of being a woman and belonging to a certain career cross and act on each other in ways that are mostly negative. Many women find being successful in their careers very difficult especially women who are based into a male dominated industry.
Gender is actually a set of rules, customs and traditions assigned to people of a particular sex. Gender is not biological but sex is. Rather, according to Lorber, it is influenced by our society and our culture. By proving this claim, Judith Lorber has put forth the example of the man and this example is efficient in distinguishing “gender” as a practice than as an innate attribute.
Candance West and Don Zimmerman are the authors of “Doing Gneder” that was published in ‘Gender Society; on 1987. The point that the authors were trying to get accros in “Doing Gender” was that people fullfille their ‘gender’ just like any other rutine that people do in their life. It is hard for people to avoind ‘doing gneder’ becae it is almost a never ending activity. We do gender each and everyday to where we are onlivion to it. We step into our gender unknowingly while we are interacting and socializing. Children learn frm a ver yound age how to do gender. From a young age girls care about things like lip glass. The little girls associate wearing lip gloss with looking prettier. We make sure that they know how to be a ‘boy’ and ‘girl’. Gender is not at all who we are and it is not our identity. Gender is a mask that we put on when we face others. We don’t act in public like we act when we are alone. Just as stated in “Doing Gender” by Creative Sociololy, “It Is a product of social interaction… production…..A social construction. “ We do gender to avoind being judged by others. A man takin on the characteristics of a femal and vise versa is risky. As stated in the article “Doing Gender”, “…behave outside the boundres…risk…judge harshly…” Society treats the individuals who break the statues quote unfairly becase they are challenginf the system. There is a raise of unequal distribution of power by every person who participates in doing gender. Whne you compare men and
Rothenburg states the the construction of gender starts when an individual is born. It begin when we are assigned a name and dressed based upon the gender that is biologically assigned at birth. This idea remain the same until puberty when sexual desires begin to take shape. These desires are based heavily on the norm created by their biological gender. Mating and Parenting is likewise gendered and the
In the past gender and sex use to be considered synonymous in context. Gender was often just a compassionate, moderate, more socially acceptable way of evading the word sex. However, there is a good motive for them to be
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.
Historically, sexuality has been a source of oppression, as well as pleasure and empowerment. The manner in which law recognizes sexuality is important for it produces a standard to be adhered to. From this standard, norms are established. The legal system acts a regulatory and governance body that acknowledges and legitimized cultural norms influence gendered identities. Cultural feminism suggests that gender disparities can be justified through biological differences. Gendered assumptions are therefore justified through reproductive capabilities, such as nurturing and domestic attributes of women. The analysis of law and cultural norms that perpetuate sexual danger and inhibit pleasure will be conducted through a sequential analysis of the three primary waves of feminism in light of Catherine MacKinnon and Gayle Rubin’s feminist critiques. Radical feminists such as Catherine MacKinnon argues that sexuality is the linchpin of women’s oppression. Gender is a hierarchy and a division of power, and therefore, women are inherently oppressed due to their sexuality. The source of sexual oppression originated from gendered patriarchy, specifically through woman being viewed as subordinates to their male counterparts. In contrast, sex-positive feminists, such as Gayle Rubin, reject sexual essentialism and suggest that sexuality is constructed.
West and Zimmerman’s theory of “Doing Gender” defines sex and gender as two separate entities within this binary society. Sex refers to the biological characteristics that are typically attributed to males and females. Gender is the status of the individual performing the activities that are commonly associated with masculinity and femininity. These traits are rigid in dictating the individual’s consistent performance of them. A gendered individual must execute the appropriate acts that are linked to masculinity or femininity respectively. It is a learned behavior that is taught at an early age through observation of society. Therefore, it is society that decides whether an action is attributed to masculinity or femininity. Gender is a socially constructed idea of thought that people unconsciously follow. The acts that constitute a particular gender can change based on the views of society within a generation. Certain activities and forms of appearance have shifted between males and females. As society evolves throughout history, the interactions between individuals and their gendered actions have changed. West and Zimmerman state, “When we view gender as an accomplishment, an achieved property of situated conduct, our attention shifts from matters internal to the individual and focuses on interactional and, ultimately, institutional arenas” (West and Zimmerman, 1987, page 126). Thus the performance of gender has developed passed the individual and is engrained within the
In the article, “Doing Gender,” West and Zimmerman (1987) argues the concept of gender as a social activity or interaction, as opposed to an intrinsic individual value. These activities and interactions are socially constructed norms of male and female, masculinity and femininity. To further explain gender, the authors define 3 important concepts: sex, sex category, and gender. Sex refers to biological factors (e.g., hormones, genitalia), sex category refers to visual markers (e.g., dress, hairstyle), and gender is the interactive piece. The authors state that doing gender is always certain and ongoing as it is embedded in everyday life (e.g., the way we dress, walk, sit, and communicate) and it is the individual who holds sole responsibility
The passage below from The Feminist Local and Global Theory Perspective Reader suggests that biological terms of male and female are not self-determined but pre-assigned. Once a person is assigned an anatomical category (in this case only being male or female) what they do with this information is how they are pre-determined to act. This cycle perpetuates the reoccurring gender roles that have been inevitably causing both males and females to be oppressed. Consequently, this is unlikely to change since until recently this is how things have always been when it comes to gender and sex. Throughout the reading the topics of both sex and gender are introduced on differently levels of complexity.
My beliefs and view on the gender ideology towards work and family is more weighed on one side (Masculine) and partly on the other (Feminine). It is evident that the ‘Masculine’ gender is more dominant in our society and because of this; there is more expectation and responsibility for the masculine gender. However, there is a continual inclusion trend in which we are witnessing the feminine gender assume some roles of the masculine gender. But overall, the masculine effect is still dominant. I personally feel that there should be a good balance of work and family responsibility by the men. It is necessary that the ‘Men’ are mostly responsible for taking the role of the breadwinner of the family therefore, the working hours of the men would have to be met as required by the employer. For example, working 40 hours a week is the minimum in the US but varies in some other places. In a case whereby the man has to take an overtime shift just to meet the needs of the family.
When we look up gender in the dictionary it states “Although it is possible to define gender as “sex,” indicating that the term can be used when differentiating male creatures from female ones biologically, the concept of gender, a word primarily applied to human beings, has additional connotations—more rich and more amorphous—having to do with general behavior, social interactions, and most importantly, one 's fundamental sense of self.” When I define gender I automatically define it as being a boy and girl or male and female. People define gender in so many ways, but it is in the way that we think more outside of the box based on people’s opinions, that make us wonder more.
When considering gender and sex, a layman’s idea of these terms might be very different than a sociologist’s. There is an important distinction: sex, in terms of being “male” or “female,” is purely the physical biological characteristic differences – primarily anatomical differences. (There are also rare cases of “intersexual” individuals as outlined in the Navarro article, “When Gender Isn’t a Given”.) Gender, on the other hand, is an often misconstrued concept that is commonly mistaken as synonymous with sex. A non-sociologist might surmise the following, “men act masculine and women act feminine, therefore, it must follow that gender is inherent to sex,” however, this is not necessarily the case.
In order to answer the question above this essay will discuss in depth what exactly sex is and what gender is and the differences between the two terms. The research carried out will display that we live in a patriarchal society without a doubt as we look at how gender links to inequality in society. A patriarchal society can be clearly seen from the gender inequality in the labour force which is paid labour and also in unpaid labour which occurs in the household. Another area the answer will reflect on is how gender inequality links to education which overall links to society. Finally the answer below will show how the media also portrays gender inequality and how it affects the people in society.