Essay about Do We Learn Our Gender

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Do we learn our gender?
This essay will look at the question of whether we learn our gender. It will begin by looking at the sociological meaning and interpretations of gender and how this is important. Following the discussion of how socialization plays a vital role in the argument of if we do learn our gender or not. Further to this it shall look at how gender roles have changed, comparing in particular pre-1960 to the modern day and also what key factors played crucial roles in this change. Throughout this essay the work and views of different sociologists will be relied upon in order to provide a detailed discussion in the analysis of the question.
Firstly to understand the question the meaning of gender has to be depicted. The
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This social observation would suggest that they are learning their gender roles in society through their culture, religion and their primary socialisation, the family.
When looking at gender roles in modern day British society it must be said that the definition of what is a feminine gender role and a masculine gender role is becoming harder if not impossible to define. As Simone De Beauvoir (1949, p.293) said “One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman”, this reflects the argument and suggests that a child is born genderless, it is only once they are taught the social characteristics of a woman under a cultural compulsion that they then adapt this, this suggests that it does not matter what the sex is, only what the social obligation is upon the child that determines the gender. Judith Butler (1990, p.10) argues this point in ‘Gender Trouble.’ She states that “If gender is the cultural meanings that the sexed body assumes, then a gender cannot be said to follow from a sex in any one way. Taken to its logical limit, the sex/gender distinction suggests a radical discontinuity between sexed bodies and culturally constructed genders.” This discussion is following the argument towards Simone De Beauvoir’s work, in that the gender/sex relationship is not assigned to any particular sex, and that however stereotypically we assign the masculine gender characteristics to men and feminine to women these are not restricted to each sex. This relates to the question in terms
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