Essay on Negative Consequences of Gender Role Stereotyping

3050 Words13 Pages
In our society today, men and women perform distinctly different roles which are based on nothing more than their biological gender. Although these roles do not hold true for each individual, the majority of people live out their lives in accordance with these extremely pervasive roles. Society tends to assign classes of social roles to "male" individuals and classes of social roles to "female" individuals (as society perceives their sexes). These gender roles limit what both males and females can and cannot do. Gender roles enslave individuals and force them to be what others want them to be. They are perpetuated and reinforced by the mass media and society in general many ways, some which are…show more content…
There are four ways to be determined as being "male," "female," or both: the first is genitalia, females are determined by their clitoris and males by their penis; the second is gonads, females have ovaries and males have testes; third is their chromosomal sex (the 23rd pair), females have XX and males have XY; and the fourth determining factor is hormones, females have estrogen and males have androgen.

The sex of a child is literally created. In the case of intersexuality, doctors remove body parts and use plastic surgery to create "appropriate" genitalia. Societal beliefs are reinforced by medical tradition of rendering intersexual births invisible, to make the child more socially "suitable." Intersexuals are seen as being deviations from the "norm" and seen as people "who need to be 'fixed' in order to preserve a two-gender system, are also studied to prove how 'natural' the system is to begin with" (Fausto-Sterling, p. 74). Even though intersexual births occur with high frequency, medical technology attempts to render bodies male or female to insist they are either male or female are prevalent, rather than having the individual admit the social nature of their ideas about sexual differences.

In many cases with intersexual children who have surgical operations to be male, it is not how his sex organ can function, but rather
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