Feminist Perspectives on Sex and Gender

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Task 1 One of the hallmarks of a sound theory is its ability to effectively and accurately predict certain phenomena related to the topic at hand, and this is the case with the notion that gender is culturally constructed, rather than the result of strictly biological determination. To say that gender is "constructed" is to say that masculine and feminine have different meanings (and associated behaviors) in different cultures, and a look at how gender functions in different cultures and contexts reveals that this is the case. By examining how media and culture more generally propose and perpetuate traditional gender identities, roles, and stereotypes, as well as the exaggerated sense of gender difference that these rely on, it will become clear that the cultural difference in terms of gender norms is indicative of a cultural origin for the notion of gender as such, above and beyond any biological, sexual factors. The notion that masculine and feminine have different meanings and associated behaviors in different cultures is obvious to anyone who spends even a miniscule amount of time comparing cultures; for example, while dresses and robes are considered predominantly feminine articles of clothing in the West, there are a number of countries and cultures where this is not the case. In fact, even in the West one may point to the Scottish kilt as an example of culture producing different standards for the expression of gender, because it is a traditional masculine
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