Whether we consciously notice or not, doing gender is occurring everyday within our society. Every interaction we have with another individual is doing gender. Doing gender has become a part of our every day lives the same way without realizing it the same way we breathe air without really paying attention that we are breathing. The meaning behind this is that it is occurring unconsciously. Candace West and Don Zimmerman coined the term doing gender in an article they composed. West and Zimmerman argued that gender is something that humans created. As humans, we have the urge to categorize and define everything. If someone was not in favor of their gender role or did something that was not deemed correct for that gender, this person would be committing an act of social deviance. This paper will discuss what doing gender means along with other attributes of doing gender. These attributes includes what pushes us to do gender, why we do gender, the results of doing gender along with discussing what the boys in C.J. Pascoe’s article of Dude you’re a fag accomplished. This essay will discuss what doing gender is along with what causes us to do it and finally what doing it accomplishes.
An eclectic use of both of these theories would enhance our understanding of gender development because it is important to understand that biology and socialization play a part in gender development. Hormones, sexual organs, culture, and society intertwine and make a child aware of his or her gender. A cognitive understanding does not suffice. For example, for parents who believe that culture, school, peers, and media influence their son or daughter to be transgender are incorrect. Both of these theories demonstrate that biologically their child was born with the awareness that they belong to a different sex; it is embedded in their chromosomes. Meanwhile, society simply enabled them to observe the gender roles and determine which gender they felt most comfortable in.
What does it mean to be a woman or man? Whether we a man or a woman, in today’s society it is not determined just by our sex organs. Our gender includes a complex mix of beliefs, behaviors, and characteristics. How do you act, talk, and behave like a woman or man? Are you feminine or masculine, both, or neither? These are questions that help us get to the core of our gender and gender identity. Gender identity is how we feel about and express our gender and gender roles: clothing, behavior, and personal appearance. It is a feeling that we have as early as age two or three. In the article, “Becoming Members of Society: Learning the Social Meaning of Gender,” the author, Aaron Devor, is trying to persuade his readers that gender shapes how we behave because of the expectation from us and relate to one another. He does this by using an educational approach, describing gender stereotypes, and making cultural references. He gets readers to reflect on how “Children’s developing concepts of themselves as individuals are necessarily bound up …to understand the expectations of the society which they are a part of” (389). Growing up, from being a child to an adult is where most of us try to find ourselves. We tend to struggle during this transition period, people around us tell us what to be and not to be, Jamaica Kincaidt in her short story, “Girl” tells just that, the setting is presented as a set of life instructions to a girl by her mother to live properly. The mother soberly
How we learn gender is part of gender socialization. It begins the moment we are born and continues till the end of our life. We are exposed to many factors that may influence our gender identity. Some of the factors are, media, our experience in school and our parents. In Martin & Kazyak’s essay titled “Hetero-Romantic Love and Hetereosexiness”, he explains how the media plays a part in shaping a child’s gender identity. In Thorne’s essay titled “Girls and Boys together…” he explores how sex segregation occurs predominantly in elementary school. In the film “Tough Guise”, Katz explains that men aren’t naturally violent but are taught to be so. And lastly, in Cornell’s essay titled “Masculinities and Globalization” he says that there are
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
“We have been very conditioned by the cultures that we come from and are usually very identified with the particular gender that we happen to be a member of.” This quote by Andrew Cohen explains partially how gender identity develops, through the conditioning of our environments. The most influential factor of gender development, however, is still a very controversial issue. An analysis of the gender identification process reveals two main arguments in what factor most greatly contributes to gender development: biology differences (nature) or the environment (nurture).
In their article, Penelope Eckert and Sally McConnell-Ginet describe some of the variances between a boy and a girl and how they are treated which is essentially the idea of being “gendered” is all about. Penelope Eckert and Sally McConnell-Ginet make some incredibly well supported arguments to illustrate that our gender is a very important trait and it’s development is a lifelong process. Penelope Eckert and Sally McConnell-Ginet talk about how adults act towards boys and girls in which they
These gendered actions are taught in an early age as children actively participate in performing masculinity and femininity. There is gender policing that is expressed by others when an individual does not perform accordingly. Males and females must consistently “do gender” by interacting with
The lesbian desires her mother and to become a male herself, she disowns her vagina and wishes for a penis (Podder & De, 2011). The child hides the incestuous desire by manifesting it in another same sex individual. Without proper resolution of this stage, the child would begin to identify with the parent of the opposite sex and not of the same sex. “The unconscious dynamics of the gender role in male homosexuals was found to be feminine with an aspiration to be masculine at times, while female homosexuals were found to be more masculine” (Podder & De, 2011). Some believe that a child can be distinguished as a homosexual early on in development by the behaviors exhibited by the child. Children, who exhibit deviant behavior of gender roles, for example girly boys or tomboys, are at a higher risk of becoming a homosexual later in life (Podder & De, 2011). Personality development is critical in childhood.
At our inception we are simply biotic matter without any sense of gender. However as we age, our sense of gender beyond the objective view of our biology reminds us that men are different from women. Are we truly different entirely from one another, or are the differences in gender brought about by our social interactions? Drawing on the works of authors of Anna Quindlen, Virginia Woolf, and Cathy Song, it is apparent that these divides are not rooted in our genetics. Although, on the surface, they agree that socialization is a cause of gender difference, they convey different meanings for our expectations concerning gender. Woolf’s claim is without an outlet by which women can escape the gender expectations society expects of them, which reinforces
Gender is an age-graded event that affected my childhood. Being able to identify as a woman and learning society’s expectations for women was critical for my development. At the age three, I discovered that society does not have the same expectations for males and females. Therefore, I had to learn how to act like a “lady”.
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
Gender has been a big issue in society. Sex is biological, and it is through sex that gender is produced (which according to West and Zimmerman, “gender, we said, was an achieved status: that which is constructed through psychological, cultural, and social mean” (West and Zimmerman 1987, 125) - in other words, it is the categorization of both sex to act in a certain and acceptable way by the society, also known as norms) and can be recreated through human interaction and social life. All of this is being constructed by our environment; Inequality is being formed through identity. Everything all begins from when we are born. In society, it is believed that boys are tough while the women are believed to be soft and nurturing. There
Gender coding is not a natural or biological characteristic. People are born with different physical and biological characteristics, but make sense of their gender roles through cultural influences. “Stereotypes are amazingly powerful, and we may not realize the degree to which our thoughts, beliefs, and actions are shaped by them” (Silverman, Rader, 2010). Boys and girls are labeled as masculine or feminine, which is considered the “norm” for society. Children are not born masculine or feminine, they learn these roles from parents, peers, media, and even religion. Concepts of gender identity are sometimes placed on children even before their birth, such as with the selection of paint colors for the nursery.” Children begin to form concepts of gender beginning around the age of 2, and most children know if they are a boy or girl by age of 3” (Martin & Ruble, 2004). From an early age, children are encouraged to identify with gender coding. Gender is formed at birth, but self-identification as being male or female is imbedded into their minds by parents and society. A child learns to understand their gender role and their identity by what is taught and expressed to them by others. Yet as a child grows, gender coding can cause cultural confusion, and insecurity issues throughout the course of their life.
“Gender” is a social construct that is developed solely by our society and the early developmental stages of an adolescent’s life. By introducing youths to the roles, behaviors, expectations and activities that correspond with males or females we give a clear guideline of what is accepted from a young male or female. An individual however can identify his or her gender based on their own system of beliefs without corresponding to their natural biological sex. Our lives are shaped by our true biological identities but the influence of the world and society is enough to define what a male and what a female truly is to an individual.